Friday, 10 March 2017

10 reasons I quit online shopping!



I gave up online shopping as my New Year's resolution. It was a kickback against the boxes, the stuff, the hours sucked up browsing for essentials...oh and non-essentials. It's been liberating! Good for me, good for the local economy, good for the environment. Here's why:


  1. I shop in REAL SHOPS. I talk to people. I try things on, pick things up and see how they feel. I have a much more satisfying shopping experience. The baby in a buggy is admittedly somewhat of a hindrance but often he's asleep. Or he makes a good effort to charm shopkeepers - the grocer gave him a free punnet of strawberries today. Result!
  2. My local shopping boosts the local economy, supporting our high street and the nearby cathedral town. I will be the first to lament the demise of the high street. How could I seriously do that while pouring money into Amazon?
  3. I bring things home in a tote and save on packaging. No more huge boxes inexplicably cocooning tiny items, polystyrene or plastic bubble wrap littering our house or piling up next to the bins.
  4. I am helping keep our air clean. Diesel courier vans are now significant contributors to air pollution and traffic. My daily "one-click" deliveries certainly weren't helping! And while delivery vans may be doing multiple drop offs, in fact they aren't saving people a journey. Everyone still likes to pop to the shops to look at things whether they later decide to buy them online or not!
  5. I buy a lot less. I don't add in a little extra something to get free postage. I don't see something I like in a magazine and immediately check whether it's in stock, before I've thought about how much I really need it. I only buy what I can carry or shove in the bottom of the buggy.
  6. We make do. Last year, as soon as a child was looking like she or he was growing out of something, I had searched the internet, found the next size up and got the size up after that in case. They can actually live in things a lot longer, even with a stain or a broken zip. They can wait a week or a month till we can get to the right shop and try something on.
  7. I save a lot of time. I don't have a quick browse on Asos of an evening, discovering I've then lost an hour of my life... I don't make a weekly trip to the post office, standing in the queue with my returns parcels. Even the post office guy was starting to give me a look, "not more bloody returns..." And we could all do with more time right?
  8. I can still get what I want. I ask our local shops to order items in for me. Books, clothes. It takes a couple of days but, you know what, that's ok. I very rarely actually need something IMMEDIATELY.
  9. I can check the quality for myself, the perfect present that won't arrive ripped or damaged but has been carefully transported home. Something special might catch my eye that I wasn't expecting. The purchase itself can be a special memory, where I was, who with, why I liked it. I discovered at Christmas that there is something soulless about choosing a child's first teddy bear online, reading reviews, checking wash instructions. So much better to go and pick it up and check its cuddleability and smiley expression for yourself.
  10. It doesn't cost me more. Real life shops give you discounts and freebies too. You can use loyalty cards. You don't pay postage and you only buy what you really like and/or need.

Online shopping seems like the quick and easy option but I don't think it really is. It feeds the sense that we need more stuff to make us secure, happy, prepared and it's only a click away. The anticipation of exciting parcels in the post. It can be really addictive...

Why not give old-fashioned real shopping a go? Take control. You might like it!


TOP TIPS

  • Recycle the online catalogues without opening them. Don't lay yourself open to temptation!!! Even better, unsubscribe from mailing lists and return unsolicited mail. 
  • Support shops you like, especially independent ones! If a local shop isn't welcoming, don't grace them with your purchasing power. A local children's wear shop (which will remain nameless!) is infamous for being unfriendly to local shoppers. They were very happy to order in a onesie in my son's size when they didn't haven't it in stock but wanted to charge me postage! IN A SHOP. Won't be going back there again! But I will be going to the places which are friendly, helpful, hold the door open and go that extra mile. 
  • Even if you reduce online ordering a bit, this can be a life changer. My other half still orders things online and if we really can't get something essential somewhere else, like a piece of uniform, he orders it. But the key thing is, I don't end up surfing the website for an hour, ordering 10 bits of uniform in various sizes, just because I imagine we will be more prepared, when we only actually needed one ;)

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