Did you know that Amazon is building a better robot? If not, you probably don’t spend as much time browsing the site as I do, which may or may not be a good thing. I, for one, have not been able to deny my monkey brain’s desire to give into the sweet satisfaction that comes from unnecessary capitalist consumption, which is most certainly why I browse Amazon’s digital aisles so frequently. But if I didn’t, I might have never found the battery-powered milk frother of my dreams, so I’ll take the good with the bad for now.
I don’t even use the milk frother for frothing milk. I use it to blend my ceremonial-grade matcha powder (another Amazon purchase) smoothly into whatever liquid solvent I damn well please. And that’s a hack, people! You’re welcome.
Amazon is clearly a treasure trove of fun trinkets, like this pencil sharpener shaped like a nose (don’t judge me — at least I still use pencils, okay!). Where else can you find a five-pound bag of Trolli gummi eggs, a holographic durag, and a plaid shirt for your mom’s dog all in one spot? I won’t hold my breath for the answer. I will, however, continue to extol the virtues of strange purchases with the roundup below, a collection of my colleagues’ most weird-yet-satisfying Amazon buys. Enjoy, then do tell: Have you ever bought a finger massager just because it was a deal of the day?
Who ARE you? A puddle of gak inside a conch, but they used to call me “Leandra”, Founder
What did you buy? A fly fishing vest
How much was it? $22.99
Why on earth did you buy that? In 2017, Jenna Lyons wore this khaki gilet to the Met Ball and I never stopped thinking about it, but I did stop trying to recreate the look until I moved to the border of Chinatown and the flame was reignited by the wonderful male residents of the neighborhood, who pace the streets up and down in fantastic rubber sandals (these are next on my list!), khaki pants, and some version of the vests.
Has it lived up to all of your bonkers expectations? Well, so far I have not woken up to discover any sort of Freaky Friday incident wherein I am Jenna Lyons, but I am hopeful the day can still come.
Who ARE you? Naveen Ghushe, Interim president
What did you buy? A neck and back massager
How much was it? $60
Why on earth did you buy that? I loved the idea of guests coming over to my apartment and getting a massage but it felt weird to massage them myself.
Has it lived up to all of your bonkers expectations? It was fully worth it. There is another version that is $10 cheaper but getting the all black version was of critical importance.
Who ARE you? Your favorite housecat, Haley Nahman, Deputy Editor
What did you buy? A sweater comb
How much was it? $4.66
Why on earth did you buy that? To comb all the pills off my sweaters! I bought this years ago (that price…) and it’s traveled across many states and through many moves with me.
Has it lived up to all of your bonkers expectations? For sure. It doesn’t work on everything, but it works on most things. And that’s especially satisfying because pilling doesn’t always register as an easy solve, and also because it feels so delightfully old-timey to use. It makes me hate electronics. Sweater combs forever.
Who ARE you? Patty Carnevale, Head of Partnerships, 31 going on 80
What did you buy? 120 pack of denture-cleaning tablets
How much was it? $19.66 but guess what kiddos, if you have an FSA this purchase qualifies!
Why on earth did you buy that? I don’t (yet) have dentures but I do have an Invisalign-esque retainer and I like to keep it fresh.
Has it lived up to all of your bonkers expectations? 10 out of 10 Jeff Goldblums.
Who ARE you? Nora Taylor, Managing Editor and Resident Tall
What did you buy? The Body Back Buddy
How much was it? $29.95
Why on earth did you buy that? I was at a dinner party at my friend Rachel’s and someone spotted it in her living room and everyone was all, “lol wut is that?” And she just smiled at us knowingly and said, “try it.” I went home and immediately bought one. My back is 99% knots and it was what I needed in my life.
Has it lived up to all of your bonkers expectations? YES! It looks insane and is weird to store but so worth it.
Who ARE you? Elizabeth Cardinal Tamkin a.k.a. Market and Affiliate Strategist
What did you buy? This jewelry organizer
How much was it? $19.99
Why on earth did you buy that? My necklaces had been hanging from a damn lamp and it was driving me nuts it looked awful and they were tangled and stress-inducing.
Has it lived up to all of your bonkers expectations? It’s actually amazing. It’s sturdy, the branches move so they can be positioned however I/you/we want. I currently have over 50 necklaces hanging from it. And I love that it’s modern in design and let’s the jewelry do the talking, visually.
Who ARE you? I’m Amalie, big weirdo aka Social Media Manager
What did you buy? The freakiest thing I’ve purchased from Amazon were the fixins for The Shining twins costume WITHOUT a twin to do it with me (I was going to pretend like I killed the twin), and the dress did not cover my crotch upon arrival, so I decided last minute to be a stupid cat instead.
How much was it? Clips, dress and stockings were, all together, about $40.
Why on earth did you buy that? The “why” is unclear. I think I thought I would be funny. I have always tried to be funny on Halloween and usually end up just looking like I have to pay people to be friends with me.
Has it lived up to all of your bonkers expectations? The dress went in the trash. The hair clips I used for a while, but they were just too *cute*. The knee high stockings are a big question mark, I have no idea where they went or what I did with them — they could be in the depths of my closet, waiting for another day in the sun.
Who ARE you? Jasmin, Director of Partnerships
What did you buy? pure sandalwood powder
How much was it? $3.61
Why on earth did you buy that? To make a DIY face mask
Has it lived up to all of your bonkers expectations? I used it a grand total of one time, but it was good. Would recommend and use again.
Who ARE you? Harling, Fashion Editor
What did you buy? “Stop Drop” Air Conditioner Cover
How much was it? $35.98
Why on earth did you buy that? For years, I’ve been tormented by my neighbor’s air conditioner on the floor above my apartment (it is positioned directly above my air conditioner and drips onto it with heavy, velocity-induced drops). The noise that the drops made when pinging off my air conditioner was so loud it often woke me up in the middle of the night. I tried everything from putting a pillow over my head to wearing noise-cancelling headphones, but nothing helped until someone recommended this air conditioner cover from Amazon.
Has it lived up to all of your bonkers expectations? It has SURPASSED them. It muffles all noise, from fellow air conditioner drops to pounding rain. It’s also magnetic so it sticks to the top of my air conditioner and doesn’t budge. I sleep so much better I’m convinced air conditioner covers would make great fodder for the wellness-industrial complex (only kind of kidding).
Who ARE you? Edith “Medium Edie” “Grey Gardens, Lite” Young
What did you buy? I bought this. It’s a fabric defuzzer.
How much was it? $12.99
Why on earth did you buy that? To “defuzz” my favorite sweater from Roberta Roller Rabbit, because Eliz told me I “couldn’t de-pill my sweater with the office lint-roller.” Fair enough.
Has it lived up to all of your bonkers expectations? I actually sent it to my grandparents’ mailbox in Florida so I could de-pill my sweater when I got there. It did the trick. I then wanted to transport it back home, as I was traveling with said sweater, and when I got on my plane it started going off in my carry-on bag.
Who ARE you? It’s Edith again. Hello. Also I’m the Senior Photo Editor
What did you buy? I also bought this. It’s an orb that glows or strobes in a variety of colors, depending on how you use its remote control.
How much was it? $26.18
Why on earth did you buy that? I saw a hotel use these to decorate a pool in Florida (all of my weird Amazon purchases have to do with Florida…) and I decided it was the inexpensive alternative to owning an orb-like lamp.
Has it lived up to all of your bonkers expectations? 100%. I would love to buy a pool from Amazon so I can buy more orbs and put them in it. For now my orb resides on my desk.
Who ARE you? Matt Little, Head of Business Development at MR and costume party lover
What did you buy? This, this, this, and this
How much was it? Variable
Why on earth did you buy that? For a slew of drag parties in Fire Island last summer
Has it lived up to all of your bonkers expectations? Beyond — the pics speak for themselves but that’s a story for another day 😉
Collage by Louisiana Mei Gelpi.