Are We Spoiled for Choice?
I spent the day in our apartment. The weather outside left a lot to be desired. I had a few things on my “To Do List” and so I devoted my hours to crossing a few things off. Among my tasks were sourcing several Christmas gifts online seeing as our weekend expedition had yielded very little. We thought a bit of online research might help to push matters along.
To be honest we’d actually found a few items on our list, yet we were totally shocked by the price of a few in particular. Not quite believing the prices in store, meant that we’d have to take a good look elsewhere. Normally I’d be up for looking through as many shops as it takes to find the right gift, but I’ve never lived in a city as big as this before (and the Christmas crowds will take some getting used to). So I turn to one of my favourite shopping centres.
The Internet. It’s an amazing thing. In the last few years online shops have multiplied by incredible numbers, with everyone wanting there share of the market. I’m a huge fan of the Internet Purchase. It’s easy to compare prices, and frequently the prices are lower. I also like the fact that I get a parcel delivered, and that’s always fun. It actually gets me thinking about the number of packages in the postal system. Were there this many before internet shopping?… I’m pretty sure NOT. From where I sit with my laptop, I have a good view of the street and there is always a postal vehicle of some kind. In the mornings when the post is delivered to our building, I can always expected to see the Post Person with a trolley (containing several parcels).
Internet shopping, has also shown us a whole world of products, that we might never have seen. For example, I could search for a jacket, and the results can turn up sites from several different countries. I can therefore look at what is available right now in Australia (rather useful for gifts for family and friends at home), and also what’s available in Canada (where I also have several friends) and obviously I can see what is available on my doorstep.
I love seeing what is out there, yet at the same time it can be frustrating. Some companies won’t deliver overseas for example. There have been countless times when I have searched for a particular item, found it, and then seen that it can’t be shipped to my location.
There are numerous sites which act like online department stores and these are brimming with goodies. And then just a simple google search can turn the Internet into one online superstore.
Then there is the non-Internet option. Just going out shopping it’s clear that we are spoiled for choice. Big department stores boast huge selections on everything. For example. I’ve asked for a black leather bag this year (as my current bag is millions of years old and is really starting to look it). There is certainly no lack of choice. Apparently, there is a little too much choice, as the Frog is somewhat bewildered by my request. What sort of bag? What size? What style? etc.
In our Saturday shopping expedition, I thought I’d offer some brief guidance, so we passed through the handbags in both Galleries Lafayette, and Printemps. I pointed out one or two, but seeing as the shopping trip wasn’t about me, we didn’t hinder too long. We could have quite easily passed the day just looking at bags in these two stores alone. They take up a good portion of the real estate on the ground floor in Galleries Lafayette, and they are on two levels in Printemps (divided into expensive, and less expensive).
Since the Frog has asked for more info/guidance, I passed a good portion of today actually looking for my own gift (online). I don’t mind. Don’t get me wrong… I HEART surprises, so I’m making a list of bags that I would find acceptable (this list has been emailed complete with links to the Frog) and he can select from the list (or not) and make an informed purchase (while it remains a nice surprise for me). After spending half the day looking at bags , even I feel overwhelmed at the task. I’ve certainly found bags I like, and I certainly would find more if could devote more time to the exercise.
I think this is a real indicator being spoiled for choice. At Starbucks you can have your drink anyway you want it. The boxes on the side of the paper cups, are a formula for the baristas to make it as you want it. When I ordered my drink on the Champs Élysée on Sunday and was told they had no skim OR Soy milk, my reaction was to say sorry, and leave. What happened to the days when a cappuccino was a cappuccino?