Monday, November 14, 2005

Christmas Shopping and the Web

Well - Christmas shopping has sure changed. It use to be that you decided what you wanted and went to the store to get it. Not anymore. It is either way easier or way more difficult - not really sure ... Now you decide what you want, and use the web to help you to find the best one or the best price or maybe just to make sure that you didn't miss something.

Maybe a hypothetical example will help. I don't want to use a real one just in case Anthony or Nick read this:)

So say I want to get a basketball hoop. I could drive to Sportmart and Big 5 and Sears, check out what they have, and then go back to the place that has the best one. Or if I don't have time, I might just buy one at the first store that I stop at. But if you do either of these, when you get home you are not sure you got the right thing or the best price.

So you go on the web first. Look at everything that is out there, and then decide what to do with all of this information. You might then go to a store and look at what they have, then either buy it there or buy it from someone on the web. You have to think about the price, cost of shipping, time to deliver and reputation of the company. But what if you can't find a store that has what you found on the web. How do you decide if it is good? You can look for reviews or feedback from customers. Places like maybe ...? Now you might have enough information to buy on the web.

But is this enough information to make the right decision? What about eBay or craigslist? Better check there as well. But this is even more confusing. Now you see a bunch of new stuff. Why is there so much new stuff being advertised there? Huh. Now I have to go back and look at the web for reviews or feedback. And do I trust the seller? And there is of course the used stuff. Some looks like a good deal, but do I want something used?

After all of this, I finally decide to go to Sears and buy one. But I am pretty happy because I am informed. I guess this is all good. At least I was able to do most of the research while watching Monday Night Football!

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