Welcome to the new shopping

Lately, I can't find stuff I want to buy in stores. It isn't there. Lately, for the past year or so, I am buying more and more of the things I want, and need, online.

Even Walmart does not have my desired stuff in stock in their store, even though they list it for sale on their site. I have had to buy the shoes I want online, even though they are replacements for the same exact shoes I bought a couple of months ago - at Walmart. And, no, I am not a weird shoe size, I am a size 8. And, worse, when I decided to buy yet another pair a few months after that, no one online or in stores - anywhere in the world - had them. These shoes fit me well and I liked them a lot. These shoes are now extinct.

Underwear? You would think that in Los Angeles, department stores would carry the Jockey men's underwear I wanted. NOT. I went to 3-4 department stores and ended up buying the desired Jockey sport microfiber boxer briefs online. And, no, I am not a weird size, I wear a Large.

Yes, besides patterned ones, I got plain colors too: black, green. I now have 8 pairs, all purchased online. Because I could not find them in my local stores.

I needed a new pair of scissors, to clip and snip my sideburns. Simple 5-inch scissors. Local stores did not have what I wanted. I had to buy them on amazon.

Recently, I needed to buy some more vitamin C. I like the GNC brand, 500 mg, chewable, mixed fruit, 90 tablets. I have been taking them for years.
I drove to my local GNC store to get another 90 tablet bottle. They didn't have any. I said, "You make the darn things, how can you not have any?" The clerk shrugged and said he didn't know. I ended up buying them online - on ebay. They arrived with many broken tablets, due no doubt to rough shipping.

My new teapot. Not.
And this week I wished to buy a replacement tea kettle, as my 10-year-old tea kettle was getting corroded on the inside bottom. Time to buy a new tea kettle. No problem, right? Wrong! I looked up my beloved tea kettle online and saw that amazon sold it. For $12.49. Good. I put the tea kettle in my amazon shopping cart and got ready to pay for it and have it shipped. I then noticed that it said shipping time was 1-2 months. MONTHS? WTF? I called amazon to report the error. They looked into it and said the 1-2 months shipping time was correct. Apparently, they were out of stock at the moment - but still selling it! I told amazon that doing so was stupid and I deleted the item from my shopping cart, frustrated and annoyed. I then looked online again and, voila, Target had it in stock. At the same price. And they had it in stock, at the store. I drove the 5 miles to one of my 2 local Target stores. I tried to find the tea kettle and walked the entire store trying to locate it. Finally, I asked an employee and he took me over to the mini-section of tea kettles, buried among the coffee makers. I looked closely and could not find my new tea kettle. It was not on the shelf. They had a cheaper tinier one but I did not want that one. Target did not have any of my tea kettles in stock, even though their website said they did. The employee suggested I order it online via Target.com. I told him that I looked into that and saw that I could not order it online without first signing up for a Target account -- and being FORCED to receive their email offers and promotions. No thanks, Target, go F yourself! I walked out of the store, annoyed. I drove home and ate lunch. Later, I decided to try the other Target store and see if they had my tea kettle in stock, ready for me to drive there and buy it. Their website said there was 1 left, in stock, at that store. I jumped in the car and drove over to the second Target store, happy to be replacing my wonderful teapot with an exact replacement. I went into the store and looked around for the "coffee machine" section. I couldn't find it. I walked the entire store (the second one that day) and finally asked an employee where the tea kettles were. He took me over to the well hidden tiny section. There was, once again, an empty space on the shelf where my tea kettle should have been! I was outraged! Why the F did the Target website show it in stock, in the store, in TWO stores, if it wasn't available, wasn't there??? After spending hours driving to, and walking through, 2 Target stores, I had no new teapot! Welcome to online shopping and picking your item up at the store.

The Acer Ferrari laptop $3,000

And, worst of all, when I needed to buy a new laptop, with maybe the exception of the Apple Store, the in-store selection sucked. Very few laptops are on display in electronic stores anymore, even here in the second largest city in the US!

I don't know about you but I need to put my hands on a laptop, on the keyboard, I need to SEE the actual screen resolution, I need to HEAR the speakers. You can buy hundreds of brands of laptops online, but very few are on display in a store, where you can physically touch the product and decide if it looks and feels great, looks and feels good, or it totally sucks. If I'm going to spend upwards of $1,000 (or more), I want to test drive the f-ing thing. In real life! And no, I don't want to order a laptop online only to have to return it and maybe do that 5 different times - trying to find a laptop I will be reasonably happy with.

Based on all the above, am I a happy shopper? What do you think?

Welcome to the new consumer economy. Where you can no longer find what you want in a brick-and-mortar store. Welcome to the new consumer economy, where you have to buy your stuff online, and wait days or maybe weeks to receive it. Or go back to the store to pick it up after they ship it there (with the horrific traffic in L.A. that can take 2 hours). When I want to buy something, and I want/need to use it that day, or try it on, buying online does not work! Yes, Amazon Prime has same-day delivery (on some items) but I am not a Prime member and would rather not become one.

More and more, I am buying the stuff I want, and need, online (if possible). Because much of the stuff I want, and need, is not available in physical stores.

Welcome to the new consumer economy. Welcome to sitting on your ass and shopping with your cell phone. Now, you'll have to excuse me, I am going to take myself to the supermarket. Yes, I know they'll deliver but, as a old-school human, I want to be around some other humans.