Online shopping doesn’t have to be cheaper

It is one of the modern economic legends that consumers stop shopping in downtown shops and go online because they get everything faster, cheaper and better. Instantly, a familiar graphic comes to mind, namely the one with the three circles “good”, “cheap” and “fast”, which overlap slightly. In the middle, where all three come together, one could place either “dream on”, “unrealistic” or “here lives the unicorn”. This means that anyone who expects to receive a product or service of high quality immediately and at a low price is wrong. At least, thanks to the Internet, I can compare prices quite globally and notice whether the local retailer I generally trust is ripping me off or putting realistic price tags on his products. If he considers the Internet as an opportunity, he could expand his product range (virtually) and also sell online, while he advises me on the spot during the purchase, no matter whether the desired item is available in his shop or online – from shop manager to consultant, so to say. Wouldn’t that be the definition of job enrichment? But now back to us, the customers: Shopping online isn’t necessarily cheaper. A friend of mine (who refers to herself as “half-immigrant-half-native”) recently “confessed” that on her first visit on a wholesaler’s online shop she bought twice as much compared to going to the local store. And on delivery, the amount of passion fruit she ordered turned out to be slightly too large, so she’ll now need to be quite a bit creative with her family’s meal plan for the next few weeks. This would have been different (I believe) and cheaper in the local store.


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