frustrations shopping, previously. The marketeers simply do not know how to get my money. Is everyone else stupid enough to keep going to the mall, not find what they want, pay too much for second best and return for more? Yes.
Sturgeon's Law', and validation of the fallacies latent in 'free' market economics. I'm done with store fronts. It isn't just online shopping that should have killed store fronts, but information. Before I make a significant purchase I research it. While researching, I lose any impulse I had, so make the decision to buy quite a bit more rationally. On several sites where I shop I have 'wish lists' where items may stay up as long as a year, or as short as overnight - but never less. I save money both by not impulse-buying something I will under-use and by finding the best and cheapest option for my needs.
Besides getting clothes to fit me from the US, while in Japan, I also buy a lot of bicycle parts and some electronics. Going to a mall in Japan for the clothing is pointless; going to a store for bicycle parts just a little less. Nobody has the stock I can find online, nor will I get as much information from more points of view than 'buy this so I get paid'.
Canada's bike shops are no better. I wanted an Alfine 8 wheel to retrofit a bike. The link shows me I can get the wheel, shifter and small parts for about $450 US ($600 US once I ship it to Canada: post, tax and duties). Since Shimano parts are cheaper in Japan, $425 US if I take it across the border myself. In Canada? I sent a shop an email and got a piece by piece quote that came to $750 US for the one wheel... He didn't have the guts to write the total, but I can add.
I wanted some baby shampoo for my son, and for me, because some makes me break out and I cannot differentiate the Japanese brands. I made a trip to a Lalaport's Body Shop, and they had none in stock; nor the soap I wanted. Cursing my own stupidity I went home, found it online, and it is now en route.
I will happily pay for a premium product that meets specific needs, such as this crank, otherwise do not bother calling it 'premium' when it was made in China with everything else, and there are a dozen cranks that will do the same job, and one of them I will find cheaper.
Electronics? The market is flooded with options, which is why I have never bought an Apple product. My wife and are were looking at tablets, but since we had no intention of rolling into a store and getting sucked in, we still haven't bought. We have researched and I have quizzed my friends in IT. All I do online is read, email, maintain my blogs, and Facebook (which I may quit). More to the point, I want to be able to read lots of English books easily in Japan. And I want to be able to hold it with one hand, stuck standing on the train, without too much worry about the cost of dropping it. I read books on trains up to 2hrs/day. I am not going to pay for another cell service just to get Internet on a tablet in Japan, nor bother with tethering. Probably getting the Kindle Paperwhite, mainly for the long battery life and eInk, and also because if I can access Internet even on my commute, I'll never read books anymore, and that is bad.
Sigh... This is why I don't buy anything. I want perfection, and am not easily seduced. I want eInk, and colour, and Internet, and lightweight, and cheap... I am buying less and less tech, and using it less, as it gets 'better'. I am tired of upgrades that promise much, and deliver little more than before. The point of upgraded devices is to encourage us to buy shit we'll hardly use. The only really great development in IT lately is the cheapness and miniaturization of Flash storage. There is less nostalgia for IT as it improves more quickly, if there ever was. Things like furniture, buildings, bicycles and engines from the past you can get excited about, but not IT. Maybe that time will come once we have reached the limits of optimization of IT.
I want all my data and capability in just one place, no 'cloud', with a readable screen, and a battery that never dies, but fits in a pocket, and cheap. Make me a laptop the size of a phone, for the price of a good dinner, and I'll get excited again. Like this:
That standard marketing is aimed at convincing people to upgrade when they don't need to, buy things that are not ideal for them, waste time among the other zombies at the mall and to believe the hype, only means that it works. Humans enslave themselves.