It’s all about quick and easy shopping.
I buy a lot of the things I need for my home and garden on Amazon.com. It’s gotten to the point that the UPS truck is at my place several times a week to drop off packages.
For a while, I felt kind of guilty about that. After all, the Wenatchee area where I live, has plenty of shopping opportunities. I should be supporting the economy by shopping locally.
Trouble is, the things I need aren’t always easy to find. Or they might take several stops to track down. Or — worse yet — I may simply forget to look for something I need while I’m out and remember a day or two later when I actually need it.
Here’s an example. I needed an irrigation fitting that would enable me to connect my automatic chicken waterer to my garden irrigation system. The idea is that when the timer starts up the irrigation system twice a day (for 10 minutes each time), it would pressurize the waterer’s water feed and top off the chicken’s water trough, which is shared by my barn cats. The irrigation hose already runs right past the waterer. Why run another hose across the garden entrance? One fitting and 10 minutes of effort and I don’t have to worry about water for my chickens or cats for the rest of the summer.
One fitting. You think I’d be able to track it down on one of my many visits to Home Depot or Lowes, right?
Wrong. Try as I might, I couldn’t find what I needed. In any of the four stores I tried.
Then I sat down at my computer and, in less than five minutes had found and ordered exactly what I needed. It would be at my doorstep in two days without any more driving or searching or frustration.
Do you know how many stores I visited, looking for a microwave that would fit on my kitchen’s microwave shelf without looking like it belonged in a dorm room? Home Depot, Lowes, Sears, Save-Mart (the local appliance store), and even Walmart. Basically, every store that sold microwaves. But again, a few minutes on Amazon and I’d narrowed down the search to the ones that fit and matched my other appliances. Then it was just a matter of picking the one I like best. A few days later, it was on my doorstep.
I bought the wrong vacuum cleaner bags for my old ShopVac three times (and returned them three times) before I did an Amazon search, found what I needed, and ordered them. I didn’t even bother trying to find the vacuum cleaner bags for my household vacuum; I just ordered them on Amazon.
I needed ghee — a clarified butter used in Indian cooking. Local supermarkets didn’t have it. Amazon did.
New battery for my Roomba? Where could I possibly find that locally? Found it on Amazon in minutes.
And I think this is the reason online shopping poses such a threat to brick and mortar stores. It’s quick, it’s easy, it’s affordable, and it often comes with free shipping — including return shipping if you decide you don’t like it.
It’s Friday and the UPS guy has been at my home four times (so far) this week. I’m expecting him today with that irrigation fitting. Yesterday, I apologized to him for so many trips down the two miles of gravel road to get to my home. He said he didn’t mind. When I jokingly suggested that it was people like me keeping him employed, he laughed along with me and agreed.
And I’m just happy to be able to save time shopping so I can get more important things done.