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View Diary: Walmart wants to take exploitation to the next level and have customers deliver orders (426 comments)

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  •  I don't think so. (40+ / 0-)

    People will always want to touch things, try them on, test them out. They will always impulse buy.

    I buy plenty of stuff online, but I need to see a lot of things before I buy them. Jewelry, shoes, clothes, some electronics, underwear, groceries.

    Books and DVDs, not so much. And if I know the clothing retailer because I've tried on and bought clothes from them before, I'll order some everyday clothing online. But anything outside of the ordinary, or if I'm buying from them for the first time, I have to try it on.

    I think most people are like that. It's a hassle to order some thing and have to return it. Huge waste of time and money.

    •  there could be showrooms (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sparhawk, viral, Aunt Pat

      and you'd try on/try out the merch and then have it delivered. Much Much cheaper than hiring staff.

      It's not about the hundred people whose minds you can't change. It's about the two people you empower. ~ Beth Ditto

      by dejavu on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 03:50:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not really (7+ / 0-)

        You still need staff. You still need a store. The only thing you wouldn't need is a cashier, and its really dumb not to sell the stuff if you have spent all that money to show it.

        •  Land's End and Terry Bikes are ahead of you. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          viral, raines

          They have "fit advisors" you talk to on the phone who are experts at helping you figure out what size clothing item or high-end bike you need. If you get the wrong size anyway, they pay to ship the original one back and ship you another one of a slightly different size.

          They save vast amounts of money from not having physical stores and retail staff. So they can pay for this kind of repeat shipping in a small percent of sales and still come out way ahead.

          "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

          by HeyMikey on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 08:08:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  you can even buy rx glasses online (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            aitchdee

            you send them you're rx & pick out a pair based on your lens and frame size. It's kinda nuts, there's a lot of variance between frames and how they fit you, plus the rx has to be right and it's something you wear everyday, but it's so much cheaper and glasses are not often covered by insurance. but glasses are so expensive people are willing to do it.

            Solvent Green is Grandma

            by mad cow on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 02:24:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  There is absolutely no way I'd do that. (3+ / 0-)

              None. I wear progressive bifocals - they have to measure to know where the breaks go. Kinda hard to do that online.

              And I have a pretty serious prescription, not every frame will work. Add to that the fact that the bridge of my nose and the width of my face is a little smaller than most people my age, and not every frame will even fit correctly.

              I'll spend the money at my optometrist or LensCrafters, where I know they can fit me right and adjust the glasses when they come in.

          •  Sure, that's going to work (4+ / 0-)

            You think I'm going to tell them that I have xxx hips? Or that I'm even measuring correctly? There's a reason Levis sells in stores, not totally online.

            Bikes are different, because there's more leeway. And if somebody is that high end of a cyclist, they KNOW what they want, they're just ordering it and might want a LITTLE help. Somebody who was just riding for fun wouldn't be spending that much on a bike, and again, if they didn't know much of anything going to an actual bike shop and talking to a person and TRYING the bike would be much better for them.  

          •  Not a substitute for trying it on (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mmacdDE, schnecke21, Cassandra Waites

            and feeling it and seeing it on you.

          •  I buy from Lands End (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            one of 8, Cassandra Waites, aitchdee

            and I even buy online.

            But I usually check what I want in the STORE first. I'll try on a coat, see if the size they have fits the way I want, see what the fabric is like, the color, how it feels. If they don't have my size, THEN I'll order online.

            I buy way more Lands End stuff in Sears than I do online. Way more. I can actually SEE it, feel it, try it on if I want, etc.

            And there's been more than one time when I've gone in to buy just one thing and wound up with 3 other things as well, because they were much nicer, or the color was much better, in person than online.

          •  Roadrunner Sports sells running shoes online. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            HeyMikey, aitchdee

            Their fit experts are pretty awesome. I've bought their shoes for over a decade now, changing models kind of frequently as manufacturers change them.

            They have a risk-free fit guarantee. Return it for any reason. In all this time, I've returned one pair because it didn't fit. They mailed a replacement to try instantly. (Instantly meaning that it shipped the same day).  

            Roadrunner Sports does have a few brick and mortar shops with all the diagnostic fit technology. I've stepped foot in one --once.

            And btw, its call centers are located in the USA. American jobs.

            If a company can sell running shoes via phone and online,  I'm pretty certain anything can be sold that way. But this company has a clear focus on its mission and relentlessly pursues THAT.   Other businesses will not succeed at online only if they aren't equally focused. And most are not.

            © grover


            So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

            by grover on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 10:33:49 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Generational change. (12+ / 0-)

      My parents are the way you describe—they hesitate to buy without touching first.

      I am easily the opposite—touching doesn't tell me anything. I hesitate to buy in person unless I can see the customer ratings on Amazon at the same time.

      I don't hesitate to buy on Amazon via Prime at all—other peoples' experiences, positive or negative, are more than good enough to inform my decision.

      The hands and eyes can be deceptive, especially in a retail environment.

      Not so long ago, people would tell me that I'm unusual. Now most of the people that we know use Prime, and they (and we) routinely have a delivery every single day of the week.

      We buy:

      - Groceries
      - Soaps, shampoos, personal care products
      - Household goods, cleaners, etc.
      - Major purchases (television, technology devices, phones)
      - Consumables (ink, razor blades, toner, pens, pencils)
      - Clothes
      - Pet supplies (dog/cat food, aquarium supplies, litter)

      ...and just about anything else you can think of via Prime. The prices are better, the service is better, there are no shipping costs, and the selection cannot be matched by anyone.

      Returns? Easy. Stick the thing back in the box, affix the included return label, and hand it to the driver with the next day's delivery. No additional charge, no hassles, no issues so far.

      -9.63, 0.00
      "Liberty" is deaf, dumb, and useless without life itself.

      by nobody at all on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 04:09:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But you probably buy brand names. Imagine a new (3+ / 0-)

        start up trying to sell soap, clothes, whatever.How difficult would even to get some street cred if computers ruled the day?

        •  That's why the catalogue stores (4+ / 0-)

          give you a place to leave a feedback note on how you liked what you purchased.  How honest the sellers are about what the customers feedback was  I don't know. But I have seen five or six really negative responses with only 4 barely positive, on a couple of sites.  

          Time is a long river.

          by phonegery on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 04:35:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I have discovered more new and interesting (5+ / 0-)

          products that I'd never previously heard of, that got good buzz in shopper ratings, through Amazon than I ever could have at a retail store like Wal-Mart.

          Start-ups have to wheel and deal to get into the major retail store supply chain, and only a few can make it.

          ANYONE can place a product on Amazon and compete either on price or on quality—and the cream will rise to the top.

          I always sort, for example, but customer rating—so that the highest-rated products appear in my searches first. I really don't care about brand names in many cases, and I've tried many new products for the first time ever through Amazon as a result.

          -9.63, 0.00
          "Liberty" is deaf, dumb, and useless without life itself.

          by nobody at all on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 06:20:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, the opposite. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DruidQueen, Boise Grad, aitchdee

          I can go on Amazon and look for, say, organic flour. There are dozens of brands at the site, including many from small and medium-sized manufacturers.

          At the grocery store, there are two options: the corporate brand and the store brand. Both white flour. Whole foods has better selection. Most of it is organic and there is a better choice of grains. But it's still just a few brands, mostly major labels.

          On Amazon, though, I've discovered small mills that only sell through Amazon. They don't have to try to buy shelf space in retail stores. They just accept orders and ship them.  

          Reviews are very useful. Amazon shows you who actually has purchased the item, so it's easy to weed out planted reviews or reviews by people who may have issues with the company (like former employees, ex-partners, etc).  After a while, you get a feel for what an authentic review reads like.

          I have found numerous brands that I've become loyal to now. Many are now on my Subscribe and Save account, which gives me a slight discount and helps the seller plan for future sales.

          I don't like to wander around stores. I don't like to try something just because its sitting on a shelf. In fact, I've consulted Amazon reviews while standing in Target trying to select a hair dryer. Packaging tells you very little about the product inside. I'd rather hear from 350 of my closest friends who bought that item what THEY think.

          © grover


          So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

          by grover on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 10:51:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Actually I know a lot of indie brands that got (0+ / 0-)

          their first real traction online. It seems to work particularly with stuff people collect, because collectors talk to each other.

      •  I've found customer comments to be all over the (4+ / 0-)

        map. A lot of people trash something they simply do not understand. A lot love something one hour after they receive it, which tells you nothing about how it is in use or over time.

        Maybe we are evolving that way, but there are some things for which personal review just can't be given up.  

        If you are a perfect "average" size for S, M, L, etc, "it works" for you.  If your sizing is a bit different, you have to try things on. etc.

        "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

        by YucatanMan on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 06:27:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's why you will get a $50 laser body scanner (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          raines, worldlotus, cosette, Sherri in TX

          and scan your exact measurements into your computer from home.  You will even be able to put yourself (after some Blender or other 3d model editing, if desired) into your favorite video games.

          Eventually what will happen is you will buy the raw feedstock (carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, silicon, etc compounds) and your clothing or other product will be fabricated at home with a universal constructor that will separate the feedstock into it's individual atoms (no transmutation, sorry) and then build almost whatever you want.

          You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

          by Throw The Bums Out on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 10:19:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Last time I saw that idea it was in (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Throw The Bums Out

            Transmetropolitan. Which also had a great solution to the energy problem: coat Mercury in solar panels.

            However, both of these things are a ways away.

            •  More like huge solar power stations in the same (0+ / 0-)

              orbit as Mercury that beam power to the moon (or Lagrange points) and then to Earth.  Should be able to provide enough power for a several hundred terawatt "Lunar HAARP" capable of actually affecting the weather.

              Oh, and the body scanners like that do exist (and are used for making video games and some animated movies) but they are still very expensive.

              You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

              by Throw The Bums Out on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 11:43:21 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  I don't wish to be rude, but... (9+ / 0-)

        ...have you considered the fact that Amazon (and their ilk, but they are #1) is a significant contributor to the radical increase in income / wealth / opportunity inequality we've been enjoying for the last 30-50 years?
        The money you -- and millions of others -- now spend goes primarily to the shareholders and upper-management of Amazon (with tiny bits going to UPS or the USPS), instead of to the more-likely-local (and certainly far more numerous) owners and staff of your hometown's retail outlets that are now barely hanging on, or already gone, and their suppliers and distributors, and the other firms that they in turn support.
        The consolidation and concentration of firms in all fields is at least as responsible for our parlous state as are the more obvious tax inequities, the sellout of our labor policies and laws, globalisation, and automation.  And every dollar spent on-line (with big vendors) worsens the problem.
        I admit to giving them [too many of] my dollars, too -- but I try to do so primarily thru their Marketplace vendors, and to give as much of my trade as possible to my local retailers, because it's worth paying a few percent more so I don't have to see quite as many homeless people in Harvard Square next year.

        •  Horse & buggy. (7+ / 0-)

          Just think of all the veterinarians and blacksmiths and horse breeders and hay growers put out of business by the adoption of the car as primary transportation.

          Sure, the car gave rise to autoworkers and mechanics and gas station jobs. But not nearly as many as the jobs that were lost.

          This is inevitable. The losses and pain are real. But the answer is not to hold onto the old technology; the answer is to insist on a government that deals fairly and decently with losses and pain.

          "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

          by HeyMikey on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 08:21:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I'll add chicken-and-egg to the horse/buggy (9+ / 0-)

          comment above.

          When I lived in NYC, I bought much more locally.

          Now I live in Utah.

          The local available goods (non-national-chain) is essentially zero for most kinds of goods, even in the middle of the city. They were chased out years or even decades before ecommerce came along.

          There is stuff I need. I can either buy the name brand at a Wal-Mart or a Target and support those megacorporations, or I can shop on Amazon and in many cases help out an independent seller and/or mom-and-pop shop that is Prime-enabled.

          I'm ironically more "local" by buying Amazon than I ever could be by driving around my neighborhood. And there are a lot of areas of the U.S. outside of the coastal metropolises that are like that.

          -9.63, 0.00
          "Liberty" is deaf, dumb, and useless without life itself.

          by nobody at all on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 08:29:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yes. (0+ / 0-)

          I have considered that, personally.

          But here's the cold hard facts: Amazon has a killer business model. If B&M stores don't learn to evolve and find a way to compete, they are going to die out. Amazon is cheaper, more convenient, and overall a better experience. Consider Best Buy, a store that will be dead and gone in a few years (mark my words): Best Buy hires employees that don't know jack shit and don't care about the customer.

          I don't shop at Best Buy anymore because it's a stressful experience for me, but sometimes either myself or my significant other receive a BB gift card, so we roll our eyes at each other, grit our teeth, and go in there. And every time in the last two years we've been to BB, it's been the same dipshit experience: we're looking for something in particular (example, a piece of equipment for our SLR camera), we ask an employee, employee either doesn't know/doesn't have the stock/or whatever. In the case of the camera equipment, we were sold something that the employee had to look up on the Best Buy online store to find. I ask him, are you sure this will work for my model X camera. He says, yeah. We buy it, we take it home, and lo... it doesn't work for our model camera. In a rage, I look online at the best buy online store (the same FRICKIN page this fool looked at), and lo, my camera model is NOT one of the ones listed under the product's description.

          So we had to return it, and guess what, we bought the right thing on Amazon.

          Look, I'm going to keep buying shit on Amazon until Best Buy gets their crap together, which won't happen because that is a store that has been going downhill for a good long while and will continue to do so. I'm not proud of being a part of the process that will destroy all those jobs, but seriously... why am I to feel responsible because a bunch of morons run that company? I just want to buy a freaking $50 doohickey for my camera, and it was a huge hassle to do it through BB and ultimately I ended up at Amazon anyway.

          As an aside... I support my local vendors, which is infinitely easier to do in Portland. When I do buy paper books, I buy them at Powell's, a truly amazing local bookstore. I did a lot of my Christmas shopping last year at the Portland Saturday market, which is all local vendors. We eat out a LOT at local places and avoid all but one chain restaurant (Red Robin, because NO ONE makes burgers like RR does). When we needed to buy ski equipment for the winter season, we didn't go to Sports Authority or Dick's, we went to Next Adventure, a rad little local place downtown. I also support Costco, because it treats its employees like human beings.

          But when you talk about buying blu-rays, or over-the-counter medicine, or regular household items, or electronic items sold by any number of retailers... Amazon is absolutely the way to go, if Costco doesn't carry it. Toilet paper at Costco, blu-rays at Amazon... that's the way to go these days.

      •  I'm sorry but spending the time to order (8+ / 0-)

        Something, waiting for it to come, and then having to return it IS a hassle. It's not just a matter of money.

        You only have to return it if it is wrong or doesn't fit, and if you'd gone to the store and tried it on or had a chance to REALLY look at it, you wouldn't have had to return it.

        So you spent, what, a week, maybe more, to figure out that what you ordered wasn't right, when you could have figured that out on ONE trip to the store.

        •  Average works the other way. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          worldlotus

          You can order something from Amazon faster than you can put on your shoes to get ready to go out the door to get in the car to drive to the store.

          Every once in a while you'll get something wrong and have a hassle returning it. But if you add up all the time you'd have spent going back and forth to the store for all your purchases, you come out way ahead buying online.

          "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

          by HeyMikey on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 08:17:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  A week? Um, no. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HeyMikey, worldlotus, DruidQueen

          Two days most of the time—one day at times when I take advantage of the flat rate overnight.

          And I don't work in conceptual time, I work in real time.

          Amazon: Visit site, search, 1-click buy. Item arrives second day at my door. Total time invested: 1-3 minutes.

          Retail: Gather keys, get in car, drive, walk around, wait in line, check out, drive home. Total time invested: at least 45 minutes, even for a single item.

          Returns—

          Amazon: Put in box. Tape. Apply return label. Hand to driver at leisure. Total time invested: 2-5 minutes.

          Retail: Gather keys, get in car, drive, go to customer service desk, wait in line, drive home. Total time invested: at least 45 minutes.

          For me there is absolutely no comparison.

          -9.63, 0.00
          "Liberty" is deaf, dumb, and useless without life itself.

          by nobody at all on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 08:27:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Even better (0+ / 0-)

            You don't have to deal with other customers or underpaid, overworked staff.

            Republican tax policies have led to financial conditions which have caused Republicans to demand cuts to programs they have always opposed.

            by AppleP on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 04:45:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I've had plenty of Amazon orders take a week (0+ / 0-)

            I've had orders that never even shipped because the vendor didn't have it in stock even though Amazon's algorithm said that it did. Yeah, I didn't invest much time, but I also never got my item and did have to watch my credit card to make sure I got the charge reversed.

      •  Your grandparents bought from the Sears catalog. (8+ / 0-)

        Or, maybe, Service Merchandise.

        Believe me, these stories have been going on for decades and they never come true.

        "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

        by Bush Bites on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 11:00:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          True North, aitchdee

          The Sears catalog was going to put all the merchants out of business. So was Montgomery Wards. And Service Merchandise was the wave of the future.

          I actually liked Service Merchandise, but if you have all those things sitting on the floor, you might as well have a few of each of them in the back and SELL them rather than have people order them. Which is what they did, in a lot of cases.

          Impulse buying will NEVER go away. Ever.

      •  I draw the line at clothes, shoes, makeup. (6+ / 0-)

        Nobody's review is gonna be enough for me with that type of item. Makeup, if I've used it before, ok.

        But clothes and shoes? Nope. I need to see it. The stitching, the fabric, how it fits MY foot or MY body. Sure, it looks great on the catalog model. So what?

        Nope. Clothes, shoes, handbags...I've had too many experiences where it looks great on the computer screen and cheap as fuck when you take it out of the package. Or the fabric is cheap looking. Or it doesn't fall right on me. It's easy to make products look great on a screen. And no offense to "real people", but I'm a picky bitch with standards. That some yokel in dumbfuck thinks "greatest shirt ever" means exactly zero to me. Maybe he buys his shoes from Walmart so the ones he bought at "online retailer" are a step up. Who knows? Not reliable. I need to see it for myself.

        Now other items like electronics, skin care, and many other of the types of items you listed: ok. No problem.

      •  "The driver"? "The next day's delivery"? (4+ / 0-)

        Try dealing with UPS when you live in an urban apartment building with a security door. Fricking nightmare.

        "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is the first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk. Every state is totalitarian at heart; there are no ends to the cruelty it will go to to protect itself." -- Ian McDonald

        by Geenius at Wrok on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 04:34:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Try dealing with an online company... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aitchdee

          ...telling you that they ship via the US Postal Service but can't ship it to your PO Box. No matter how many times I've tried to get multiple online venders to realize it, they just don't get that PO Boxes are run by the US Postal Service, and thus if they ship via USPS they can indeed ship to my PO Box.

          The first time that happened to me, it happened with Amazon who asked me for my street address; I figured that were shipping it via UPS or Fedex, which can deliver to my street address. But no, they shipped it via USPS. I couldn't ever get even a half-decent response from Amazon customer service over it. I ended up having to go into my local post office, tell them about the whole stupidity, and they took my name and both addresses and made a special note to hold the package, addressed to my street address, and let me get it instead of bouncing the package back as "undeliverable" as they otherwise would have had to do.

          Similarly, some earrings I bought my best friend for her wedding, I ended up having them shipped directly to her instead of to me because the online vender wouldn't ship them to my PO Box despite shipping via USPS.

        •  Lived in NYC and used Prime since its beginning. (0+ / 0-)

          Doorman/super would accept all of our deliveries, and would take care of our pickups. No doubt not every building is Prime-compatible, but it was useful for us—maybe 2-3 deliveries a week.

          Now, in Utah—usually at least one a day. Sometimes multiples.

          -9.63, 0.00
          "Liberty" is deaf, dumb, and useless without life itself.

          by nobody at all on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 07:03:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  This. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        aitchdee

        I'm an online shopper. Even when I go to B&M stores, my phone is usually out checking out Amazon reviews before I buy a product.

        I'm also a larger young woman who insists on dressing well.  Most B&M stores don't carry clothing in my size that I like. I'm very picky about my fashion. Much of my clothing ships to me from European stores and higher-end "Women's Sizes" online retailers. I try stuff on when it arrives. If it doesn't fit, most online retailers don't charge or charge little to return it.

        I am not against the idea of B&M buying. I realize those are jobs. But in the case of my clothes... man, retailers are totally missing the boat on fashion for larger women. Most of the clothing at JcPenney or Sears for large women looks like crap my grandmother would wear. I'm a young woman interested in being fashionable--I'm not going to buy ugly oversized striped shirts. I am a working professional, I need to look good, despite my size, and most of the time I can't look good shopping at Sears. America is one of the fattest countries on the planet, and yet retailers still insist on trying to dress fat women in ugly clothes, and only carry "nice" clothes for size 10 and under.

        I don't understand this mindset. They would be making TONS more money if they looked at what women want to wear and acknowledged that there are a lot of large women in this country. Torrid makes bank overcharging for nice clothes for fat women. I love the clothes at Torrid because it's fashionable, but when an outfit (like a single blouse and a single bottom) is going to cost me over $100, I can't really shop there much. I shop their clearance. It's cheaper for me to shop at European retailers who ship to the US, than to shop at Torrid. Other retailers need to take note of what Torrid is offering, though, because that store really does make a ton of money and they sort of have a corner on that market right now.

        •  My wife is in the same boat, though ironically (0+ / 0-)

          with the opposite problem. She's very thin—a size zero or smaller (just her metabolism—she eats more than me, and lots of it high in fat and simple carbs).

          She can't buy anything off the shelf at a retailer—they generally carry a very narrow range of sizes from about a 6-12 or 14. Bigger or smaller? You're SOL.

          Prime was a godsend for her wardrobe—she got tired of having either to drive all over town and special order/cope with limited selections or, alternatively, to shop the juniors section. She's a very professional woman, and really doesn't want to be limited to wearing clothes with "Hello Kitty" or "edgy" (read: trite, embarrassing, and unprofessional) designs and insignia.

          Maybe TMI, but even for simple things like underwear, she got very tired of having to make due with flower and disney prints from the juniors' section. She's a grownup, but the only things out there in her size in the B&M space are for kids.

          -9.63, 0.00
          "Liberty" is deaf, dumb, and useless without life itself.

          by nobody at all on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 07:09:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Best Buy is having trouble (20+ / 0-)

      Because people do like to touch things before purchase. But they want to make that purchase at the cheapest possible price.

      So, what's happening now is, people go to Best Buy to look, touch, feel, sniff...but not buy. They go home and order the same product online, at a lower price. Best Buy ends up being an expensive window shopping experience, with dwindling sales. Amazon and other online operators have the luxury of not having to pay for expensive store fronts, while they reap sales from those who do.

      A conundrum.

      Well, this upset the Donald so much they could barely get him to stop flinging his feces - Bill Maher

      by lotac on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 04:25:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  When Best Buy closes down, then Amazon is going (11+ / 0-)

        to face increased costs from returns, etc.

        They both need to survive, or things will change quite a bit.

        Now that Amazon has started using various vendors and not actually selling things themselves, service and quality are really falling.   I try to use everyone BUT Amazon, but did recently.

        I received a used item that was supposed to be new, damaged and with missing materials.  I sent it back and it took them forever to credit my money.   I went to a local store and bought what I needed on the way back from the post office.  Should have done that in the first place.

        "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

        by YucatanMan on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 06:32:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Which is why I tend to use amazon (5+ / 0-)

          For things like books, DVDs, electronic accessories (but not necessarily the electronics themselves), and some housewares and gifts for others (which are mostly books, etc.)

          I buy clothes from retailers I trust, whether in person or online. I might look at something online, but I might go to the store to actually buy it, because I can TRY IT ON. ESPECIALLY shoes. And I can take it home then, not wait. If I buy it online, it's because they don't have my size in the store, but its bought from the same company because I KNOW what size i take and I know it's going to fit.

          Especially if its something more expensive, I won't buy it without trying it on.

          And forget buying groceries online. Maybe canned goods, and that's only a maybe. I'm not trusting some unknown person to pick out my food.

          •  I recently bought 3 pairs of normal Levi's jeans (10+ / 0-)

            from their website online, all in the same size:  what I normally wear.

            I received three different sizes, all labelled the same size.

            One pair of jeans is 3" longer than the other two.  One pair of jeans has a waist size about 2" too small.  The other two pairs have different waist sizes, but close enough to be usable.

            If there were a convenient store to buy these, I would have tried them all on and not had to return one pair and learn to live with the weirdness of the other two.

            This doesn't say much for Levis quality control, by the way.

            As more outsourcing and offshoring is done, standards are falling and online buying is becoming a worse experience. That's one of the largest barriers to "all online" as far as I'm concerned.  You need to check the quality of whatever it is you're going to buy in person.

            Books, DVDs, music downloads, memory cards, whatever, should be uniform, but things like clothes, furniture, shoes, plumbing parts (heh!) whatever, you need to get in person where you can compare and see the quality.

            "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

            by YucatanMan on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 09:57:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I agree. Btw, have you ever ordered anything (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              YucatanMan

              from China?  Because I have on a few occasions and unless you are extremely careful about where you order from it is a royal pain in the ass to deal with them.

              You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

              by Throw The Bums Out on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 10:41:59 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not directly from China. A couple times I've (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Throw The Bums Out, mmacdDE

                bought things on Ebay from Hong Kong (I guess that's China now, right? hehe) and the items arrived OK.

                I've never risked much money on it though.  One set of items (small cloth bags for storing camera equipment) had a very strange smell. Because of all the chemical problems, etc, from China, I just threw them away.  It wasn't that much money. And who knows what they were contaminated with?

                "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

                by YucatanMan on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 10:50:17 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I ordered several video game related items from (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  YucatanMan

                  China/Hong Kong (at the time, there were no US online shops that sold them, period.  probably due to patent issues and such) and even after doing my research there was one that was a royal pain to deal with.

                  You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

                  by Throw The Bums Out on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 11:33:43 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  oh yeah, and this is what is killing bookstores. (3+ / 0-)

        Nothing worse than the "customer" who comes in and uses an app to scan the book and order from Amazon. When they have the frickin' book right there in hand!

        •  I sometimes do the opposite (7+ / 0-)

          I'll be in a small local bookstore, see a book that looks interesting, use the Amazon app on my phone to look at the Amazon reviews, then buy it in the local store.

          Five years after I chose my username, happily living somewhere else.

          by Tenn Wisc Dem on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 11:20:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The ethics of distance shopping (7+ / 0-)

          I could not agree more, literatelib.

          You want to buy stuff online, buy it online and finger the merchandise when you get the delivery.

          If the product you ordered turns out not to be quite what you wanted, then send it right on back. That's the shopping experience you're looking for, right? Distance shopping?

          Don't go into a bricks and mortar store and treat it as an extension of your online vendor.

          Somebody who isn't your online vendor is paying the rent for that space, paying for the utilities, paying the staff, paying local business taxes, paying to bring inventory in.

          A business like an indie bookseller is putting money you spend in the shop into the local economy, helping people in your own community to have jobs, run their own businesses, etc.

      •  Best Buy is having trouble (0+ / 0-)

        because fucking idiots run that company and then they hire low-paid, uncaring employees who don't know jack shit, because BB refuses to pay more to get employees that known something about electronics. As an IT person, I can't BELIEVE some of the BS I've heard BB employees in the computer section tell know-nothing customers.

        Best Buy is going the way of Circuit City in a few years. I would put money on it. Much like CC, BB is run by brainless executives who give themselves huge bonuses and don't take notice of how much Amazon is really, truly, kicking their ass and why it's happening.

    •  My son says the future is "reach out and touch" (7+ / 0-)

      You will be able to touch it and smell it... and not just see it... via the internet.

      It's his field... he should know.

      When I was a teen, the Center of Science and Industry in Columbus had an exhibit with grandparents sitting in a living room looking at a monitor and seeing and chatting with their children/grandchildren who were thousands of miles away.  

      This is not exactly earthshattering today... it's total mainstream in the here and now. But, many decades ago it was the cool future to come.


      A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit.

      by bronte17 on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 04:50:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not to mention that shopping is an activity. (8+ / 0-)

      I don't see it as that at all, but I'm not everyone else.  For me, shopping is something that must be done, so my goal is to do it as quickly and painlessly as possible.  This often gets me in trouble with the spousal unit since I loathe and detest shopping so much, I throw whatever item meets the basic criteria into the cart without any consideration of price.  

      But for many people, shopping is a pastime.  They enjoy the act of wandering about looking at things, whether or not they intend on purchasing them.  It's a social activity.

    •  Lots of people also enjoy shopping in stores (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mmacdDE, schnecke21, Cassandra Waites

      as a form of recreation or even therapy. Plus there are lots of things as you note that many people, myself included need to try on or at least see. And "Same day delivery" won't satisfy "need it  ASAP, or NOW".

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