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Gripe about the effects of on-line shopping...

... and the effects on a local B&M.

On-line shopping, it's great! Convenient and economical but the local B&M stores have taken a beating.

I ordered a part for my old VW 5 days ago at the local B&M Euro parts store and it still hasn't arrived.
Ordered on Monday, the salesman told me Wednesday because it had to ship from Perth. I said OK. It's now Friday and no call - nothing.
With a bit of luck it should come in sometime early next week but I'm not holding my breath.

Had I ordered it on-line through Pelican it would probably be clearing customs by now and I'd get it some time early next week. (at about the same price including shipping)

I understand why delays happen but as B&M business has declined, service has gone out the window and that's one of the few things B&Ms had over on-line shopping.

Is it any wonder Bezos has done so well.

(Apparently the idiot had an affair with a friends wife... Very expensive "punani" lol)

Here's to the future!
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Old 01-11-2019, 02:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sc_rufctr View Post
...

Here's to the future!
Pass me the bottle...I'm gonna need it.

Does Amazon carry "Get OFF my lawn" signs?

I don't blame Bezos though...Sid mebbe
Old 01-11-2019, 02:25 AM
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aka 'vageen'
 
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My policy is that if the local B&M has to order something in, I can do that too and it will be cheaper.

If they don’t have it in stock, I order from amazon, RA, eBay, or even pelican.

Business has changed for the B&Ms, they need to adapt or go away.
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Old 01-11-2019, 04:37 AM
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I live in a small city of about 19K and prefer to support local vendors. That said, I'm not opposed to reminding them that, while I prefer to shop locally and keep my money in town, it has to make sense for my pocketbook and not just for their business. Not infrequently do I receive off-the-shelf pricing competitive with what the online guys offer.

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Old 01-11-2019, 05:44 AM
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I'm OK with paying a bit more in a B&M because of their over heads. What I miss is good old fashioned service.
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Old 01-11-2019, 05:47 AM
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Back in the saddle again
 
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The missus and I buy A LOT of stuff from Amazon. We've just purchased a couple of bicycles and all of the associated stuff to ride them about 150 miles over 2 days in a few months. That's a lot of stuff. We've bought a ton of stuff at the local bike shop where we got my wife's bike. It's been a little more expensive than if we'd bought it online, but the guys are great and super helpful. The other day one of the guys handed me his personal bike pump to borrow to add enough air to one of the tires on my bike that we'd ordered from another shop (they didn't have and couldn't get my bike in my size) so I could ride the bike to the shop for a check to ensure that everything was working properly. We're enjoying supporting their place. I'm just glad that we are in a place where I can afford to pay a little more.
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Old 01-11-2019, 05:53 AM
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I wanted to get two things for my wife for Christmas:

1) A CD player/radio.

2) A replacement Fiestaware serving dish.

For #1, I went to WalMart, Target, and Best Buy. I recall there being a wide selection of these things 10 years ago. Each store had 1-2 models, mostly very low end. We've bought a few low end ones in the past few years and each seems to fail within a year or two. Best Buy wanted 50% of the purchase priced for an extended 3 year warranty. In disgust, I went online and ordered something nicer with a 5 year extended warrant for 5% of the purchase price.

For #2, I went to Kohl's and Bed, Bath & Beyond. Both were listed as Fiestaware retailers online. Neither stocked serving bowls. I went online and ordered one.
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Old 01-11-2019, 06:57 AM
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Get off my lawn!
 
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I try to support the local business. I can't care less about the big box stores that put so many little mom and pop stores out of business. I hate going to Lowe's or Home Depot. I have to search for the item in a vast warehouse, and then check myself out. I can order it online and it shows up at my door, and I have a MUCH bigger choice of brands and styles.

My biggest pet peve of the big box stores, go in and look for the 1/2 PVC connection or whatever, They will have tons of every other size, but the one bin I need a part from is empty. Usually the most common size everyone uses. Why not put in twice as many or 10 times as many if they are always out? I walk out empty handed and waste a trip.

I like my local Ace Hardware but they play "background" music way loud, and it is always BAD music. I much prefer silence over noise. At Christmas time it is unbearable, horrible 1960s kids level Christmas tunes. I have to wear my headphones to stand to go in there.
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Old 01-11-2019, 06:59 AM
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From personal experience - and not just car parts - many B&M outfits were barely competent before online shopping came along, advent of which merely turbocharged their demise.

Another online-vs-B&M story I have to share: I built a deck last year, and I needed joist tape. I went to both Home Depot and Lowes - in meatspace - neither of them carried it. I could order it online - and have it shipped to the store - but it would be about 2 weeks to get it. I went home, empty-handed, and just for the hell of it, looked on Amazon. Not only did they have it, it was cheaper than HD or Lowes - including shipping. On top of that, I got free same day shipping - on a Sunday. And not just any Sunday, but on Easter Sunday. I was there, wallet-in-hand, ready to buy, and they failed. Their employees will (sometimes) call another store to see if the item is there, or tell you it's available online, but I don't think they realize that if I'm leaving empty-handed, once my ass clears the door, there is no incentive for me to buy the thing-that-I-still-need from their company - any other vendor is fair game at that point.
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Old 01-11-2019, 07:03 AM
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For the past few years, I've been buying basic automotive supplies on Amazon as well, things like oil, filters, plugs, etc. I now only buy locally if there's something that I need right now. Trying to get filters and stuff locally is a pain: wait in line... "What make?" "What model?" "Automatic or manual?" "Yeah, we don't have it, we'll have to order it from the warehouse."
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Old 01-11-2019, 07:07 AM
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All online retail (at least in the US) accounts for 10% all retail total.

Creeps up about 1 point a year, historically.

There's more going on than just competition from online.

Wages hav been stagnant for decades but cost of living continues to creep north leaving less discretionary income to spread around forcing retail to keep costs low which either effects margin or suppliers COGs or both.

When suppliers need to keep their costs low to preserve margin they make a lower quality product or put less product in the same size package.

Retail needs to manage their open to buy dollars tighter and carry less inventory because as we all know inventory costs you money.

The larger issue facing traditional retail is not so much the threat of online retailers but the stagnation / decline in velocity of money.

In a nutshell, money is tight all over the place from supplier to consumer.

The same thing will start to affect online retail at some point when their lower operating cost advantage gets eroded.
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Last edited by stomachmonkey; 01-11-2019 at 07:13 AM..
Old 01-11-2019, 07:10 AM
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When I think of B&M I think of brick ovens, molasses, pork, and spices.

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Old 01-11-2019, 07:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stomachmonkey View Post
All online retail (at least in the US) accounts for 10% all retail total.

Creeps up about 1 point a year, historically.

There's more going on than just competition from online.

Wages hav been stagnant for decades but cost of living continues to creep north leaving less discretionary income to spread around forcing retail to keep costs low which either effects margin or suppliers COGs or both.

When suppliers need to keep their costs low to preserve margin they make a lower quality product or put less product in the same size package.

Retail needs to manage their open to buy dollars tighter and carry less inventory because as we all know inventory costs you money.

The larger issue facing traditional retail is not so much the threat of online retailers but the stagnation / decline in velocity of money.

In a nutshell, money is tight all over the place from supplier to consumer.

The same thing will start to affect online retail at some point when their lower operating cost advantage gets eroded.
I agree w/ this. Wage inflation has been <2% (average hourly wage) for most of this economic recovery. Cost inflation has been higher than that for large spending items like housing, healthcare, food (usually). Other spending categories have taken share of wallet (cellphone, internet). This leaves less spending money for traditional retail goods. Retail chains over-expanded their store base. And the 10% online share comes mostly from categories sold by traditional retail stores. Result is too many retail stores fighting for a smaller share of spending.

I shop small locally owned stores whenever possible. The only big chains/boxes I shop at are Home Depot, Costco, O'Reilly, and some grocery chains. Haven't shopped at a department store in many years, have shopped at Walmart twice in my life. Buy my share of online. Usually try to buy things used, I often like older things more than new things. Try to fix things instead of discard/replace.
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Old 01-11-2019, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by KC911 View Post
Pass me the bottle...I'm gonna need it.

Does Amazon carry "Get OFF my lawn" signs?

I don't blame Bezos though...Sid mebbe
Why yes, they do.

https://www.amazon.com/Get-Lawn-Aluminum-Metal-Sign/dp/B074YFPDBQ/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1547225537&sr=8-5&keywords=get+off+my+lawn
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Old 01-11-2019, 08:52 AM
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My local hardware store is a traditional family run business. I've been buying from them since the early 80's. They had a scary time when HD came to town but they hung on. It's my first stop for all home hardware needs. I use a local garden shop, local repair cowboys for stuff that I can't fix but there is a limit to all of that which online shopping addresses like no other service can. There may always be a need for the hometown "general store" but online may be here to stay. Heck I've got neighbors that don't even shop for their groceries anymore.
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Old 01-11-2019, 08:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legion View Post
I wanted to get two things for my wife for Christmas:

1) A CD player/radio.

2) A replacement Fiestaware serving dish.

For #1, I went to WalMart, Target, and Best Buy. I recall there being a wide selection of these things 10 years ago. Each store had 1-2 models, mostly very low end. We've bought a few low end ones in the past few years and each seems to fail within a year or two. Best Buy wanted 50% of the purchase priced for an extended 3 year warranty. In disgust, I went online and ordered something nicer with a 5 year extended warrant for 5% of the purchase price.

For #2, I went to Kohl's and Bed, Bath & Beyond. Both were listed as Fiestaware retailers online. Neither stocked serving bowls. I went online and ordered one.

There's the issue. Any retailer can't have all the inventory at each zip code. They've done well to cross check other stores in the last 10 years or more, but it doesn't match the online model of an electronic sale automatically sent to the correct stocking warehouse.
Old 01-11-2019, 09:48 AM
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My wife has been shopping for a fitbit. Amazon sent her the wrong one twice. She went to best buy and costco today to look and they had models she wanted to look at in their cases but both refused to get them out to try on her wrist. Back to amazon she went.......
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Old 01-11-2019, 09:59 PM
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Our electric wall oven bit the dust and after figuring out the cause ( control board ) that was no longer available my wife and I went to the local Home Depot . In our small mountain town they are it for appliances . Went back to the appliance section and talked with a nice lady . She informed us they don't stock any wall ovens and it would need to be ordered .

I asked the lady is there any advantage to you ordering it vs. me ordering it online ......... slight pause and then she said nope . When we arrived back home I started searching online and found an online retailer that had the oven we wanted and it was $80.00 LESS delivered to our door vs. the price at HD . Would we have preferred to buy locally of course . I try not to waste money and to me an 80.00 difference is a pretty big deal . The brick and mortar stores have to realize and adjust their business models to be a world market , if they don't they will follow Sears down the hole . I don't expect a B&M store to be cheaper on everything but they have to be competitive .
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Old 01-12-2019, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by wdfifteen View Post
When I think of B&M I think of brick ovens, molasses, pork, and spices.

Being a car guy I think of B&M torque converters.
Old 01-12-2019, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Zeke View Post
There's the issue. Any retailer can't have all the inventory at each zip code. They've done well to cross check other stores in the last 10 years or more, but it doesn't match the online model of an electronic sale automatically sent to the correct stocking warehouse.
Inventory is a necessary evil. It is expensive to keep but if the store doesn't have the item, you will go somewhere else. And in today's world, an item bought on line cand be at your door tomorrow.

I do most of my shopping on line unless it is an absolute emergency.
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Old 01-12-2019, 06:56 AM
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