The internet has changed the way we shop. Big retailers are closing stores at an unprecedented rate. Shopping malls look like ghost towns. It’s hard to compete with virtual everything.
Shopping is not my cup of tea. In fact, thanks to poor or non-existent service, long checkout lines, and people getting in my damn way, I hate it. When necessity leaves me no choice, my goal is always to get in and out as fast as I can.
I’ve dabbled with online shopping in the past in search of uncommon, hard-to-find items or gifts for out-of-town family and friends. Buying mundane, everyday goods online never occurred to me. #SlowLearner
That has changed. My dog, Toodles, is responsible for a lot of the shift. Except for insulin, which has to be refrigerated and is expensive to ship, her diabetes supplies are cheaper from online vendors than from the vet. Convenient and cheap. I’m hooked.
I drive halfway across town for her food. A search connected me to chewy.com. Now I get everything she needs from Chewy. They have lower prices, a much better selection, and free shipping on orders $50 or more.
Saving money really floats my boat. I have a Keurig and drink a LOT of coffee. Dark Magic — my favorite — isn’t always available at the store, and if it is, the k-cups cost around seventy cents each, even on sale. I’ve been buying it online all year. With shipping (which I rarely have to pay), I pay 42 to 55 cents a cup online.
Comparing prices from a host of different vendors has never been easier, but it’s time-consuming and confusing. Narrowing the search to only the desired item can be tricky. Most searches turn up hundreds if not thousands of options.
Sorting by price yields misleading results because of differences in quantity, package size, and shipping charges. The more expensive the item, the more willing I am to click through the options to get the information I need to compare unit prices.
Diabetic supplies for Toodles are available from only a few vendors, so I stick with those I found the first time I compared prices. Chewy is great, but I need to check prices once in a while, just to make sure I’m still getting a good deal.
For coffee, I shop around every time and have ordered from several different sources. Most of the time, I end up buying enough to take advantage of free shipping offers. The extra won’t go to waste and I can afford the additional cost.
I still go to the damn grocery. Employees whisper and point when they see me enter the store. Theoretically, I could make my selections, pay online, then drive across town to the one Kroger in our area where the service is available.
It would be well worth the drive, but I can’t do it because of a problem with my Plus card nobody can fix. I can’t sign onto my current account or reset the password because my last name doesn’t match (I’ve tried every spelling variation and the last names of all four of my ex’s) and it won’t let me create a new one because the account already exists.
Anyway, I’m a fan of online shopping and have waded in to my waist. I’m sure to shift more and more of my purchases to online vendors in the months ahead. Maybe one day, I’ll even swim.
How much do you shop online?