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Brick & Mortar VS Online Shopping
updated: Dec 06, 2012, 7:58 PM

By Edhat Subscriber

I enjoy seeing the products up close, looking where they are made, knowing I'm patronizing a local store. (If only I didn't have to hear "All I want for Christmas is you..." as one of the repetitive, annoying songs of the season.)

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 351161 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-06 08:08 PM

Certainly getting to see / feel / try on the item is a major plus. And interacting with a human being while making a purchase is often a plus, but almost as often a minus.


 COMMENT 351162 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-06 08:08 PM

I'd rather shop online because there are way more items that are no longer or aren't in stores yet. Plus if they don't fit or you buy the wrong item you can usually return it to the actual store for credit or exchange.


 COMMENT 351163P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-06 08:11 PM

As someone who appreciates textures, I like to touch the product, though oftentimes the packaging in stores makes it difficult to do. Does the product feel good, show quality? Patronizing a local business is important too; as someone who operates a small business, competing with the Big Business world on the internet - it's challenging. Many people only value the lowest price, not the best all around value. I miss many stores that used to be in Santa Barbara, and I don't blame the mayor or city council or maybe not even the Walmart/Costcos - it is what it is, sometimes dreadfully.


 COMMENT 351166 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-06 08:18 PM

I look at stores and buy online for better price


 COMMENT 351169 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-06 08:25 PM

It's a heckuva lot less work buying online.... especially at this time of year. Interacting with retail clerks who do not care about their jobs makes patronizing the business that employs them a lousy experience.


 COMMENT 351174P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-06 08:37 PM

I love buying most items online. It is so much easier & you don't have to deal with surly clerks who have no info on the products they are selling. If you deal With a company like Amazon or Zappo then there is never a problem returning an item that doesn't fit or isn't exactly what you want. The only local store that I really enjoy visiting is the Apple Store. They treat you great whether you are buying or just looking. They DO know their products.


 GREG agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-06 08:43 PM

Apple Store - ? I much more appreciate buying at Mac Mechanic, locally owned and Edhat advertiser. If we don't patronize locally some, then ....


 COMMENT 351179P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-06 08:47 PM

The prices are the same at the Apple store, at Apple's online site, and at Mac Mechanic or Samy's. Although I don't think the latter stores sell the iPhone. Yes, buy local, support local jobs, also people who give back to our community. (Some local businesses are known for rarely or never giving back to the community.)


 COMMENT 351183 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-06 08:49 PM

Doing more online shopping now. Will miss my Christmas Eve shopping homeboys...the "Oh crap!" crowd of husbands and boyfriends looking for last minute salvation gifts.


 COMMENT 351184P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-06 08:50 PM

Yes, Samy's and Mac Mechanic are both Edhat advertisers. Can anyone say what the Apple store has done to help our community? Perhaps they have - but I find the store coldly, slickly commercial. Samy's and Mac Mechanic seem to have much more personal service.


 COMMENT 351185 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-06 08:52 PM

One of the things that's great about buying on the internet is that you can read reviews on the item before you buy it. Plus you can easily compare prices, pick the best one considering terms, shipping and location. The good thing about buying at a store is you get to try things on. I respect that so I buy there at least the first time. I also like people and see that they are our neighbors and need to be supported.
I do both and now that tax is collected on internet things buying local makes sense especially since you can have it now instead of waiting days to get it.


 COMMENT 351187P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-06 08:54 PM

I like shopping online the best. I can browse all I want, I have the best parking spot available and I can shop in my pj's without someone calling security.


 COMMENT 351188 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-06 08:58 PM

Fanatic: You can read online reviews before you buy an item in person, too. It's easy.


 COMMENT 351191P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-06 09:03 PM

So let's close the local private and public schools and just educate the kids online by teachers overseas. It's easy, kids can learn in their pj's, and no commuting to school. I agree it's tempting to shop online and I do sometimes, especially the sites that sell new/used clothing sometimes for less than our "thrift" stores.


 COMMENT 351193P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-06 09:11 PM

My preference is online shopping. It's easier to comparison shop, research the item, and I read up on the reviews and articles beforehand, also I never pay retail. I will always find an internet coupon or a great sale for what I'm looking for. The vendor also has to have a solid return policy and offer free shipping- at least for purchases over a certain amount. FatWallet is one forum I've used for years.


 COMMENT 351195P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-06 09:15 PM

"No need to pay retail," but there's a price we all pay; nothing is free or as inexpensive as it seems.


 COMMENT 351201 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-06 09:37 PM

Equating shopping online with educating our children is quite a stretch...


 COMMENT 351202P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-06 09:38 PM

Looking at the reader responses, it seems many readers prefer to shop online. I just miss a lot of those old stores, Anderas, Levy's shoe store, Ott's, Joseph and I. Magnin, Hunt's, and many, many more. Sure the selection is massive online. Zappo's is cute, but I like going into a store such as our local ones to hand select classy Christmas cards. Oh, forgot, sending Christmas cards is going the way of dodo bird.


 COMMENT 351204P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-06 09:43 PM

Ventura/Oxnard has a for profit online high school. Soon our taxes will be cheaper done by someone overseas, our local news will be written by someone overseas watching local video cams, overseas dental labs will make our caps, bridges, dentures. Online - it's the way of the future.


 COMMENT 351206P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-06 09:59 PM

Brick and mortar vs. online - we lament the loss of SBBT jobs recently, but look how easy is it to bank and invest online and out of town or country. Seems as if there's a race to the bottom of cheapest and easiest. We'll see how well this serves us down the road. I feel for our kids; it doesn't seem like we're being good stewards for their future.


 COMMENT 351216P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 12:23 AM

The Apple Store on State St. is always a nice place to go. Apple sure knows how to hire the best, the brightest and the nicest. The only drag with shopping there is that each and every time I go, I later have to spend time writing rave reviews about all the Apple employees that helped me. What a great group of people.

With a special shout out to Madison. What a sweet guy.


 COMMENT 351224P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 01:10 AM

It is neither one nor the other. Some things are best to buy at a store - other things/times online. Sometimes I look for a product online, and then go to the store to buy it because it is faster. I hardly ever do the reverse.


 COMMENT 351229 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 06:25 AM

I like to look for quality and buy locally if I can. If not we will lose more local stores and gain more depressing empty spaces. Miss all the old stores, especially the long gone local hardware store. Have to buy online sometimes because of unavailability in stores.


 COMMENT 351239 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 07:19 AM

Seeing something in person is always better than looking at a picture. When you buy it you have it...no waiting. You never have to pay shipping if you buy it at the store. And every once in a while you get a person at the store who gives you over-the-top customer service. I get goose bumps when someone making $10/hr treats me like royalty and is an expert at their job.

Having said that, if I know what it is I'm looking for and I can get free shipping, then online rocks! Especially if you can can also get the item tax free. I can easily shop 20 stores in 20 minutes online. Try doing that in person this time of year.


 COMMENT 351268 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 08:07 AM

Nature boy's first comment is pretty spot on for me.


 COMMENT 351280 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 08:28 AM

All the eye candy. QQ


 COMMENT 351291 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 08:54 AM

Some things such as electronics and many other hard goods are a no-brainer to buy online, mostly because they are way cheaper.

Some things (soft goods and clothes, especially) I never buy online unless I try them out first. Usually I just end up buying them in the store.


 COMMENT 351293 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 09:01 AM

I sometimes buy things online, but I agree that we need to support local businesses. I've bought ski and outdoor supplies at Mountain Air Sports, it may be cheaper online but when my bindings need to be adjusted or I need a boot fitting, is the online place going to do that?


 COMMENT 351313P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 09:26 AM

The nature of my business is such that you almost have to buy local. What fascinates me is how many people assume that online or big chain stores are cheaper. We often beat online prices, and we provide better service, advice, and help too. It pays to get to know a friendly local business and work with them. For example, paying up front and asking them to order the product for you can result in savings, because they aren't guessing what might sell and using their space and money to stock stuff in the hopes that it will sell. And I don't think anyone above mentioned the obscene prices that UPS, FedEx, and the USPS are getting to ship stuff. Research online, then work with a local merchant whenever possible.


 COMMENT 351315 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 09:31 AM

depends on the item. If its a larger purchase and if some level of potential maintenance / service is involved. I'll pay a little more for a brick and motar offering because I know that if I have issue with the product, I can use my smile and huge pectoral muscles to charm an employee into assisting me with my issue.

Online? Everyone is jacked and no one even cares if you lift bro.


 COMMENT 351323 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 09:52 AM

Online is excellent if you wear a size that the brick and mortar retailer is often out of. You can "shop" in large stores and then order on line.

PS - No purchase is ever "tax free". New laws require larger merchants to charge CA tax now. Even if they don't charge sales tax, if you are honest with the IRS when it comes to tax time, you have to pay a user tax on those items you purchased on line but have yet to pay tax on. Shame on all of you who don't. California schools are suffering, in part because of taxpayers under reporting their tax obligations.


 COMMENT 351350 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 10:57 AM

During "normal" times of year, I try to shop in person as much as possible, and at the locally owned places as much as possible. I will pay a little more to do so.

For Christmas shopping, I'm going 99% online. I don't want to deal with horrible drivers (why is everyone so angry?), crowds, parking mess, and so on. It's not the prices and it's not the support of one business or another, it's the other shoppers I want to avoid!


 SBROCKS agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 12:29 PM

Shopping in person in SB is really not fun. If you go down to LA there are malls that really treat you like they want your business. I go about once every two years beacause I'm not a shopper. Unfortunately the internet has become my #1 place to get what I need. SB does not carry a large seletion and online you can find what you want quickly, usually get free shipping and arrives quickly. I do like estate sales in SB.


 COMMENT 351396 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 12:52 PM

184P - I'm not saying Samy's (which is an LA chain BTW and not a local owner) and Mac Mechanic don't serve a purpose, but if you want to talk about what the local Apple store brings to the community, well, they bring employment, just like the other two companies mentioned, but most notably they bring local tax revenue that far exceeds to two companies combined. You have to remember, the average Apple store brings $34 million a year. That's a lot in local taxes.


 RAINE5360 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 03:45 PM

While I like to support locals, most of my recipients are a continent away so it helps to order online and ship with just a click of a button. It's a godsend to working shoppers. Even so, I find myself running around to get seasonal errands done for many things. And shopping in SB is much easier than some places.


 COMMENT 351471 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 03:57 PM

In person is great for a good fit, if you're talking clothes or shoes. But really in a town like SB where you can't really get a lot of stuff you can get in bigger cities, online can't be beaten.

I try to support local shops when I can but when there really isn't anything stylish (other than $1,000 for a sweater or top) it's impossible NOT go go online or to LA.


 COMMENT 351710 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-08 10:21 AM

I like the selection and convenience of Amazon - so few retailers have any sort of decent customer service and product knowledge - unless of course you talk about Apple or perhaps some overpriced clothing place like Nordstroms. But wandering around at retail stores is old school - especially with all the chain stores in SB - and then you walk out in the street and are assaulted by smokers everywhere - why can't they ban smoking on State Street - like is done in San Luis Obispo, Beverly Hills, and many other towns (I know, this is a tangent - but dealing with smoke is another part of the insult on wandering around State Street).


 COMMENT 351854 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-09 07:16 AM

When it comes to clothes, I prefer calling catalogs. I have human contact and can try things on at my leisure. For other things, it's fun to browse like at the Seen on TV store.


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