Sunday, March 15, 2009

brick and mortar vs online shopping

So Friday was payday. And after paying my bills, I actually had more money left over than I thought I would. So I thought I'd look in to buying a new hard drive for my laptop.

The goal is to get the laptop setup so it can do virtual images of computers on it. Meaning running more than one computer on it at a time. The goal is to have a Linux workstation, and a windows desktop running together at one time so I can do things that requires windows, build my virtualization skills, and not have to mess around with dual booting the laptop.

Now I've been slowly building up to doing this. I bought a new processor, so I could run Linux and Windows based OS at the same time (got a Virtualization processor from Intel). Upgraded the memory from 1 gig to 4 gig. Now all I have left to do is get larger than a 60gig hard drive. I could probably do it with the 60gig drive, but I'd like bigger for personal reasons.

Anyhow, as I was saying, I looked around for a hard drive I wanted. I found one. 320gig WD 7200rpm with SATA 3.0. And for $80.00 that's not bad.

Then I went and looked at Best Buy, to see what it would cost there. They want $50.00 more. I could see paying $10 to $20 more, and wouldn't have minded since I could have it right then and right now. I consider it a convince charge, but not $50 was just a little too much. $50.00 also took it out my price range. I understand they have to pay the overhead of the employees, the space, the power and etc, but $50.00 seemed a little unreasonable.

So one of the people came over asked if I needed help. I said it depended, can we haggle over this price. She said not really, the best they could do was match a competitor's price; however it had to be local (within 10 miles), in stock, not on sale, and not the online price. I stood up (crouched down looking at the tag on the shelf) and said I saw it for $80 on newegg with free shipping. She said they couldn't match it, I said then I don't need any help thanks.

However since I had time to kill waiting for a friend for dinner, I walked around the store more. I saw some other items I had thought about buying, but each time I looked, I noticed that they were way more than I could get them for from other places (like Amazon). Perfect example, The Dark Crystal, it's on my wish list at amazon, but best buy wanted $10.00 more for it. So I ended up leaving empty handed.

Then I walked down the strip mall to Borders. I looked for some books there, and the same thing. More than I would have paid on Amazon. One book was a $30.00 difference, one was $10.00 and the last one was $7.00.

The big box brick and mortar stores drove out the small mom and pop shops because they had 1) better selections (larger) 2) Could do cheaper prices sometimes. Now they're facing the same things from the online world, and I don't see how they're going to stay in business unless they start playing ball. With the way the economy is right now, people are going to pay the better price. Like I said, to a point I'm willing to pay a little more for the have it now option compared the wait option, and the more expensive the item is, more I'm willing to pay, but within reason. But not when the difference is almost 50% of the price I could get it for online.

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