Blinded by online shopping

How online shopping can take away your ability to shop local. A tell you a short story, half laughing, half crying.

It happened during my vacation. I wanted to get me an inflatable mattress (Lilo) - just a simple one to have fun while swimming in a lake. But where in the hell should I get one. I scratched my head and my first impulse was to open the laptop and search google for a shop to buy one. Well guess what - the result was no very satisfying. I couldn't get any good result - there is no local vendor search in Europe. Ordering them online was no option (I don't wanted to pay 5 Euro of shipping for a 4 Euro item and wait 2 days).

You think that I could have just run down the street to the next mall or shop who sells sport items. You're right, but I actually didn't remember where I could buy an inflatable mattress - I was blinded by online shopping. And there are good reasons for this:

  • I live (for the most time) in a rural area - the next mall is 150 km away
  • Local "we have all" stores are gone a long time - even sport shops just have clothes on their shelves. There is actually just one shop who has "sport-hardware" in my 30 km neighborhood and even they have only a limited choice of goods.
  • I'm used to buy exactly the item I want, not the item the vendor decides he wants to have in his store (Clothes are an exemption - I want to try them to know if they fit). It's frustrating to go/drive from shop to shop to find the product I want.
  • Online shopping has therefore become my main shopping experience - If I need something I look for the best product (recommandations/reviews), look online for the best price and buy it.

I'm so used now to shop online for the goods I need that I really can't tell you where in the neighborhood I would find the things I need. I did finally buy a mattress at a local sport shop - I was lucky, I stumbled over it driving by and they had one left. There was no choice but in the end I had fun with it in the lake.

Did you experience something similar - your stories are welcome.

Image by M.V. Jantzen