Shopping has changed considering since the time that I was growing up. Yesterday, I was at Office Depot and I saw the same CyberAcoustics AC-401 theadphones hat I have been using for the past 4 years. I always buy the same one because they have worked so well. My ears have not changed a lot in the past 4 years, and it is not surprising that my headphones has not changed either.
The last time that I bought a bunch was when Gateway was still in the accessories business. I think that I was able to purchase them for $7.99 a pair of its predessor AC-201’s with no sales tax and the shipping costs spread over multiple pairs. Today, they were selling the AC-401’s on ebay for $7.99 plus $6 in shipping. For practically every semi-durable item that is standardized, I check Amazon, I check ebay, maybe I check Bing.com, I do nearly the same checkdown progression in terms of purchasing.
Do I need it immediately? Can it want till I get home and buy it on Amazon or ebay? Sometimes I check a couple of price comparison sites, but usually Amazon, ebay and may one two more sites does the trick. On this day, I will get my headphones for about $13.99 including shippng per headset, instead of the $16.99 plus another 11% to in sales tax. I won’t have the satisfaction of taking the product home, but then I am saving a whopping 25%. When you think about all the small transactions over the course of a year, shopping has changed dramatically.
In the old days, I used to look at a catalog by Consumer Distributing or a newspaper by Sears or some different department store. I used to think about constantly, and then run down to the store to have another look. All of this increased the search cost dramatically. I now just do my progression and my instincts are so honed that I can get everything done in less than 10 minutes, thanks to one click and Paypal. The supply curve has definitely shifted out, and I am much happier for it. Sometimes the savings is much more dramatic, but for the most part 25% savings is about right, and I do it over and over again with my Amazon Prime account.