Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Buying Online

Written 2 September, 2009

Buying Online

Buying a used car in Atlanta is a pretty major pain.

It's rather like buying a car in Los Angeles. The car you want to look at may be the better part of a hundred miles away. And the one after that? A hundred miles away in another direction. So, unless you cleverly plot out your route, you see may three cars a day.

Buying small things-- batteries, sheets, computer parts, office supplies-- can be equally frustrating. I once chased all over town looking for a bottle of Lavoris mouthwash. Never found it. Not in town, at least.

Where I did find it was in a drugstore in South Dakota. Through the world wide web, of course. I bought a case and had it shipped to me. Years later, I'm down to two bottles.

By the time you figure in sales tax, the high cost of gasoline, and wear and tear on your vehicle, it more and more makes sense to buy it on the internet.

And the cherry on the ice cream sundae is it's often half price of less.

Not long ago I needed a 10-foot network cable. My in-town options were to pay $22.95 at Office Depot (close), $17.95 at Best Buy (also close) or about $4 at Fry's Electronics (a 25-mile round trip). So I got online and found the cable for $2.25. I bought a handful of cables and had them shipped and it cost less than $13.00.

Recently I replaced my forty-hour single-tuner TiVo unit with an 80-hour double-tuner TiVo for $55 (with shipping). I bought for $4 each batteries that would have been $12 at my local drugstore (if they had them, which they didn't). I bought for $31 a box full of more than a hundred Viewmaster slides (I keep kaleidoscopes and a stereopticon and a couple of Viewmaster viewers on a table in my guest room. I bought a camera bag (they were horrendously expensive at Best Buy) at Wal-Mart online and picked it up at my local store. I bought some underwear. Since I will be driving the Natchez Trace Parkway from Nashville to Mississippi next spring, I found and bought a nice book on Amazon.com for $2.65 plus $2 shipping. And I bought two brand-name camera straps for $7 with free shipping.

Going to my mail box these days is like Christmas!

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