Recently, I went to a large retail bookstore looking for a popular book. I couldn’t find it and asked the clerk for help. She said they didn’t stock the book, but she could order it and it would be in the store for pickup in two days, or for a small fee, I could have it delivered to my house. I thanked her for her assistance, but declined to order the book through the store. Rather, I chose to order the book online and have it sent to my house, using a popular retailer program that offers free ground delivery.
The entire reason that I went to the store was to have the book in my possession that day. The store isn’t close to my house, but I was doing some other shopping in the area, and I figured I would just stop in and pick up the book.
I was shocked that they didn’t carry the book, it is a book store. The associate said they didn’t have room for every book on their shelves. Perhaps if they didn’t sell music, candy, calendars, and have a small eatery inside they would have had the room for the book.
Lately, I have been doing more shopping online. And for good reason. Most stores have reduced their inventory, except for the most popular items. Like everyone, my days are busy with work, cooking, cleaning, gym, and miscellaneous errands that need to be done. I hate to waste what little free time I have running to a store looking for something they just don’t have.
I would rather take a few minutes, check out the popular shopping sites, and Googling to find what I need, and most times, I can find what I am looking for cheaper on line.
Food is probably the one thing that I don’t shop for online. I prefer to do that in person. I like to check the meat and produce first hand. I look for bruises on my fruit, and make sure my meat isn’t all bone or fat.
Another reason to shop online: No lines, no waiting. I know what I want, do a little research and click buy now. The items I purchased are sent directly to my house and I have saved time and money not going from store to store searching.
There are drawbacks to shopping online. You can’t try on the clothes to see how they fit, or if the color works with your skin tone. If you decide you don’t like it on, or the color doesn’t work for you, or if there is a defect in the item, you need to send it back. You have to package it up, take it somewhere to be shipped back and wait for the exchanged item to arrive or four to six weeks for your account to be credited.
It’s amazing they can charge your credit card as soon as you order the item, but the credit takes weeks to process. A slight flaw in the system if you ask me. Sometimes you receive damaged products or products that are missing parts. A call to the service center and they acknowledge what’s missing and send the missing items, but you still have to wait, or they send you an exchange label, but you don’t receive the undamaged item until you return the damaged one. You lose that instant gratification. And we have become a society that desires instant gratification.
When shopping online you need to be careful. Make sure you only use reputable sites, and make sure that you only give credit card information on a secure site. I have my favorite sites, and before I buy from any site, I always do some background checking.
As a writer, do you have a character that uses the Internet for shopping? Perhaps she’s a recluse. Or maybe he’s a shopaholic. How can you use online shopping in your latest work? Share with us, we’d love to hear about it.
Will I continue to shop online? Absolutely. What about you? Do you shop online? If not, would you consider it? Let us know. We’d love to hear your opinion.