I'm a fan of online shopping because in addition to the fact that you don't have to drive to the store and deal with crowds or people in general, you also tend to get better prices and you can't beat the selection. In fact, in most stores around us, the selection is fairly paltry compared to what's on any given website. You can't even compare. That doesn't mean that the online shopping experience is perfect. The one huge disadvantage with shopping online is that you can't try things on or examine them closely. This isn't a problem if you know exactly what you want, especially for me when I buy jeans or a book, or something along those lines.
However, it can be a significant problem when buying stuff for the kids. I've run into this problem trying to get them a wetsuit, and just recently N needed a new pair of cleats for LAX. I'm still trying to sort out the wetsuit dilemma (more on this later), but LAX is happening now, so something had to be done. In the past we've gone to Stateline and while they're super helpful and I love to shop there, most of the cleats they carry don't fit N that well. He benefits from a slightly wider shoe, which is not always easy to find, at least when you're trying not to drop a big load of cash.
Then I went to Dick's Sporting Goods online store, and there were so many cleats, I didn't know where to start. I benefited from starting on the early side, but even still, they have more cleats (and shoes, for that matter) than I could even fathom. The prices were good because they were having a sale, and I broadened my search to include football cleats, which widened my options and brought prices down. Anyone who is involved with LAX will know that LAX equipment is way over-priced. What made the shopping experience truly worthwhile, however, is that Dick's offers free shipping, and free return shipping if need be.
I definitely "needed be" because my first order was too small, so I ordered up. The cleats arrived and most importantly he likes them. So he's happy with a cool pair of new cleats, and I'm happy because I got a good deal and free shipping. I love when that happens.
I always figured that the high cost of sports equipment would abate once hockey ended, but that's clearly not the case. Then there's the issue of outfitting everyone for surfing, but let's not go there.
Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Mike Mozart for the pic.