The Online Department Store – Better Than the Real Thing?

The Department Store has been around for over a hundred years, and I remember as a child (in the 60’s, not a hundred years ago!) visiting these huge (to me) establishments and being overwhelmed by the sheer volume of goodies on display. Of course, for myself and my two brothers, these visits revolved around how quickly we could get to the Toy Department, in the hope we didn’t go home empty-handed!

I now however, wonder if the real thing compares favorably with an “Online Department Store”…

As an adult, my perception of these places is quite different. Perhaps it’s just me, or an “age thing”, but does any of this sound familiar to you….

Your dishwasher / TV / microwave or whatever has packed up, the Repair Guy has quoted you more to repair it than buying a new one, so you must have a replacement… OK, so just a quick trip to the local store, and problem solved… You think!

This is the way it often goes for me… Drive into town and you can’t park within a mile of the place, ok, you have to walk and maybe grab a trolley to lug your proposed purchase back to the car, no big deal. You enter the store and nearly trip over somebody’s screaming kid making a bid for freedom, being hotly pursued by said kid’s screaming parents.

Having avoided that particular obstacle, you find the location of the department you need (why is the heavy stuff always on the third floor?), and head for the lift, if it’s working. After an hour comparing the three models of dishwasher / TV / microwave you’re interested in, and having decided on the model you want, and attracted the attention of the sales person who was busy listening to his / her iPod… You get “Sorry Ma’am, we only have the display model left, it’s not for sale!” This actually happened quite recently.

So, onto the Online Department Store experience (new to me at that time)…

I sat in front of my computer one morning with a cup of coffee and located a reputable online department store, browsed through a few pages and read the product descriptions and reviews. Having chosen what I wanted, progressed through the secure checkout (paying slightly less than the “real” store was asking), and then finished my coffee.

The next afternoon, my dishwasher / TV / microwave (actually a TV, I bought a DVD recorder too) arrived, and the Delivery Guy even brought them into the lounge… Easy, none of the hassle of my town visit.