The Dangers of Online Shopping

online-shop-14619147928fqI’m probably one of the last holdouts to discover the joys of online shopping.  Oh, sure, I order the occasional book from or one of my favorite online bookstores, but I haven’t done a lot of browsing, and I’ll confess that eBay has always seemed a little daunting to me.

Or maybe the truth is just that I’m old-fashioned. I like to see what I’m getting–the real deal, not a digital photograph. Whatever the reason, I haven’t spent a lot of time cruising around eBay until today, and what I found in just a few short hours scared me to death!

Suddenly I realize that if anything in the world a person might want, they can probably find it on eBay. That kind of availability completely wipes out one of the last remaining reasons not to shop. It doesn’t matter if the last time the thing was actually manufactured was thirty years ago, if you want it somebody out there has it.

That’s not a good thing to tell me because, frankly, I love to shop. I’ve always felt a little strange about that because for most of my life, nobody else I knew shared that particular passion. My mother doesn’t really like to shop. My sister never does it willingly. My oldest daughter is an in-the-store-grab-what-you-need-and-get-out-again-before-the-people-make-you-crazy kind of shopper. None of my closest friends like to shop.

architektur-ivIn fact, there are only two people I knew well at all who like to shop. One of them, oddly enough, is my dad. Even since being pronounced legally blind several years ago, my dad loves to see what’s out there and he loves to bring home a fair share of it whenever he can. My youngest daughter is also a certified shopaholic. I swear, that kid could shop every single day and never grow tired of doing it. If she could earn a living from shopping, we’d have the best of both worlds.

Trouble is, she and I both like to shop far more than our budget allows, and neither of us finds any great joy in window shopping when buying is out of the question–so knowing that a particular highly coveted item is way out of our price range has always been an effective deterrent.

That’s not necessarily true anymore. Even without breaking a sweat, I was able to locate a highly-coveted, yet impossible-to-find item from my Christmas list this morning. After a few tense moments as the auction wound to a close , I actually won the item. A click or two later, I’d transferred money for it to someone in the UK. Within a few days, that item will be here, wrapped, and nestled under the Christmas tree. The fact that such a thing is even possible boggles my mind.

Even with shipping and handling, the cost of my highly-coveted yet impossible-to-find item came to just a few cents over $5.  That’s not much, even when the budget is screaming for relief.  It’s a good feeling to know that I’m going to make someone very happy this year, but I didn’t have to break the bank doing it.

But it’s still a very bad thing for me to learn.


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