Shopping in physical stores

Yesterday I decided to buy a technology gadget, in particular a portable speaker to listen to the music outdoors with friends. This has been one of the most shocking experiences I've had in the last times!

Nowadays deciding which device to buy requires only few minutes: the specifications tell you already what you're gonna buy, usually you pay more attention to the design and the materials used. This is why I tend to use Amazon or similar e-shops to buy SSD devices, keyboards, ebooks, even smartphones!

But not audio devices. You have to try them before buying them because every single device is different from all the others and the prices are really wild (bad devices at very high price and vice versa).

Returning in topic, yesterday I decided to buy a portable speaker directly in a physical store in order to try it out before spending 30-50€. I returned home with nothing in my hands. I live in Milan, the italian main commercial city.

The main reason why I decided to buy nothing is pretty simple: not a single salesman, in various shops, allowed me to try out the devices. The product boxes didn't even report the specs of the devices. So what's the difference between buying things there or over the net? Well, there is a difference, really: standing to the italian Commercial Code, a remote purchase can be undone with total refund (except for eventual shipment costs) within 8 days (starting from the day you receive the item), something bought directly in a physical store can't (it's up to the shop to get the item back and give you a coupon to be used in the same store another time).

So why should I ever prefere a "local" purchase to a remote one? I have no benefit but to have the item immediately (shipments are pretty fast though), I can't try out the product and usually (and sadly) prices are higher than internet.

Well, to be honest I went in an Apple Store (just to try out everything). The salesman showed me off all of their products and eventually I saw something portable (hell yeah, he started suggesting me enormous - and way too expensive - desktop speakers -.-"). I then saw the product's brand: Beats Audio /rolleyes. Only 199€ for a device which cuts the low AND high frequencies, while a good, professional monitor audio costs less. Seriously guys? If we don't want to talk about professional gear, even an entire Harman / Kardon 2.1 sound system costs less and gives you a way better audio experience (yes, I'm talking about the famous SoundSticks III).

HELLO THERE PHYSICAL SHOP TRADERS! Please stop complaining about internet's unfair competition and make your move. I'm sick of watching your stores full of products I'll never buy blindly!

- 5th July 2013

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