February 15, 2012

Online shopping popular options for Knox students

A slew of packages come to the Knox mailroom every day from online sellers like Amazon, Etsy and eBay.
Most Knox students know the rush of excitement that comes when they find a package slip in their mailbox. Even when they know what the package is, most Knox students still describe a thrill when they hand over the slip.
Despite the excitement, sophomore Ruth Amerman said she would not buy a package just because she wants a slip. “I don’t have that kind of money.”
Amerman does most of her shopping online. Since she does not have a car, she finds sites like Amazon, eBay and Sierra Trading Post more convenient.
“It comes right here,” Amerman said.
Freshman Sadie Coates agreed. She also does not have a car, so she buys a lot of her books and clothes online.
“Lots of things are cheap and I think easier [to get],” Coates said. “I think it’s a good option for people who are confined.”
Although senior Katie Frank likes the convenience of online shopping, that is not the only reason she buys things off the Internet.
“Online shopping lets you look at reviews of their product, which people should take advantage of,” Frank said. She also uses the reviews of sellers to avoid unreliable sellers.
“I try to be vigilant,” Frank said. Unlike her friends, she has been able to avoid problems with late packages or broken items.
Junior Tim Peebles has not been so lucky. Although he does not buy things from the Internet very often, he has received broken items in the mail.
When he has received broken or nonfunctioning items, Peebles said working with online seller’s customer service is more difficult for online purchases, since when customers purchase things in the store, they can just bring them back in.
Peebles is hoping he will have better luck with the computer he just ordered. He did not want to limit his choices by only looking in Galesburg stores.
“There’s only Target or the computer guy on Main Street,” Peebles said.
So, with the help of computer savvy friends, Peebles went to the Internet. He is slightly concerned because the online form would not allow him to include his K-box in his address.
Frank also said she liked Internet’s wider selection. She will buy things offline if she cannot find them in Galesburg, since she does “not want to miss out on a project that I want, from the comfort of her dorm room.”
Although students said they made most of their purchases on online megastore Amazon, another popular site was Etsy, an online bazaar of handmade and vintage items.
Frank said she liked Etsy since she liked buying “unique” gifts off Etsy and “supporting self-made entrepreneurs instead of mass-produced items from big box stores.”
One item many students do not buy online is clothes. Peebles buys most of his clothing secondhand, which makes it more reasonable to buy clothing in brick and mortar stores. Frank does not buy clothing online for another reason.
“I don’t buy clothes online, I like to try them on,” Frank said. She likes to see how clothes fit when she puts them on, so it does not make sense for her to buy her clothing online.

Paige Anderson
Paige Anderson is a junior double majoring in computer science and creative writing. This is her second year as co-Mosaic editor. Outside of TKS, Paige has written for Knox’s Office of Communications and for her high school newspaper; her in-depth work won a third-place medal in the Redwood Empire Excellence in Journalism Awards competition. Paige will intern at Amazon during the summer of 2013.


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