Saturday, March 13, 2010

Rainy Day Shopping

Today has been gray and rainy. So much rain has fallen since last night that the ground is saturated and there are little floods everywhere. Heavy rain is predicted for tomorrow.

It was a perfect day to go shopping via the Internet.

First I looked for a new 2010 Subaru Outback. We've been thinking about replacing Ben's twelve-year old Outback. We've also been thinking about doing something wonderful for Ben's big birthday in May. Last week it dawned on me that it would be really fun if we bought a new car for Ben's birthday present. Now that would be memorable!

A few days ago I had used the site to build my car, outfitting it with exactly what Ben wanted. A manual transmission was mandatory, and he wouldn't mind a few luxury items like a moon roof and 6-disc CD player. Given his outdoor adventures, a trailer hitch and all weather mats seemed smart. Usually we buy a car under duress, when the old one has died and must be replaced immediately. This time we'll think ahead and order exactly what Ben wants. The Subaru site told me the list price of the car of Ben's dreams. Armed with that info I had visited a local dealer and gotten his price. Today I used the Subaru site to find several other dealers and I emailed them the quote I had and asked if they wanted to beat it. One of them said "Buy that car from that dealer; it's a great price" but another gave us a lower price. I reported it back to the first dealer, who says he'll make it work. So much nicer than haggling in person and without much real price information.

Then I tackled the problem of the white bookcase in the living room which must be replaced with a cherry-toned bookcase. I had decided that it should be the exact height of the desk it would sit next to so the surfaces would be even. That meant it had to be 30" tall. I checked the online Staples, Target, CSN, Home Decorators, Penny's and Walmart sites and finally found just what I wanted, this bookcase in the Valencia series by Aleva. The $190 at the site I found it was a bit steep for something that wasn't solid wood. I decided to try doing a Google search by the product name and up popped a list of suppliers in order by price. I ordered it from the Business Supply company for $87 and free shipping. Pretty good!

Sometimes it scares me how much easier everything is with the Internet. If someone ever pulls the plug on us, would we survive going back to the old ways of doing business? I guess we might, but I, for one, would be mighty grouchy about it. I've gotten awfully spoiled.

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