Tuesday, May 28, 2013

My New Shopping Addiction: Amazon

Better late than never. More and more often, I find myself clicking the shortcut to Amazon.ca on my favorite's bar. If you are American, you would probably not understand why I am so impressed with something that's been available in the states for so long.

Well, you see, our version of Amazon has been playing catch-up over the past few years. From what I can remember, the Canadian website didn't have much other than books, video games, DVDs, and CDs until a few years ago. This was the reason for my departure and giving up on the store for a few years -- this is confirmed from the lack of orders for a couple years in the account history. As for why I didn't order from Amazon.com, there's the customs charges, customs brokerage charges, warranty and return issues, and certain items wouldn't ship across the border.

The selection has finally been changing with the addition of practically any product one can think of. A few months back, I even bought a ladder from them. The most recent additions are health and beauty products including sex toys...

However, the majority of my orders have still been books. This splurging occurred because I had to work in another city for half a year with a two hour commute each way. Those rides get really boring and the thought of sleeping through four hours of your day on a daily basis is depressing. Also, there may have been one or two instances where I fell asleep on the bus and woke up to the bus driver yelling for me to get out. That's actually a good thing because I sad behind the driver once and woke up inside the bus station on his way to park the bus for a break.

With a population about an eight of the country to the south, Canada isn't quite as big of a market. This means that the expansion of available products has been great, but it's still not a fully stocked Amazon.com. A lot of products are "fulfilled by Amazon" or offered from third-parties. My preference is for the vendor to be Amazon -- fear of the unknown?

Regardless, I do find myself going to Amazon.ca more and more often when shopping, price checking, reading reviews, and just wasting time. It is a pleasure to have a department store with some of the lowest prices available at home, especially when the fulfillment center and shipping sorting facility is only an hour's drive away -- almost guaranteed two day shipping even with free shipping. No service people or fellow shoppers to bug you, no need to put on anything presentable, no travel time (replaced by shipping time), no waiting in line, and a usually accurate stock level check.

I look forward to blowing more money at this store. And thank you for welcoming me to a decade ago.