Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Virtually shopping

I have never really been a big user of eBay or bought much off the internet. I don't have a paypal account. There - I admitted it. Call me backwards (or a grandpa). Strangely though, the so called "explosion" in internet sales which was a much touted affair just over a decade ago has only been represented by a relatively small level of total sales.

One thing that the internet has provided is the ability for research. I think a lot of people are becoming more savvy in their purchases and knowledge of products (rather than get fed some misinformation by some sales people).
However, what is swaying me in the direction of using the internet as shop front is the price discovery and how absolutely outrageous some of the prices we are being charged for goods.

When I was shopping for my camera and accessories, I found that the RRP and even discounted prices here were much higher than online prices were (ok - they were grey imports). I applaud some distributors who are willing to match the grey importers' price, which I think is wonderful news for consumers.

The internet allows retails to cross geographic borders and keeps retailers honest in terms of the pricing and margins being applied.
Sure, Australia being somewhat more remote means it may cost a bit for freight and labour, but some of the pricing discrepancies are quite large. But coupled with being in a high tax environment, it definitely makes me think twice about handing over some of my hard earned dosh.

I also agree that the some goods rely on the shopping experience more than others (e.g clothing), and some goods are just not so suitable for internet purchases (e.g fresh food). Some high value and highly personal goods definitely are about the shopping experience (e.g. leather goods, watches). However, for largely homogenous products, I am happy to look for alternatives.
I am considering some shirts/shoe purchases online now - as impossible as it seemed a few years ago. Anything for a good deal, right?....

Monday, 5 July 2010

Notepad scribbles #20100705

Wow. What a week in football! My take on the two games I watched were:
a) Brazil vs Netherlands - This was definitely a game of two halves. I definitely felt that Brasil had a dominant opening half, before the Netherlands gathered pace and more importantly, did not lose their composure, even while they were down. The sheer determination of the Dutch was inspiring. The way that some Brazilian players lashed out (or stamped on) the Dutch just was not the beautiful game we all love.
b) Germany vs Argentina - Have to really think about backing the Germans following yet another demolition of a quality side in Argentina. However, the Argentinian back three were stretched and masterly exposed (heck they were troubled by Greece in the group stages, so I never thought that they would hold up well against a side which could finish). The German efficiency meant that Argentina could barely manage a shot on goal behind the back four. Interesting that the last team that Australia lost to in both the 2006 and 1974 World Cups were the eventual winners.....who knows what will happen with this German side?

In other news, the World Press Photo exhibition is showing at the State Library. The photos were powerful in their delivery of happenings in the world. The collection of photos were such a cocktail of emotions which really captured the moments and sad truths of events. The photographers were truly talented - in some cases risking their lives in the hopes of capturing 'that' moment. This was my first time going to this event, but will definitely try and see this next year.