I Buy Only Local On Amazon.!!!.....

by roy mackey

Aug 23, 2019

     Ok.... Ok.... Not nescissarily "MY Local" but hey it is still somebodys local!!! The reason I do this is because online knows how to service the customer... Ok not all online stores of course but the good ones do. They make the buying experience a breeze.

     A lot of people these days are blaming online shopping for killing local business. This is absolutely crazy. Online shopping did not kill local business simply because it didn't have to!!! Local business started cutting it's own throat well before online even got a toe hold on the market. It all began the day they hired those accountants who were armed with "inventory management software".  

     You see somewhere along the line accountants started thinking they could actually run business's better than anyone. Now this was not always because they were stupid, though likely the case more than anything, it's just that they spent too much time staring at themselves in the mirror. They fell in love with their ability to add up numbers. Numbers told them everything. What was selling and what was not. Then their simple minded logic decided that if something wasn't selling enough then no sense stocking it just for the odd customer. This would lower their overhead costs.

     Now this all looked great on paper but missed one picky little detail..., the customer. Yes the customer..., that creepy little annoyance that brick and mortar businesses have to deal with.

     Now before accountants got so anamoured with themselves customer service was king. Store owners knew that and went out of their way to keep the customer happy. After all the customer carried the wallet. Their business thrived and expanded. In fact they got so big that they had to hire accountants to just keep up with the paper work. This happened to a lot of companies in the eighties and nineties. Good times were rolling.

     The trouble came along when accountants sitting in their dark little number crunching caves started to think that they could think. Once this happened they started convincing the owner that they could make them even more money by running the business with their new inventory management concepts. The owner took the bait and for the first bit it all looked great. Overhead costs went down and profits started to go up.

     The accountants had turned customer service for big profits into "milking the customer for big profits. The goal was keeping the investors fed well. Of course this has started to really back fire in a huge way. Now just because accountants are stupid it does not mean that customers are. So now you see them heading to online shopping in droves.

     For example here is how accountants started "milking" the customer for profits. A customer would have a two dollar seal go in their bathroom taps. Not a big deal as the seals were twenty years old. They figured they could fix it themselves so rushed over to hopeless depot.... "I am sorry sir but we did not sell enough of those two dollar seals to warrant stocking them any more". The only thing we now sell is the whole bathroom kit for $1500. "it's what everyone is doing these days..." The customer then frustrated but thinking he has no choice buys the kit. Two years later the seal in that tap already starts leaking so he heads back to get a new seal for his newer taps. "I am sorry sir..., we don't stock parts for those taps any more as they have a new model now. Most just people buy the whole kit..., for $1800...." Now by this time the customer is furious! The store has cornered them into buying $3200. worth of cheap junk when all he needed was a coupla two dollar seals.

     A little secret here for those of you who are tired of your business. Just start pissing off your customers a bit at a time. Eventually they won't come around bothering you any more.

    Now eventually more and more customers get fed up and start thinking about options. Which was perfect timing as online shopping was just breaking out of the gate. Now because online shopping was so new a lot of people were suspicious. Thus online businesses really had to think about the customer as far as their fears, needs and wants etc to lure them in. As online stores started to deal with these issues more and more customers became more and more comfortable with the ease and convenience of shopping online.

     Now at the same time this meant shipping companies started to also take off. Luckily for them they too were customer focused ....ok... Not counting UPS... thus they also really got into making their shipping experience great.  

     At the same time back at the B&M places accountants were doing the exact opposite. They figured out things like the city charges people for parking so why shouldn't they get some return on their parking lot. Now a lot of places I have to pay in order to shop there.

     I went to a downtown mall to grab a deal at "The Buy"...I mean "The Bay".... I got it for ten bucks!!! That was half price...., of course that was before I factored in the twenty some dollars I had to pay for parking. Oh and they didn't have my exact size in stock so it was either wait three weeks for more stock and then take another trip down there along with more parking fees or take the next size up. So it doesn't really fit right and was not the color I wanted thus will likely never wear it.... All for only ten dollars more than the original store price was before the sale!!!

     Now because B&M stores are getting desperate they have decided to teach their store staff to be extremely friendly. Thinking that this has something to do with service. When in truth having what they need and people actually trained to help them figure out what they need is what real service is. You see when I go to hopeless depot I am not looking for friendly friends. As head of the anti-social committee here at my building I could care less. Hell I would rather be at home watching youtube and eating pizza. I am only there because I have no choice.  

     This is why I have decided to only "buy local" on Amazon and other online businesses first. Most offer a hugely better shopping experience that dwarfs the brick and mortar places. The savings are incredible if you factor in your time. Not to mention I can do most of my shopping at two am if I want. This is all just evolution in action.

     Now does this mean all real stores are dead. Not really but highly likely. At the same time if B&M stores showed some ambition they would fire their accountants... Or at least lock them back in cages and start running their business like they should! If they did they would notice a huge change. Will they? Don't hold your breath as most businesses have been hypnotized into believing their accountants. Yet the real truth is accountants only know numbers and don't have even the slightest clue about running a businesses.

     You see as much as I am a fan of shopping online I do enjoy the real world. It is just the fact I don't have the patience to deal with the absolutely mind boggling irritating experience that most stores offer these days.  
     Now I admit my favorite place to pick on regarding this subject is hopeless depot. They have perfected the art of creating an annoying customer experience. Go there sometime and try to by a decent squirt bottle. Good luck!!!

     You see accountants act like they know what a squirt bottle is. So they order the one that makes the most profit thinking they are all the same anyway. That is why the only one they sell... Or at least used to for years... Was this extremely annoying top heavy nightmare. Unless it was totally full it would tip over if you farted at it. I found out the hard way when it happened to me! A fly bumped into it when I was not there. Of course it tipped over and some of the liquid I had in it leaked onto my steel floor. In the short time I was gone the... Uh.... Liquid... ate a hole through my plate steel floor and deep into the cement below.

     Now if the accountants actually did have any smarts they would discuss things like this with people who have actually used one and know what a good one is. This experience was not only irritating at the store as I knew right off it was a lousy design but it was all they had so I took that irritation home with me. Sure enough that irritating reminder of hopless depot haunted me until I finally just threw it out.  

     Another thing... Have you ever been there and not had to tolerate that bone jarring noise from their stupid theft detectors? Happens every time I am there. I figure anything that stupid has to be on done on purpose. Likely to put everyone in the store on edge so they don't steal something. Of course they can never seem to find the switch to shut it off.

     To me it is always a scary experience. What if I accidentally dropped something in my pocket when I put my pen back  not thinking and then walked through that detector? My life would be ruined with shoplifting charges. Not that hard to do if you have handfuls of small stuff. Especially when you are distracted by the irritation of having to shop there out of desperation in the first place.  

     Oh and then there is their receipts. This one is a real pet peeve of mine and a ton of other peoples also. How do I know that? Well I phoned to complain once. The "robot" that answered just laughed when I vented my story saying they get hundreds of customers phoning in with the same complaint!!! That was eight years ago and if anything their receipts are now worse. Why????, because you can't tell accountants how to run a business which is why they don't know how to run a business.

    You see their receipt is designed solely for their accountants. Everything is mirco fine print. It is all in code so you can never tell what the hell it is you bought? Hmmm EL tec 2200.... Was that paint or gardening supplies??? The date is squeezed into a long line of other useless numbers also in fine print. Oh and 6/9/2019 is that June 9th or Sept 6th? If they backed off some of the advertising ink on the bottom three quarters of the receipt and used that to spell Sept or June it would make a huge difference to the customer who actually needed the receipt and the info on it. The total is also hard to see. Not to mention you bought only one thing and the receipt is ten inches long!!! Why because three quarters of it is advertising. All trying to tempt you into more irritation by checking out their website for a zero chance of winning a hundred dollars. Sure if someone is broke enough they will givita shot but if they are broke not likely it will really lead to that many more sales anyway. Yet to the paying customer who really needs those receipts it is just more "hopeless" irritation, especially at tax time!!!!

     Now when I "buy local" through amazon, ebay, or other places like jpcycles etc the service is often incredible. The people, if I am talking to them, really know what they are talking about and after I have paid for it a few days later a "butler" from fedex or purolater etc delivers right to my door. No driving all over town because an inventory management software program said they had stock.

     I also get a nice big clear receipt for my purchase. All the info I need is easy to find based on our instinctual perspective of what a receipt should be like. Not to mention is one that is not easily lost.

     At the same time I admit there are a lot of things that I would far rather just run down and grab... If they had it in stock that is. Sure I could phone... Stay on hold for an hour and finally get an answer but waiting for an hour is crazy. Hell it is only ten blocks away! Here in Vancouver  I can drive there in almost the same time.

     Now there is the new "Guilt Campaign" called "Buy Local" that has oozed out from the cracks. Basically it is desperation on the part of lazy assed brick and motar places who are too cheap or lazy to actually keep up with the times. I myself have no qualms  about buying someone else's "local" because in doing this my dollar votes for service and quality. It helps the good places grow and the bad places die.   

     Now will online shopping always be great? No... I predict it will get way better over the next few years. Eventually though more and more accountants will infect the online arena and once again customer service will start to plummet. For now though it is a Amazoning PRIME time to enjoy it while it lasts!!!