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Online Shopping Vs. Brick and Mortar Stores – A Fair Comparison

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We watched a news story on NBC’s Today show that raised the hair on the backs of our necks. They pulled in and interviewed an expert on Internet sales, Donna Rosato, from Money Magazine. She said that Internet sales are growing, and that last year clothing sales passed computer sales on the Internet. Whoop De Do! Then she stuck her foot in her mouth and stated that you would have a hard time finding drastic discounts on the Internet. Having an Internet store myself, I really don’t see any difference – a deal is a deal. Does she think that Internet businesses exchange trade secrets and make secret pacts with other Internet businesses so that we can conspire to charge higher prices compared to a traditional business or visa versa?

Black Socks – On the Road

Donna Rosato kept drilling in the point that when you order online, you have to pay postage. So I thought it would be a great exercise to comparison-shop socks in brick and mortar stores. My first stop was Walmart. I began by telling my wife where I was going, then went looking for the car keys. Luckily they were where I always leave them. I drove 4.6 miles to Walmart, searched for a parking place, parked the car and walked in. I rumbled around the store until I found the sock section. Wow, what a selection! All kinds of fashionable solutions, but all I want is a plain, black sock. I came across a deal, $8.88 for a five pack. They were thin nylon dress socks (which I hate), but our Black and White socks were still cheaper. I headed back to my car while pondering where to go next. The mall is about three miles from Walmart, but it was hot and I didn’t feel like going through the effort just to make a point. So I gave up. In fact, if I went through all that effort to drive to the mall, I just as soon would pay more for those lousy socks. When I backtracked to figure what I had spent, it broke down into workable numbers.

Breaking Down the True Cost of Black Socks

If I drove to Walmart and the mall to price socks, I would have driven roughly 15 miles round trip. The gas would have cost roughly two dollars. Wear and tear on the car would be roughly $7.20, according to the IRS allotment, and it would have taken me over an hour. The biggest pill to swallow is the time. You can compare prices on the Internet in minutes, if not seconds. The costs for shipping are made up in your personal time and the price of gas and transportation, and then some. Although I hear of Internet connection costs dropping every day I still keep hearing about the gas prices going up and up. Save the wear and tear on your socks and do your shopping on line, you’ll save in the long run and have a lot of extra time to spare.