Buying on the internet? Big box got your bucks? Read this first.

Cheryl Kees Clendenon Business, Details, In Detail Says, Small Business Think Big 4 Comments

We love it when you share!

Everyone thinks buying on the internet is less expensive than buying local at a bricks and mortar store- But wait!

Is it really? Wide spread belief is that this is the gospel but look at the comparisons I have made on various products we carry in our shop that blow this myth sky high.  Even with no sales tax- the savings more than make up for this- and guess what? Those taxes support the roads you drive on, schools your kids attend, and infrastructure that is key to living in a civilized society.

 

A MIT Study  found that- “The result about the dynamics of online pricing which followed is somehow surprising: prices were the same about 72% of the time! Many bargain shoppers who are used to spending a lot of time online to find the best prices might be just wasting their time.”

If it looks too good to be true then it probably is!

And be very aware that many Manufacturers have strict IMAP ( internet advertised pricing minimums) for online sales- if you see one vendor that is lower than all the rest- be wary. These vendors are almost always going to be dropped if even legit in the first placeand then they cannot service a product they no longer can sell.  And lots of luck trying to get answers from them on the product.

This is becoming a big issue with retailers and manufacturers and am happy to say many are stopping abuse of IMAP policies. Manufacturers are yanking lines right and left from these pop up internet retailers trying to make a quick buck.

Be aware of buying from unauthorized online sellers!

Unauthorized resellers of products that seem to be way lower priced than others online or bricks and mortar stores can cost you more in the long run! 

  1. No warrantees- despite what they may say- if they are violating IMAP policies then there is a better than good chance they cannot offer manufacturer warrantees.

2. Companies simply cannot assume liability for these unknowns.

3. Quality control may be jeopardized and  can include product handling guidelines,                       packaging requirements, or client satisfaction priorities.

4.Failure to provide receipts or other documentation to show that the products were                   purchased from authorized sellers can prevent consumers from getting a refund.

5. When buying from an unauthorized seller, consumers must be aware that the product               they ultimately receive may not be the product they had intended to purchase.

 And another question should be asked- Could the internet, whose transparency was supposed to empower consumers, be doing the opposite?

Have you ever shopped for airline tickets over the course of 48 hours and realized the pricing was changing for the worse- and not because the pricing from the airline had actually gone up- but more so because you were being “watched” and the algorithms caught you.

Guru Hariharan, an Amazon alum who started Boomerang Commerce says these sorts of price experiments have become a routine part of finding that right price—and refinding it, because the right price can change by the day or even by the hour.

More on online pricing variances

And what about the deceptive pricing many online vendors use to manipulate consumer perception?

In 2014, a California judge ordered Overstock to pay $6.8 million in civil penalties for such deceptive practices and false advertising. The past year has seen a wave of similar lawsuits over phony list prices, reports Bonnie Patten, the executive director of TruthinAdvertising.org.

But do people even care? We have been trained to ring the bell when we see sale or a discount. Are people content to be fooled into paying more if they can keep the belief that they’re paying less; that they are able to find special, unbeatable deals, only for them?

Good question. Programming of people seems to be alive and well judging from the political arena. Why not in online sales too? It is worrisome people make decisions based on perceived reality and question little.

Buying from local retail can actually save you money at the same time supporting your community

I am tired of the myths- we are a real shop with real people. We support other local businesses and 70 percent of the dollars you spend stay in our community! That is something that should make a difference to people. And further, small companies WANT your business and will work for hard for it and even harder to keep it.

We have our own online e-commerce site representing the best of our shop

It is a work in progress but did you know even our online shop is comparatively priced to other online vendors?? And our phone is right there- you encounter a problem- you can call us. A 20 year veteran of business as opposed to some company that may or may not care about service after  a sale.

Do not buy into the hype and advertising of these big box retailers or obscure online vendors- they have to pay for all that advertising somehow right?

 Give a small business the opportunity- you will be glad you did.

More reading:

Are online prices cheaper?

More about MAP and IMAP

XOXOXO- Cheryl

Comments 4

  1. I am so, so, so glad you wrote this post, Cheryl!

    I love how you’ve actually shown people how your prices are LESS than they would pay for the same product, online, while also explaining to them how supporting a local shop supports their local community.

    This is a major win in my book and I hope this post is seen far and wide!

    1. Post
      Author
    1. Post
      Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *