butterfly table

Buying Stuff Online vs In the Store

buying stuff online vs in the store

Butterfly table mosaic with wrought iron from Pier I in Kailua-Kona.

The thing about buying stuff online vs in the store is it’s sometimes difficult to see what you’re actually buying online, but it’s not all that different from, say, shopping from a Sears Catalog. Remember the Sears Catalog? You had straight forward choices: good, better or best. Something for every budget. Easy decisions. Better quality, spend a little bit more; cheaper quality because it’s not that important, spend less.

When we’re buying stuff online vs in the store today, we’re just ordering from a vast catalog offering a huge number of suppliers. Plus, if we don’t like the item we purchased or it doesn’t fit right, is not the right material or color, we need to box it up and ship it back. Which is a hassle. It’s so much of a hassle that when I end up with the wrong thing, which does happen, I generally donate it to charity. It’s easier than sending it back.

For the past week now, I’ve been complaining about how I need a small table for our lanai in Hawaii. We have a coffee table but that involves grabbing on to my laptop (without dropping it) and bending forward to grab a cup of coffee. It would be so much easier if I could just stop tapping on the keyboard for a moment, and move my arm to the left.

I thought, aha, Target would sell small plastic tables, and we headed over to Target. Found all sorts of other things we could use, but not a plastic table. Then we drove by Pier I. And sure enough, way in the back, we found a very pretty wrought iron table in the shape of a butterfly with a mosaic tiled top. On sale, too.

I would not have bought this butterfly table online. Some stuff you’ve got to see in person. You’ve got to get up out of that comfy chair, get in the car and drive. Buying stuff at the store helps to support local jobs in the community and local businesses. I like to touch, feel, admire, compare, prior to purchase. Buying stuff online vs in the store has it’s advantages, but this is not one of them. Plus, I don’t know of a store anywhere that won’t match prices if you find it cheaper online.

This is of interest to us in the real estate industry because there’s a lot of chatter about online apps eventually replacing Sacramento Realtors. It’s true a Realtor needs to earn her business and trust, but an app can’t replace a human. Buyers need that emotional connection and professional guidance. Things may change shape and form, but service is always service. Experience matters.

Happy Labor Day!

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