Did you know your nearest city or large town probably has at least one Amazon showroom, and larger cities usually have several?
Well, they do. They’re called Best Buy, Fry’s, Costco, Walmart, Target…
By now you’re probably shaking your head and wondering just what I’m talking about, but think about it for a moment…
How often have you visited one of these stores and saw people taking pictures of items with their cell phones, scanning QR codes or taking notes the old fashioned way with pen and paper?
Well, many of those folks are “shopping” for items to purchase online from Amazon.
And why not? Amazon sells most of the same items you can buy at brick and mortar stores, often at lower prices – and almost always with a better return policy.
This is a very real problem for brick and mortar stores. These establishments have been losing sales to Amazon for years after having their stores used as virtual Amazon showrooms.
Some bold “customers” even go ahead and place their orders with Amazon via smartphone before they ever leave the store.
If this seems just a bit unethical, consider this: How many times have you gone Christmas shopping for a high ticket item, found a brand and model you like at a certain store, then spent most of a day visiting other stores until you found the best price on that particular item?
The reality of open commerce means shopping for the best price, and in today’s connected world, massive online retailers such as Amazon enjoy an advantage over local brick and mortar stores in regards to being able to offer lower prices.
To their credit, many brick and mortar retailers have stepped up their game of late, completely erasing much of Amazon’s price advantage on certain products.
And that’s a good thing when you consider the importance of supporting local businesses to help keep them from closing their stores and leaving town.
But that being said, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with shopping for the best prices on high-ticket items, especially in today’s economy.
I’m a firm believer in retail competition because it’s always good for consumers.
If you can find a competitive price locally, by all means spend your money close to home. But sometimes it just makes more economic sense for you and your family to buy online.
Either way, you can always visit your favorite “Amazon showroom” first to check out the item you’re looking to buy in person before making a final buying decision.
Who knows, you just might leave their store with a cart full of items that you’d never even consider buying online even if you do end up buying the item you were “shopping for” from Amazon.