What Your Amazon Wish List Says About You


I don’t know exactly how it started, but we were having a family discussion about Amazon wish lists.  I think my mother was wondering what to buy my sister for her birthday.  My mother knew that I had a wish list and then started to quiz me on who had a wish list.  She asked if my sister had one.  I replied yes.  She then asked if my other sister had one.  While I wasn’t sure, I hedged my bets and said I thought so.  After a few more names, she wondered aloud if everyone had one.  My only reply was that everyone should.  It would save a lot of hassle when it came to buying them gifts.

On numerous occasions, my family and friends have expressed relief that I had several wish lists to choose from.  They had no trouble finding gifts for me.  My nephew was surprised when he saw a desk lamp on my list.  He wondered if I truly wanted it even after he bought it and gave it to me.  I was happy to tell him that it was a central part of my stamp collecting desk and that I had ordered the same one for my hobby room.

Today, I spent a bit of time perusing my list.  I am also reading Malcolm Gladwell’s “Talking to Strangers” and I had just read a chapter in which people are analyzing other people by the words they wrote down on a random blank word quiz.  While it struck me as complete nonsense that you could judge people based on this (and I think the psychologists who planned the tests weren’t testing the people who wrote the words, but rather the people who used the words to make judgments about them) I started to wonder if we could judge someone based on what is on their Amazon wish list.

When I go to people’s houses, if I have the opportunity, I always check out their bookshelf.  Most of the time, I am looking for books I can borrow rather than judging their literary taste, but there is probably some judgement in there too.

Going through my list I can make a few generalizations….or conclusions….maybe some confessions.  In no particular order:

  • I must still secretly want to become fluent in Japanese since I have a few grammar books and other learning materials on the list.
  • I need to let go of some old TV series even though they are cult classics, I don’t spend nearly as much time watching TV series these days. Do I really need to see all three seasons of Forever Knight?
  • Also, my taste in TV is a little questionable.
  • My days as an English literature major haven’t totally deserted me.  There are still a bunch of classics and post modern works that I want to read and a few I want to reread.
  • My hobbies are well represented on my wish lists.  I probably spend more time reading about my hobbies than actually pursuing them.  It is probably a good thing I haven’t found a whole bunch of books on blogging–I know they are out there, but I have avoided the temptation of looking.  The first chapter probably starts out telling me I am doing everything wrong.
  • Why haven’t I pulled the trigger on the hardcover complete set of Calvin and Hobbes cartoons?  Why?
  • There are still a lot of Japanese things on my list.
  • I need to edit my list a bit more often.  There are some items that haven’t been in stock for years.
  • Sometimes I put things on the list only because I want to remember them, but not actually own them.  If they are books, I usually find them at the library, read them, and then delete them from my list.
  • Why did I put a six thousand dollar bike took kit on my list?  I will never buy it.  Even if they gave it to me for free, I probably could only use fewer than 20 pieces of it.
  • It is probably good that I have access to Amazon from Canada and not the US.  I know there is way more stuff available there.

I’d love to know what are the oddest, most expensive, or oldest things on your wish list.

About Anthony

I am: equal parts rebel, romantic and shockingly average Joe. a writer trapped inside of an ESL teacher's body. an introverted attention seeker. a teacher who hopes one day to be called "Captain, my Captain." an intellectual who can do some very dumb things. a person whose Japan experience, despite being so long ago, still exerts a strong influence upon him. a lover of books, music, beer, hockey and Pizza.
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18 Responses to What Your Amazon Wish List Says About You

  1. Sheree says:

    I don’t have an Amazon wish list!

    • Anthony says:

      I guess that says either your confident that you have everything you want, or that people who want to buy you something know what to get you.
      Both are equally enviable.
      I do find that making a list is quite helpful. I can then ask myself if I really want or need that….most often I don’t need it.

  2. Lkvy says:

    So, I named my Amazon.ca Wishlist “Marlon” and my bio says: “I do not attend the University of Idaho.” Just two items are on the list:
    HOMCOM Wood 4 Tier Rolling Kitchen Trolley Cart with Storage Drawer Rack Basket and niceeshop (TM) Kitchen S Shaped Iron Plating Hanging Hooks Hangers (Silver, the Set of 10 Pcs).

    My amazon.com wishlist was last updated in 2007, and I saved it under my then roommate’s name so that when others searched for her wishlist, they’d learn of her burning desire to stock up on dried mushroom. “Dried porcini mushrooms from Borgataro” marked as “Highest Priority” with the comment: “It upsets me how I never have enough mushrooms at home.”

    I can’t remember if she liked or hated mushrooms. I bet it was the latter.

    You’d be very disappointed by my bookshelf. I don’t have one, and I need to recharge my Kindle. 😬

    • Lkvy says:

      WTF? There were totally line breaks in my comment. Damn you WordPress, damn you to hellllllll!

      • Anthony says:

        Are you using the new editor? I can’t make myself venture down that path yet.

      • Anthony says:

        An important question for you. My back wheel on my road bike seems pretty warped. I had it straightened last year….but that was last year. What do you recommend for someone looking for a new affordable wheel? I would love to go carbon, but unless I get it from China, it won’t meet my budget.
        Is it worth buying a truing stand? Also, how do I know what size spoke wrench to buy?
        Sorry to pepper you with questions.

      • Lkvy says:

        No, I wouldn’t recommend buying a truing stand unless you’re serious about learning how to repair bikes. A truing stand will set you back about $250! A spoke wrench doesn’t cost much though, and you could tighten any loose spokes/correct major deviations while the wheel is on the bike, using a zip tie secured to the fork as a guide (or your brake pads if you have caliper brakes).

        My road bike has Yoeleo carbon rims. Yoeleo is a Chinese brand (they make carbon frames for high end brands) that doesn’t have the same prestige as, say, Zipp… but it basically the same. UCI approved, even. So, you could go for that. If you buy the rims only, a bike shop will build your wheels for about $60/wheel plus the cost of spokes.

        Hubs with sealed bearings are great, but if you get your hub serviced on a regular basis, loose bearings work as well. I have Bitex hubs on my road and Miche on my touring bike.

        I would avoid Mavic wheelset/ rims. They have great warranty/customer service though.

        If your current wheel seems to go out of true quickly, it may be that the spokes weren’t the correct length to begin with. The rims have probably been damaged at this point, so best to get new ones!

    • Anthony says:

      I might be disappointed by your bookshelf, but I am amused by your wicked sense of humour.

  3. Jinjer says:

    This is a fun post. The first thing I notice is that I need to get all these books onto my Goodreads. The most expensive item on my Wish List (and I seem to have several wish lists going so that’s another thing to clean up) are 7 different books that are over $800. Each. A couple of them I’ve managed to pick up from used book stores for a few dollars so I don’t know why the price is so high from Amazon resellers.

    • Anthony says:

      Part of the problem is from “get rich quick, flipping shows” that appear both on TV and YouTube. They love to tell you that they got something at a garage sale for a dollar, and sold it for some astronomical figure.
      Yeah, that might happen sometimes, but now someone is sitting on a pile of books hoping to sell it for 800. I would put it on my list and wait until it comes down to a figure I can actually afford.

      • Jinjer says:

        That’s exactly the problem!!!! Or like when that dang Martha Stewart suddenly starts featuring green depression glass bowls and stuff. Used to be dirt cheap and easy to find at antique stores until people saw it on her show and started buying it all up.

      • Anthony says:

        We should know that TV starts trends. It doesn’t matter if it’s coupons, or people going to garage sales to stock their ebay store.

    • Anthony says:

      By the way, what are these seven books?

      • Jinjer says:

        1. Diaries and Letters: 1930-1939 – Harold Nicolson – Hardcover $855.58 (paperback $7.76)
        2. The Diary of Anais Nin 1931-1934 – Hardcover $855.58 (same price, same seller! Avoid a reseller called GoldieLoxBooks!!! This is one that I got a hardcover for a few dollars at a local bookstore.
        3. Architecture in New York;: A photographic history (Yep! Same seller, same price while other sellers have the hardcover for $8.00. I’d like to know how many $855 books they sell!)
        4. Windsor Revisited by HRH The Duke of Windsor $847 – different seller this time. Other sellers have it for $4.99.
        5. My life and loves in Greenwich Village – Maxwell Bodenheim – $801.77
        6. From the Crash to the Blitz:1929-1939 (The New York Times Chronicle of American Life) – Cabell Phillips $801.77
        7. Who Killed Society? – Cleveland Armory – $460.40

        So, since the only reason those are the most expensive items on my list is because the jacked up price is what Amazon is pulling, I wonder what my most expensive items really are. I’m just glad to see that all those books ARE available from other sellers for reasonable prices.

      • Anthony says:

        I hope they have already sent those books to Amazon to “store” them before selling. They are paying a monthly fee for that.
        Maybe they are hoping the other hardcovers sell out and theirs will be the only ones left.

      • Jinjer says:

        I took another look at those books. The $800+ books are NEW they are, indeed, the one and only seller with a NEW hardcover edition, so yah. I guess they can get away with charging such a price. I don’t need new. I’m happy with used hardcovers in fairly good condition.

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