Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Retail v. Online


We had two things to buy: a pair of dress slacks for Phil; a moisturizer for me. Several shopping trips did not yield these items. The cosmetic counter at Macy's was always undermanned; the rows of black dress slacks spread throughout the store. His size never seemed to turn up.

I hate cosmetic stores because someone grabs you and before you know it the moisturizer has turned into a bunch of stuff or you're sitting in chair like the prize pig at the county fair.

And who wants to go into store after store looking for black dress pants.

Yesterday, I went online and in ten minutes ordered both items at a lesser price, with no shipping costs or tax. They had Phil's exact size; the cosmetic company threw in a gift for my $35 purchase.

Now how can brick and mortar compete with this? I hate this. I hate that online retailers are get such a break. But dang where is the upside of brick and mortar.

Would like to remind everyone of Gerald So's 5-2 Poetry Weekly where I read a very fine sestina by Kiberly Potevin this week.

16 comments:

Dan_Luft said...

The upside is that sizes vary from brand to brand and I never remember which fit me well. Online clothes shopping for me involves buying two sizes and returning one.

I guess produce and meat are also best purchased "in person."

But yeah, amazon does good business by me.

George said...

I dislike shopping. I don't waiting in line. I really hate when a store doesn't have the item I want in my size or the color I prefer. Other than shoes and sneakers, I buy almost everything online now. I used to drop Big Bucks at BORDERS (books, CDs, DVDs) but that's over.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I hate shopping too. Ah, Borders, I really miss you.
THis time I knew the brands and was able to order them. But I felt bad. I want to pay taxes and support social programs.

Dana King said...

If there is any decision to be made (size, color, etc.) I buy it live. If I know it will be the same regardless (book, CD, DVD) and online is quicker and easier, I'll buy online.

I try to buy locally when I can, but the selections aren't always there. One thing I never do is to go to a store and pick the salesperson's brain so I can buy the same product online. That's not fair. On the other hand, I often do my shopping research online before going to a store to buy, as it saves me running all over town, and doesn't cost the web site a thing.

Anonymous said...

I hate shopping too. Jackie loves it. I still can't understand how she can buy shoes online without trying them on, unless of course it is the same pair she has had already. I'd never do that.

On the other hand, she has bought me Dockers online with no problem. One thing she found at Macy's on 34th Street - if they can order you something from the "fulfillment center" they will ship it to you with no tax or shipping charges.

Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Online sales would love for us to do that, witness Amazon. But I only go home and buy it online if there's no choice. I'd rather have it in hand if I can.
Some things require trying it on, but not moisturizers. Macy's has cut it sales staff to nothing near us. Perhaps only a few staff persons per floor.

Clair Dickson said...

Sometimes handling the item is part of the purchase. Sometimes it's not. I have trouble buying much from Amazon.com because I dislike their business practices (same with Wal-Mart.)

That said, I end up buying a lot of things online since selection in the stores is dwindling, and badly. Meijer is one of the worst places, imho, for cutting the variety of products they sell... and they used to be my go-to one-stop store.

If I find a shop I like, I'll work with the staff to order through them instead of online. I do this with my gluten free items-- instead of buying from Amazon or some other place, I go to the little mom-n-pop shop and ask them to order from their suppliers. Sometimes, imho, it's not always about price.

Cap'n Bob said...

I don't buy clothes on line, except T-shirts.
Last month I needed a roll of 1/16" Chartpak tape. I went to three office supply or art supply stores. Nada. I found it on Amazon in a minute and it cost the same as a store would have charged. I prefer to shop locally, but finding what I want has become a hassle.

Jeff: Dockers? You wear Dockers? See SEINFELD for a commentary about that.

Margot Kinberg said...

Patti - No doubt about the convenience and more of ordering online. I like not using gasoline, too, and I like very much that ordering online is "greener" than driving around....

Anonymous said...

Not normally, Cap'n. But on occasion...

Patti, the Macy's in downtown Brooklyn is one of the worst examples of that. The second floor women's department generally has one cash register open on the entire floor and try searching for help.

Jeff M.

Charles Gramlich said...

Good question. I don't think I can answer.

Steve Oerkfitz said...

I buy a lot online. The exceptions would be clothes because I have a hard time getting things to fit right(why do sweaters vary in size so much from diff manufacturers-I have some in Large and others in XXL and they are identical in size)and large ticket items like my television(who wants to return a TV if its defective thru a delivery service).
And like you Patti I really miss Borders- B&N just doesn't do it for me.

Erik Donald France said...

I guess a little of this, a little of that -- not exclusive of each other. Maybe by 2100, we'll all be living in mine shafts, we'll all order online, and a little drone or robot tank will come by and place deliveries in a tube for delivery to our underground abode.

Mine shaft production units will make what we order on demand, and we'll have virtual holgraphic meetings so we never have to go to the overheated surface.

Richard R. said...

Clothes in person, I only go to places I expect, from experience, to find what I want or I call ahead to make sure they have it. Books, CDs, DVDs, I buy on-line, unless I happen to be at the mall and go into B&N. Camera equipment in person, or at least look at it and decide. Then if the price is better and there's no shipping I MIGHT buy it on-line. At least sales tax isn't an issue here, there is none. Also purchased in person are things like lamps, furniture, appliances, most gardening supplies.

Kent Morgan said...

I can't imagine buying a pair of dress pants online. Maybe a pair of Dockers or Haggar casual pants as they seem to be consistent in size. I also would be afraid to buy a jacket online as they vary so much by size. I hate myself for doing so, but I'm buying more books online because I can't get them at our local independent bookstore.

pattinase (abbott) said...

It will go right to the tailor, which is always necessary. Jacket no.