I've been a charity shop addict and lover of all things old and kitsch for a bloomin' long time and WELL before it got popular. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
So anyway, I've been thinking about the internet. As a concept in shopping. I bet you all have really. You're just too shy to admit it.
I've shied away a bit from internet shopping preferring to "shop locally", and don't get me wrong, you've gotta love and support a local shop. They're there when all the roads are blocked with snow, for a start, but increasingly I think people are turning to the internet to boost their company's profits, and I don't think that can be a bad thing.
Take for instance around here. There's not a lot of industry any more, Welsh valleys, decline of industry and the coal mines, yadda, yadda, yadda, but there's a thriving business here on one of our little industrial estates (that is all boarded up predominantly) that sells spares and stuff for caravans. Yes they have a shop, yes we've shopped there, (when we had our 'van) but without it's online and ebay stores - it would have closed down. There just isn't the footfall to sustain them without it. Now it doesn't employ an army, just a couple of people but isn't that better than another boarded up unit?
The internet allows people to set up and have a go at businesses to see if they are viable before they commit to paying the rent on an expensive commercial premises. Those rents are why we are having towns relegated to rows of charity shops. The internet allow's people to be competitive on a national level, which is really what business is all about, supply and demand, competition, all that. Now don't get me wrong, I don't advocate the total abandonment of the high street, far from it. I love and support my local high streets, but I also support the people providing me with services not available on my high street. And let's not forget about the jobs that all these packages whizzing about the country generates - Post Office and couriers. I personally have 13 parcels to take to my local Post Office tomorrow. That can't be a bad thing.
And think of the recycling that goes on every day on ebay! Brilliant.
I guess after all it all comes down to the same thing. Everything in moderation, support the little people as much as the big people and there's room for all.
Dresses to follow ...