We are well into the craziness of the Christmas season. As for me, my fingers are doing the walking this year and I’m doing my shopping online. Don’t worry about me. I’m not a compulsive shopper, as this column might seem to indicate. I have short periods of addiction and then periods of sanity in between. Thank goodness for computers as I’m just not into mall walking any more.
I don’t know about you, but I’m more of a Cyber Monday kind of person than a Black Friday sort. Camping out in the cold and getting mobbed is not worth the trouble in my book, even if I miss out on some bargains that I probably don’t need anyhow. You can always find it online if you don’t mind shopping on the seat of your pants in front of a computer.
My cyber shopping began years ago when I found Amazon and could order any book I wanted and have it in my mailbox within a few days. I bought a lot of books back in the day. Then my shopping expanded to include video tapes and the Amazon inventory expanded until they had it all. I wanted it all and kept on shopping on the seat of my pants.
Then I discovered eBay. I stayed up nights waiting for listings to close so I could get the final bid. I couldn’t quit buying, even though the quality was sometimes iffy. How much can you actually tell much about an item from a picture? But I couldn’t resist and continued shopping on the seat of my pants.
You would think I would learn, wouldn’t you? Forget it, a cyber-shopper never learns. I found more online stores that I liked, mainly through trial and error. Lands’ End had turtleneck tops with extra-long sleeves. Before that, I could never get sleeves that were long enough, a very good reason to continue shopping on the seat of my pants.
Once you buy from an online store, they give your address to other places and you begin to get temptations from cyber-sellers everywhere. Most junk mail goes straight to the trash, but a few emails were looked at first. Before I realized it, I was compulsively shopping and had crashed-landed in women’s clothing on the seat of my pants.
I discovered Shoebuy.com. I love shoes. At first I only ordered brands that I knew. Tell me, what could possibly be more unlikely to fit than shoes? But they know about people’s reluctance and give free shipping and free returns. Who could resist that? What could possibly go wrong? Nothing – unless you try to return the same pair of shoes more than once, and the free postage runs out. You find you don’t need shoes anyhow when what you are wearing out is not shoes but the seat of your pants.
My current addiction is Zulily. I saw the online ads for children’s clothing and I was not interested. But one day I clicked and that is the day I found Rising International Woman, colorful and different clothes and purses handmade by women in Nepal. Buying these products helps women in poverty earn money. Who could argue with that? There was a one little catch — no returns.
The boxes started arriving. The mailman hated me. He should love me, though; I’m giving him job security. A few more shopaholics like me, and he can retire early. I love online shopping — no walking till my feet hurt, no crowds, no wasting my time looking for things I can’t find. And it’s easy to shop from your own home, in front of the computer on the seat of your pants.
The downside, you say? Well, I do spend a lot of time at the various postal services returning clothes that do not fit. But things work out often enough. I have not been to a shopping mall in ages, or any other brick and mortar store other than for groceries, now available online too.
By the time the pandemic came along and everyone was doing it, I was a seasoned pro. Why would I go out to shop when the largest mall in the world is sitting on my desk and I can buy anything — shopping on the seat of my pants.
Copyright 2013 Sheila Moss