Friday, April 8, 2011

shop local vs. the internet

Today I had a customer tell me about how she found a certain big ticket item online for half the price of what we sell it. She was not looking for a price match, but rather, an explanation as to why some website could sell it for that price and we could not.

I told her all the scenarios that I could think of that could possibly cause that: how our price includes shipping and freight, how the online retailer might have more bulk buying power, that it could be a clearance price. I really stressed that before she buy the item, she find out the shipping cost, especially when she said that there definitely was not free shipping. I encouraged her to find out how much assembly the piece would require and the level of difficulty.

As sweet as she was about the whole thing, and as much as I appreciate her honest questions, I was also slightly perturbed. When you shop in a store, you get to talk to a human and probably to their face. I know this can be a bad experience, depending on a lot of factors, but I think a lot of sales staff is actually going to do their job: answer questions, give opinions when needed, assist the customer with making the right choice. If you are shopping in a store where this happens, you should keep shopping there (when necessary of course) and count your blessings for a helpful clerk.

(I know this post sounds boastful, but, damn!)

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