Thursday, August 03, 2006

Shopping & Shopping online

I used to wonder why some people add "Shopping" as a hobby in their profile. Living in Damascus - Syria, I used to hate shopping, and to avoid it most of the time. I would just tell my brother to go downstairs and get whatever we wanted for lunch or dinner. I don't really like it when you have to answer 99 questions before being able to get 1 kg of sugar for your tea. I am not anti-social, but I don't like being (or feeling that I am) interrogated for no obvious reason. However, it wasn't difficult to do shopping (or shall I call it buying). I used to feel good about the limited choices I had, but sometimes I couldn't find what I needed. Anyway, that was in the past...

Since I stepped into the UK, everything has changed. Now I would stand for hours in the supermarket wondering which bread is better, trying to tell the difference between pink and red salmon, or even trying to explain the big difference in price between two packs of noodles. I would get very confused when I find that the cheap one is very good...That would trigger my imagination to start a failed attempt of figuring out how the expensive one would taste. It was very diffucult to move from the very limited to the other extreme end. But...!

As if that wasn't even enough, I had to try shopping online! I have to admit that it was extremely difficult for me to have all those choices! It was even harder when you cannot touch or feel the item you're buying. You can never make a successful estimate of size, although "dimensions"are often mentioned. And the 1-click-buy button was so easy that I pressed it twice, which meant that I made a duplicate order!

When I was first introduced to shopping online by Abufares I had a simple question: "Why don't they simply take your money and NOT send you the item? Or Why don't they steal all the money in your credit card?" I asked. His simple answer to that was: "You have to buy from trusted websites, and you'll have then to trust them!"
That answer was enough for me at that time, but I would never say that I understood the real reason...

Let's get back to my duplicate order! I got very confused that night. What should I do? Then I came across another maggical button: Problem with this order? I had no choice but pressing the button...But I hesitated a little bit before moving to the next step: Contact the seller...I have to admit that I thought: Would they reply? But I contacted them anyway...

It was 07:41 a.m. the very same morning when they refunded the whole value for my item, plus the shipping cost (obviously it wasn't shipped). I was even thanked for buying from their store, although I haven't really been to their store!

Sometimes you have to look for answers to your own questions. Although the mistake I have made was partially an answer to my previous questions to Abufares, I was able to find the complete answer by other means. If you are still reading and not bored to death, you can get back to my blog later and find out!

Cheers

5 comments:

abufares said...

Very Nice Ascribo
Welcome to the the Blogosphere.
Looking forward reading your regular posts.

Ascribo said...

Thanks for passing, abufares...

I will try to continue posting very soon

I love Munich said...

Hi,
I didn't realize shopping can be that complicated - you bet I wouldn't enjoy that either! Eventhough I mostly write a shopping list - which I usually forget at home at the end - I have an idea what I want, where I find it (I HATE to go to "new" supermarkets where I don't find anything right away!!) - and that's the end of the problem. I DEARLY miss market-places (NOT like the one here in Munich where everything costs an arm and a leg!!) - I mean REAL markets, the old-fashioned markets where one can still chat a few words with the vendor and feel this personal warmth - whereas here all I get to feel is an interpersonal relation which equals the one of two deep-freezers!
Or the SMALL stores in which one was still addressed by name! If that would happen here in a supermarket, I guess I'd get the creeps!
Anyway - I love your post ... and will keep on reading for SURE!!

Ascribo said...

Karin,

Thank you for your comment.
Market places sounds really nice...I have seen one in Cambridge, it's really interesting

SMALL stores can be very tricky. Sometimes it's nice to have a little chat with the seller, but sometimes it goes beyond that.
Some might not like the idea of having so little privacy in stores where the seller knows you by name, knows what kind of stuff you prefer, and even asks you FEW questoions about your personal life.

I love Munich said...

You're right ... but the ones who have a problem with thet - I hunch - have a problem with themselves!
I dearly miss the interpersonal warmth ... I remember it from my childhood-days when there were occasionally still these kind of shops - but now you won't find one anymore around here. I'd give every supermarket for that ...