A couple of months back, I was shopping for flats. I was sick of wearing sneakers to work and I wanted something that looked grown up. Something that would go well with jeans. And most importantly something comfortable.
I spent the whole afternoon looking at just shoes. I decided to go cheapo first and went to Payless. Needless to say I couldn’t find anything. After stopping at a few other shoe stores and not finding anything I liked, I stepped into Boston Store (another favorite of mine) I found a lot of styles I liked and the saleswoman was really helpful. After a lot of trials, I zeroed in on one. Unfortunately they didn’t have that in my size. The saleswoman was very apologetic and said they were expecting some in a few days and asked me to check back in a week.
I went home and googled the brand. When I went to their website, they were having a 70% off sale. The $90 shoes I wanted was available in my size for $25! I was thrilled beyond words and ordered my shoes (they even had free shipping).
This brings up an interesting question. Am I cheating the store by trying on their shoes and choosing something (the saleslady really worked hard for me that day) and then buying it cheaper elsewhere? I know I would have bought the shoes at the store if they had it in my size. But I don’t know what I would have done if I came home and found that I could have have it for much lesser online.
This applies to other things like – perfumes, clothes, makeup etc. I find the store experience to be superior since I would like to try these things before I buy them. But is this worth paying a premium? A friend of mine does most of her shopping online, but always buys 2 or more of the same thing in difference colors, sizes and so on so that she can try them on and return the ones she doesn’t want. Is this ethical? The company accepts returns, pays for shipping twice and has to restock the item just because I like to try things out at home.
I wish I could pick a path here and stick to it. I feel cheated when I buy something and realize later that I could have bought it for much cheaper elsewhere. Maybe I should just brush up my couponing skills and be on the lookout for sales and such and never shop impromptu.