Online vs The Mall
Over the last couple of years I have flip-flopped between online shopping and taking a trip to the mall for buying Christmas presents. Last year 90% of my shopping was done via online stores but this year I moved back to the mall. During the year I buy a lot online, anything that requires power is pretty much purchased on an online store. Books surprisingly enough are almost an even split because I do like to visit the bookstore as well as Amazon.
I do not like shopping unless it is for electronic gadgets, computer parts or video games. When it comes to buying presents for the holiday season the frugal part of my brain shuts down. A week before I would have tried to save even a dollar on a cooling fan, but I refuse to go from one retail store to the next one to see if I can find a comparable piece of clothing for a better price. Comparative shopping is a lot simpler online, but there are some products that I rather see in person no matter how good the picture is online.
This year online sales broke records. My shopping was obviously not included in those numbers since I went to the actual mall. The only thing that I wish I would have bought online was a Walkman for my Dad. I know, why not an MP3 player, lets just say he is old school and if I said MP3 he would probably tell me to go wash my mouth with soap.
I can spend hours surfing several retailers looking for the best price, but in a mall I want to get what I came for and get out. I did actually spend some extra time with a couple of gifts, but for the most part it was quick lucky shopping. When in a mall I shop as efficiently as possible, online I take my time.
Today consumers are a little less afraid of using the computer as a shopping tool. Even though identity theft is on the rise, people are using their mouse and keyboard instead of their legs to do their shopping. Maybe some of my problem has to deal with the crowds. People running into you with their carts, not respecting your personal space, or just overall acting like you are in their way.
I have in the past mixed the two. I ride motorcycles and you cannot beat the prices for them online. What I do is go to the local motor sports shop and try some helmet on, and then purchase it online for a fraction of the price. It is a sure way to know that the helmet you are ordering is going to fit comfortably.
You can say I chose the worst time of the year to visit the mall, but regardless of the crowds the opportunity to get a better deal online is enough to make me want to go that route. Also it is hard to replace actually seeing and touching the merchandise that you are going to purchase. If both places would offer the same price I would keep on going to the mall for quite some time.