2015: The Year of Shopping Virtually


I’m very slowly organizing my brain enough to do a post mortem of 2015. One has to look back on one’s experiences every now and then in order to learn from them. But with downsizing and moving, the year brought so many experiences that it’s been hard to process it all.

So I’ll start with a small subject that had a big impact on my life: Online shopping. Of course I’ve done it before, but since embracing the Marie Kondo approach to clutter and adopting a new diet, I figured it was also a good time to reshape the way I shop.

In the real world, I am a grazer, poking around thrift shops and picking up things that catch my fancy. I have made some fantastic finds, but I also accumulated a lot of stuff that I quickly got bored of. So I decided to focus on finding things I really needed.

And online shopping seemed like the perfect place to force one to focus.

In November I decided to perform an experiment to see if shopping online only would help curb the urge to shop too much. The rationale being that there would be less impulse shopping if I didn’t leave the house. I also wanted to see how much money I could save using special offers and Cyber Monday sales.

I’d like to report that I made huge advances in savings or that everything I purchased fulfilled my needs so well that I need never shop again. The reality is that some buys were hits, some were misses.

The best online experience was when I bought a replacement strap for my Q&Q Smile Solar Watch (pictured above). It cost something like $10, shipping was free and my package arrived from Hong Kong in like a week.

The weirdest thing that happened was that I ordered a scarf from the Gap but when the package arrived it was a pair of girl’s shoes covered in gold glitter. Customer service was great in rectifying the situation (although the scarf was sadly out of stock).

The most angrifying thing was that I ordered three things from the MoMA store that were sent via UPS. The shipping cost included customs and duties (even though with Free Trade, one shouldn’t have to pay duty), but the store sent them via UPS which then charged a “brokerage fee” that was more expensive than the actual items. UPS then decided to attempt delivery at the weirdest hours of the day (just never when they said they would). I despise UPS and will therefore, never again purchase anything from anybody who uses their services.