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    • JimmyTheWig
    • By JimmyTheWig 3rd Sep 10, 11:16 AM
    • 11,861 Posts
    • 11,398 Thanks
    JimmyTheWig
    • #2
    • 3rd Sep 10, 11:16 AM
    • #2
    • 3rd Sep 10, 11:16 AM
    Depends on the cost of shipping.
    • nomoneytoday
    • By nomoneytoday 3rd Sep 10, 11:44 AM
    • 4,764 Posts
    • 2,881 Thanks
    nomoneytoday
    • #3
    • 3rd Sep 10, 11:44 AM
    • #3
    • 3rd Sep 10, 11:44 AM
    If no one buys in store then they will close many branches, leading to local unemployment
    • groovygav
    • By groovygav 3rd Sep 10, 12:31 PM
    • 91 Posts
    • 55 Thanks
    groovygav
    • #4
    • 3rd Sep 10, 12:31 PM
    • #4
    • 3rd Sep 10, 12:31 PM
    If no one buys in store then they will close many branches, leading to local unemployment
    Originally posted by nomoneytoday
    That was my first thought too. But for the kind of goods Martin is specifically talking about, like clothes and furniture, I think the story may be different. Stores that choose to remain open on high streets and in shopping centres may get a competitive advantage over those that decide to switch to a purely online sales experience.

    Of course if the online-only stores are significantly cheaper they could take advantage of the bricks-and-mortar ones acting as a showroom for them too. But the whole story is probably a very complex one, I can think of a whole bunch of swings and roundabouts that I just don't have time to describe fully here.

    I think the future of retail is looking very interesting. There have always been winners and losers, though, and this shopping revolution / evolution will just be a continuation of that constant truth.
    • maybird
    • By maybird 3rd Sep 10, 1:27 PM
    • 27 Posts
    • 68 Thanks
    maybird
    • #5
    • 3rd Sep 10, 1:27 PM
    • #5
    • 3rd Sep 10, 1:27 PM
    I could have bought my new washing machine cheaper online. Instead I bought it from the nice man from the local shop who had recommended the model as very reliable (of course I double checked the recommendation on online review sites!), who has been out free of charge to look at my other washing machine over the years, who delivered my new washing machine free, installed it, gave me a user demonstration, took my old one away and whose shop is in my town and whose phone number for repairs and advice is in the phone book.
    After so many negative experiences (when goods aren't right, either initially or after a few months) with the big retailers and the online box shifters, I prefer to pay the premium for a relationship with a real person who gives a damn. It's also often moneysaving in the long run as you get things done for free without hassle for being a 'good customer'. Having said that, I treat every purchasing decision on a 'case by case' basis. Books etc I tend to get online after having been to the shop to have a comfortable, 'tactile' browse.
    I'm a moneysaver - but cheap is not always better in the bigger picture.
    Waddle you do eh?
    • catflea
    • By catflea 3rd Sep 10, 1:54 PM
    • 6,448 Posts
    • 16,101 Thanks
    catflea
    • #6
    • 3rd Sep 10, 1:54 PM
    • #6
    • 3rd Sep 10, 1:54 PM
    The other thing is the "need it now" moments. Which tends to be all the ruddy time with me
    Proud of who, and what, I am.
    • lewisa
    • By lewisa 3rd Sep 10, 2:03 PM
    • 292 Posts
    • 395 Thanks
    lewisa
    • #7
    • 3rd Sep 10, 2:03 PM
    • #7
    • 3rd Sep 10, 2:03 PM
    I could have bought my new washing machine cheaper online. Instead I bought it from the nice man from the local shop who had recommended the model as very reliable ....
    Originally posted by maybird

    That sort of thing happens to small on-line companies who are faced with the compatition of bigger online players.

    Customer phones you, asks lots of questions about a product, then says 'Amazon are £10 cheaper can you match them?

    They generally get told... "No, call Amazon and ask them the questions next time, oh yeah, you cant call them can you. Buy it from Amazon and good luck when you need help in the future, bye."
  • gorky5
    • #8
    • 3rd Sep 10, 2:29 PM
    • #8
    • 3rd Sep 10, 2:29 PM
    I have to wonder how you'd feel if you or a family member ran a small bricks-and-mortar shop, gave assistance, advice and a friendly smile to a potential customer, only to lose the sale when they knew they could save a few quid online. It's not a way I prefer to treat people, so if I'm browsing for something in a shop and like it, I'll normally buy it there and reward good service (or pass if the service is shoddy).

    Not with everything, however - I wouldn't mind too much if high street CD/DVD shops went out of business, for example, as I can try their products online before I buy it anywhere - all they're selling are digital reproductions of a source recording, and you can get that from anywhere. But what if bookshops all went out of business, for example? You'd have to take chances on their tactile charm, not knowing whether the content or font or paper quality was what you were expecting or hoping for. You'd have to rely on product descriptions on websites, and we all know how scant they can be.

    Let me put it another way. Would you test drive a vehicle or try out a musical instrument, only to buy a different one of the same model online? Because the BMW, saxophone or guitar you'll end up with will often be completely different from the one you had a go on previously. There's variation in all things, and it pays (yes, pays) to know just what you're getting.

    Martin wrote: "As we’ve nearly a complete complement of bricks and clicks stores (i.e. those which have both a high street and online presence), with the likes of Gap and Banana Republic following suit, I suspect as more people learn their rights this will become the age of the Robo-shopper, leaving some high street stores more like showrooms than actual transaction destinations."

    Yes, if all you want in your town and cities are chain stores. Independent shops can make a welcome change from these. Do you really want homogeneity right across the country? Because that's exactly what you'll get if you carry on browsing in-store and buying online. Plus, it costs a lot of money to rent a high street premises. If these are loss-making it'll only be a matter of time before they become boarded up. I realise what this site's all about, but sometimes you have to see the bigger picture rather than just saving the odd pound here and there.
    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 3rd Sep 10, 3:51 PM
    • 8,115 Posts
    • 42,285 Thanks
    MSE Martin
    • #9
    • 3rd Sep 10, 3:51 PM
    • #9
    • 3rd Sep 10, 3:51 PM
    I have to wonder how you'd feel if you or a family member ran a small bricks-and-mortar shop, gave assistance, advice and a friendly smile to a potential customer, only to lose the sale when they knew they could save a few quid online. It's not a way I prefer to treat people, so if I'm browsing for something in a shop and like it, I'll normally buy it there and reward good service (or pass if the service is shoddy).

    Not with everything, however - I wouldn't mind too much if high street CD/DVD shops went out of business, for example, as I can try their products online before I buy it anywhere - all they're selling are digital reproductions of a source recording, and you can get that from anywhere. But what if bookshops all went out of business, for example? You'd have to take chances on their tactile charm, not knowing whether the content or font or paper quality was what you were expecting or hoping for. You'd have to rely on product descriptions on websites, and we all know how scant they can be.

    Let me put it another way. Would you test drive a vehicle or try out a musical instrument, only to buy a different one of the same model online? Because the BMW, saxophone or guitar you'll end up with will often be completely different from the one you had a go on previously. There's variation in all things, and it pays (yes, pays) to know just what you're getting.

    Martin wrote: "As we’ve nearly a complete complement of bricks and clicks stores (i.e. those which have both a high street and online presence), with the likes of Gap and Banana Republic following suit, I suspect as more people learn their rights this will become the age of the Robo-shopper, leaving some high street stores more like showrooms than actual transaction destinations."

    Yes, if all you want in your town and cities are chain stores. Independent shops can make a welcome change from these. Do you really want homogeneity right across the country? Because that's exactly what you'll get if you carry on browsing in-store and buying online. Plus, it costs a lot of money to rent a high street premises. If these are loss-making it'll only be a matter of time before they become boarded up. I realise what this site's all about, but sometimes you have to see the bigger picture rather than just saving the odd pound here and there.
    Originally posted by gorky5

    Im not quite sure I follow the logic.

    If you're buying from an independent store with different stock and service you can't Robo it anyway. The entire premise of this blog is about bricks and clicks stores.

    If what you're saying is that if the high street stores become primarily show rooms that'll have an impact on other stores - then I accept it to an extent.

    Yet frankly people need to accept interenet shopping is here and is popular. I don't see it killing the high street any more than TV killed radio, or the web killed newspapers. It will have an effect and the Robo shopper is an element of that - consumer demand and choice will drive this.
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.

    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.

    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
    • JimmyTheWig
    • By JimmyTheWig 3rd Sep 10, 3:57 PM
    • 11,861 Posts
    • 11,398 Thanks
    JimmyTheWig
    consumer demand and choice will drive this.
    Originally posted by MSE Martin
    But what is good for the individual (which drives consumer choice) isn't always good for the whole. Not a lot you can do about it, but I still think it's a point worth making.
    • mememememe
    • By mememememe 3rd Sep 10, 5:14 PM
    • 59 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    mememememe
    Beware:- the Distance Selling Regulations don't normally apply if you look at the goods in a shop but then buy the same goods from the same retailer online. See paragraph 2.13, page 7 of http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/business_leaflets/general/oft698.pdf
  • mmillie
    May not apply to furniture
    You should also beware of this in particular for furniture. The law says that the 7 day returns policy doesn't apply to "the supply of goods made to the consumerís own specification such as custom-made blinds or curtains.". Many pieces of furniture, such as a new sofa, is specifically built in your chosen colour. The 7 day returns policy therefore might not apply under such circumstances. Always check the web site policy before ordering. Even if it is debatable whether or not it is custom, who wants to get in to that kind of argument if it can be avoided?

    Martin
    • Churchmouse
    • By Churchmouse 5th Sep 10, 1:23 AM
    • 2,974 Posts
    • 20,708 Thanks
    Churchmouse
    Im not quite sure I follow the logic.

    If you're buying from an independent store with different stock and service you can't Robo it anyway. The entire premise of this blog is about bricks and clicks stores.

    If what you're saying is that if the high street stores become primarily show rooms that'll have an impact on other stores - then I accept it to an extent.

    Yet frankly people need to accept interenet shopping is here and is popular. I don't see it killing the high street any more than TV killed radio, or the web killed newspapers. It will have an effect and the Robo shopper is an element of that - consumer demand and choice will drive this.
    Originally posted by MSE Martin
    The point surely is that if people keep using real life stores to check out washing machines, TVs etc, then go home to order the goods online, then eventually the high street locations will disappear. At which point you'll have no locations to actually see the *actual* goods you're interested in ordering online. To imagine otherwise is truly to be an ostrich. Just don't complain when you can't ever see or touch goods before you order them. Said as someone who orders online, but realises she is killing the Golden Goose
    You never get a second chance to make a first impression.
    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 6th Sep 10, 1:42 PM
    • 8,115 Posts
    • 42,285 Thanks
    MSE Martin
    The point surely is that if people keep using real life stores to check out washing machines, TVs etc, then go home to order the goods online, then eventually the high street locations will disappear. At which point you'll have no locations to actually see the *actual* goods you're interested in ordering online. To imagine otherwise is truly to be an ostrich. Just don't complain when you can't ever see or touch goods before you order them. Said as someone who orders online, but realises she is killing the Golden Goose
    Originally posted by Churchmouse

    Point taken - yet the counter business logic is those stores that are bricks and clicks have a competitive advantage over just online providers - so they will keep the high street stores as transactional showrooms in the long run (or even give equivalent rights to online in their ts & cs for those who transact instore)
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.

    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.

    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
    • Percy1983
    • By Percy1983 6th Sep 10, 3:30 PM
    • 4,990 Posts
    • 7,824 Thanks
    Percy1983
    I did take a similar view when buying a new TV, I did read reviews and figured a few models that seemed to fit the bill. I then went my local comet and messed with said TV's, then went home and ordered form another website which was £200 cheaper.

    As others have mentioned products which are all the same (DVD's, games etc) make no difference where I buy from, cheapest wins which usually points to the online only companies.

    I do find it amusing to go in a HMV store and then go on there website and find everything is cheaper + cashback.
    • Flickering Ember
    • By Flickering Ember 7th Sep 10, 9:57 AM
    • 11,623 Posts
    • 128,877 Thanks
    Flickering Ember
    Beware:- the Distance Selling Regulations don't normally apply if you look at the goods in a shop but then buy the same goods from the same retailer online. See paragraph 2.13, page 7 of http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/business_leaflets/general/oft698.pdf
    Originally posted by mememememe
    Yes, but that's not the easiest thing to regulate. Are they going to ask us for a photo when we sign up to the site and then check it against CCTV?

    I haven't got a car so I buy heavy electricals online to get them delivered, as well as use cashback/points sites and/or voucher codes.

    Definitely a robo-shopper here as it makes my money go further.
    Flickering Embers grow higher and higher...I need a break and I wanna be a paperback writer!
  • bagpuss
    Have to say that I think it would help immensely if stores such as HMV offered the SAME prices in store as they do on line then I would be more likely to shop in store instead of online. I think that people do realise there are advantages to local independent stores and use them accordingly but at the end of the day it is going to come down to individual consumer choices. Personally I like to be able to research on line then go to the store to view and if as in the case of John Lewis I know I will get excellent customer service and great VFM then I will buy instore, think that perhaps what is needed here is a re think by a lot of stores as to which their policies are and that they need to perhaps step up and make certain that they can compete with the online guarantees and maybe prices too.

    Saying all of this if it had NOT been for the internet I would not have known about Richer Sounds either and therefore would not have gone to one of their stores where I was offered advice and great service, whether I purchased on line or from the store.
    • reluctantworkingmum
    • By reluctantworkingmum 7th Sep 10, 11:54 PM
    • 126 Posts
    • 115 Thanks
    reluctantworkingmum
    Beware:- the Distance Selling Regulations don't normally apply if you look at the goods in a shop but then buy the same goods from the same retailer online. See paragraph 2.13, page 7 of http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/business_leaflets/general/oft698.pdf
    Originally posted by mememememe
    how on earth would they know it was you unless you gave your name and address when you were looking round the shop?
    • reluctantworkingmum
    • By reluctantworkingmum 7th Sep 10, 11:57 PM
    • 126 Posts
    • 115 Thanks
    reluctantworkingmum
    being fair - if I have built up a relationship with a retailer... like the nice man who mends my old washing machine... I will usually buy from him because I trust him and like him! - even if it was a few quid more. BUT looking round a chain store with a bunch of half ignorant pushy salesmen who would try to sell you anything for their comission - doesnt make me feel at all guilty about going away and buying through their website!
    • musicmonkey1
    • By musicmonkey1 8th Sep 10, 7:50 AM
    • 33 Posts
    • 20 Thanks
    musicmonkey1
    Take this process to a logical conclusion and we will have shops where you cannot actually buy anything. You will be able to go in, look touch and feel the goods etc and then go home and buy them online. There will be a charge for access to these shops of course!

    What's the alternative? A big reduction in high street stores who can no longer afford the high costs associated with a bricks and mortar business and therefore move on line.

    The future is coming and we might not like it very much!
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