Why Does Online Shopping Suck So Bad These Days?


Online shopping has been problematic for me for the last year starting with delivery issues.


Trying to get my regular monthly household orders taken care of has turned into a major headache. Walmart, my go-to, became incapable of getting deliveries to me that were either not damaged or stolen. And forget about refunds or even apologies when things go awry.

I reluctantly switched to Target which is more expensive and carries a less comprehensive selection of products. It was good for a few months. This week, however,Target failed me when it did not carry many of the basic items I needed.

Online shopping should not be so difficult. It was supposed to be the antithesis of the runaround we got from brick-and-mortar.

There are 3 problems I’m consistently running into that are starting to make me reconsider online shopping.


Read on below.


#1: The ordering process itself has gotten grueling.

  •  I can’t be the only one who consistently runs into problems with ordering. For example, this week, it took an eternity to find the right garbage bags. I need kitchen garbage bags which are 13 gals NOT 30 gals trash bags. I also need the garbage bags to be black (as requested by the NYC sanitation department) but all every e-commerce retailer seems to carry are white bags. As much info as I include, what pops up is NEVER what I want. So frustrating.

#2: Delivery problems have gotten horrendous.

  • If I don’t happen to be home when the delivery comes (and if the delivery people don’t try other buzzers to be let into the building), I’m out of luck.
  • The worst experience has been when my package was left on the doorstep OUTSIDE my building, on the street in NYC! You can imagine how long before it was stolen. When I called to report the theft, I was grilled by Fedex about whether I had thoroughly checked my front and back porches? And received no compensation from either Walmart or Fedex. Fortunately, it was not a big ticket item but $50 is $50.
  • I’ve heard that 30% of people nationwide have now experienced package theft related to online deliveries. It is increasingly common for thieves (called “porch pirates”) to follow Fedex and UPS trucks and steal items as they are dropped off.

#3: Packaging waste is insane.

  •  Every delivery has plastic, cardboard, bubble wrap, foam.
  • And for whatever logistics reason, placing one big order is never delivered in one big box. It always arrives in 3 or 4 different packages from different warehouses or sellers. Much more waste than there would be if I shopped in person for these items. Environmental activists where are you on this?


Bottom Line.

I cannot believe I am getting so disenchanted with the hassles of online shopping that I am starting to revert to old school brick-and-mortar. The thought of schlepping all this stuff home makes me shudder but so do the nightmarish experiences I’ve had lately with every single online retailer. And I recognize this would not be a problem if I lived in a doorman building. But I don’t.

I’m also curious about how high the theft level has to get before people give up on this inefficient shopping model?

Where’s everybody else on this?

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