How to Be an Anonymous Consumer


Now, now, I won’t be the first one to egg you to be a Good Consumer. In fact, I encourage you to refuse buying new stuff. But while we are still under capitalism, it’s difficult not to obtain stuff through purchase with some sort of money.

I have read a Twitter thread of @Emily of the State about a “primer on how to buy shit and have it not end up in federal indictment someday”.

What the author listed, it turns out, is also a good primer on how to be an anonymous consumer, for whatever legal reasons the readers might have (winks). I made some minor editions to make it more relevant in our current scenarios here in the archipelago.

  1. Avoid buying things together. This is especially true if you’re obtaining materials for a thematic project.
  2. Related to the item above, avoid buying things in the same location. Like in many situations other than buying, it’s best to do your research first. Scout different stores in different locations, not only in search for the best deal, but in so doing also reduces the likelihood of each purchase tracing back to you.
  3. It’s time to take a look on analytics to stereotype yourself before each purchase. A very crude example of this is when buying a sedan, choose Toyota Vios, either blue or red.
  4. It should be obvious by now, but don’t participate in voluntary surveillance. This could mean opting out of credit and/or debit cards and all of their marketing hooks to make you spend more. This could mean avoiding any kind of membership cards that require you to provide personal details. This could mean avoiding cashless payments, especially those that require you to provide personal details.
  5. Avoid buying from big-named malls.
  6. Cash is king, now and always. Just remember to sanitize your hand every time you transact using cash in this time of Pandemic.
  7. If you know how, and if the establishment you’re buying from accepts it, pay using cryptocurrency. Bitcoin is still the most used as of this writing, but you can look up other “anonymous” cryptos like Monero and Zcash. (Sidenote: It’s worth reiterating that use only cryptocurrency if you know what you’re doing. At this point, many people still consider crypto coins as unstable currency.)

Following these steps do not make you invisible. Instead, it aims to make you blend with the crowd. Now, go do that project you’ve been wanting to do since Lockdown. TNU



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