Ah, internet shopping. Nothing like browsing products and comparing pricing without ever having to leave your chair.
For many years I almost completely abandoned visiting good old fashioned brick and mortar stores. I hopped on the internet shopping bandwagon really early. I used to buy CDs from cdnow (RIP) over their telnet service before the much maligned Internet Explorer even existed. When I discovered eCommerce, I never looked back.
Well, I didn’t look back until this past December, when I had a falling out with one of my favorite vendors, Newegg. Much to my surprise, I now go to Best Buy for many of my computer needs.
I used to think of Best Buy as a place that I would go when I needed something badly enough to pay a 10-20% premium. Much to my surprise, many of their products are now competitive with online stores like Newegg. Frequently, I can get products a little bit cheaper since there is no shipping charge. Add to that the instant gratification of getting the product exactly when I want it, and I’ve actually started to prefer brick and mortar shopping again.
Oh, there will always be plenty of stuff I’ll be able to find online cheaper. But for right now, I’m finding a return to brick and mortar shopping to be not only enjoyable, but also a fiscally sound decision.
Just to be clear, I am not abandoning eCommerce. After all, I do help make eCommerce sites for a living :) I’m just reintegrating brick and mortar shopping into my purchase/shopping habits. In fact, over the past 2 months, I’ve spent close to $2500 at amazon.com. I’ve built 2 new computers for my home, and preordered that snazzy new graphite Kindle.
It’s also worth mentioning that I actually spend a lot of time at bestbuy.com. Even though it’s very close, I still don’t want to make the trip unless I know that they have the product in stock. There’s no quicker way to do that than to go to their website.
Not only does their site save me time in the store, but they also frequently have sales online that don’t have in the store. So you could end up spending more money than you have to if you don’t know their online price. They will price match their own online store right at the cash register.