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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Shopping the Internet place



Living way out in the woods, yet being able to buy things on-line, is a modern miracle. From the comfort of one's home it's possible to order any number of products. Lately I've caught myself not even thinking of where the stuff I order comes from. It's like “The Internet” is all one place, as if Cyberspace has a physical address. It's surprising how easy it is to forget that when everything comes to my mailbox or from the UPS truck.

Once in a while there's something that jars me into realizing how far some of these things come. Recently I ordered a manual coffee grinder. It should be good on the boat as its grinder parts are ceramic instead of iron that would rust. The package arrived from Amazon in good shape. When I opened it up, most of the manual was in Japanese. The English portion read like a poor Google translation. (maybe that's what it was)

Then there's the company that I buy epoxy from. I used to be surprised at how fast they could fill my orders. It wasn't until I'd ordered from them a few times when I realized the company is located in my state. No wonder shipping time was so short.

That's the thing about the Internet. On-line, it doesn't much matter where a company is located. International shipping is still cheap enough that products can compete with locally produced items.

I shop local when I can. This time of the year most of food budget is spent locally. Local companies get my business even if they are few dollars more. However, living in a rural area limits choices. On-line shopping has made the whole world easier than shopping local.

Of course, anything that upsets International shipping: war, higher fuel costs, or trade disputes, could suddenly make local shopping the only option. Should that happen, only locally produced items would be available,and there are fewer and fewer of them. Even things that are produced locally are made with parts shipped from all over the world.

Shopping “The Internet” is a modern marvel, but we forget how fragile it really is.

-Sixbears

6 comments:

  1. And, unfortunately, the big box stores keep putting the local small stores out of business. But I do love Amazon.

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    1. When Walmart came into my area it did not close and local businesses -they had already closed on their own years before. Still don't like to have to do business with them.

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  2. Like you, I shop locally when I can, but that isn't always possible. Small businesses just can't afford to keep the inventory that they used to keep.

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    1. The just in time model means they are out of stock fairly often. Sometimes buying local means they do the ordering for you.

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  3. I get my books, reloading supplies, most of my ammunition, and a lot of equipment on line. Lately my state, Ga, started forcing me to pay sales tax for the Amazon products, which reeks. Still, the selection of anything except groceries in my town is slim to none, so the internet is a huge boon.

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    1. No sales tax in NH, so that's a great thing. There's still a push to have a Federal sales tax, and that wouldn't be good.

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