A lot of people are kind of feeling guilty about an arising practice: Offline tryouts, online sales. Basically, people would research a particular electronic product or gadget that they want to buy online. But before they do, they would go and take time to check out the physical product at their local electronic supplier.
This may be a corner merchant, or it can be at a central place in town. Whatever, the case may be, you take time from your busy schedule to physically go to the store, and handle the product. Sometimes, sales people would even explain the different features to you, and make a presentation.
I’m saying that people are of two minds about this, because it’s easy to see the unfairness in this. Because you know at the back of your head, you’re going to buy it online. How come? Well, online merchants sell it for a much lower price.
After all, they don’t have to worry about keeping a physical store. They don’t have to worry about explaining the product’s many different features to people who physical show up. They don’t have to worry about hiring staff to engage in sales talk with prospective buyers. They can dispense with all of that.
Instead, they can focus all their firepower in marketing their online store and selling stuff through the mail. The problem is your offline retailer did assume all those risks and costs, and at the end of the day, they end up losing out.
A lot of people are actually calling this a form of stealing, because the intent is already there. The intent is to buy online. There is no way that you were going to buy offline. But still, you stole that person’s time when they went through all the features. They may have been excited and emotionally pumped up, but at the end of the day, you didn’t buy from them.
And guess what? You’re not alone. If you think that this is a clever way of handling devices and merchandise before you buy it online for the lowest price, from the speediest provider, think again. People do this all the time.
That’s why you should be very careful regarding digital devices you should try out before purchasing online. Maybe the better way to handle this, as far as personal ethics are concerned, is to ask friends who already have such devices. They already went out and bought these things.
When you handle their devices, you’re not stealing their time. They are the actual owners. In fact, they would be glad to step you through the different features of the product so you can get an inside look on these products, and truly figure them out.
That’s the most ethical way to go. Still, here is a short list of digital devices you should try out before you purchase them online.
Any item with a touchpad, needs to be checked out offline, seriously, because operating systems vary. Also, the way the hardware manufacturer customizes the software and installs them on their hardware, varies from provider to provider, and brand to brand, and model to model. That’s a lot to keep on top of.
The problem with most product returns is when people buy based on brand, or reputation, or worse yet, hype, only to end up sorely disappointed. It’s very easy to get disappointed with touchpad devices because they may not perform the way you’re accustomed to.
I’m not saying that there is something fundamentally wrong with them. I’m not saying that they are somehow, some way defective, but you’re just not used to their operations. There’s a disconnect between how you’re supposed to use them and what you’re used to.
Maybe there’s not much of a gateway, or some sort of easy learning curve. Maybe it’s just too much to handle at once. So ask your friends, who already have that latest and greatest digital gadget, if you can check it out and get a first-hand look of how it operates.
The problem with laptops is that while the operating system is all too predictable (who can screw around with Microsoft Windows?). The actual configuration of the hardware and the software varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.
Unless you’ve been using HP computers for a long time, or you have a certain preference for Dell, you’re basically going to be a fish out of the water if you are going to be buying a new brand. That’s really the bottom line, because if you’ve been using Dell computers for a very long time, you know what to expect.
You know how the standard Dell computer layout is. You know how they set up their keys. You also know how they integrate their own software with the operating software Microsoft has. In other words, there’s less opportunity for unpleasant surprises. You’re not thrown a left curve. You’re not surprised.
And since there are no surprises, you can easily gauge the kind of value you would get from that product. In other words, you can compare that particular Dell product with other Dell products that you already know, and come up with an educated guess as to whether this model is a good value for your hard-earned money.
Unfortunately, that’s hard to do with completely new brands. What makes this really difficult and frustrating is when that new brand, or existing brand offers a product that is heavily discounted. So what do you do? Do you just jump in with both feet?
Please understand that if you buy electronic items like laptops online, sometimes you are charged a restocking fee. That’s going to be a problem, because the restocking fee can be as high as 15%. You’re out of 15% even if you return the product.
So to get rid of all that unnecessary drama, do yourself a very big favor and check out that specific brand and model from your friends. If it’s really hot and people can’t stop talking about it, chances are at least one of your friends or family members would have bought it. So start there.
Keep the tips above in mind if you don’t want to lose hard-earned money as well as your precious time in returning digital products that you should have checked out offline.