Friday, March 23, 2012

Go out and shop

It was time for a new desk chair. I wanted something ergonomic, economic, and exciting. No small order. But I had all of the Internet at my fingers, and I could cybershop in any store anywhere, which is what I often do.

I browsed and searched and followed links. Finally, something caught my eye. I did some comparison shopping to find the best price and was all set. I was just about to click “add to cart” when I got a nagging feeling.

Maybe I should sit in this chair before I place the order. This wasn’t like a sweater or socks that I could easily pop back in the mail if things didn’t work out. This was a relatively bulky and heavy piece of furniture that required a thoughtful purchase. And that idea started another round of searching and following links to find the nearest showroom.   

I thought I would walk in, have a seat, make a decision – and then go home and order the chair online. To get the best price.

Instead, I entered a small product display area, met with a sales rep, had a good conversation about options, and found I could configure the chair exactly the way I wanted.

And still get the best price.  

I also got something else: unexpected value in the overall experience – in seeing, touching, and hearing about the object I wanted to buy. I had forgotten how nice it was to talk with a knowledgeable, friendly sales rep.

The lesson learned? I need to get out of the house more. 

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