Online Shopping Ain’t What It Used To Be | Expat-Mom

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Online Shopping Ain’t What It Used To Be

Online Shopping Ain’t What It Used To Be
Kay jokes that I have ruined outlet shopping for him in Europe because US prices are so much cheaper.

I can now safely say that he has ruined online shopping for me in Germany.

I used to be the queen of online shopping since I hate going to the mall. Especially around Christmas time.

I used to see how many items I could buy online just so I wouldn’t have to take that dreaded trip to a crowded mall with ding-dongs fighting over parking spaces, not holding the door open for each other, and then racing to the shortest cashier line in each store.

Now, being an expatriate, the online experience is just as tedious as a trip to the mall.

My online experience here:

Yesterday was Kay’s Birthday and prior I had asked what he wanted.

He supplied me with item numbers for a main gift and then numbers for a couple accessory items to go with.

He must have thought by giving me the actual numbers it would be easy-peasy.

And he gave me the verbal instructions, “Just plug in the number into Google and then click on idealo…”

I tend to tune him out a lot, but I’m pretty sure that was the extent of his instructions.

I started the online journey a couple weeks ago only to be intimidated by all the German buttons and instructions.

I got as far as here…

And was trying to remember, “What was it that he wanted again?” After all, he only gave me the item number and this is what came up.

So, of course I put it off. Germany has speedy shipping methods, right?

I tried a second time and luckily remembered, “Oh, yeah. Temperature thingy.” And only got as far as here….

I had no clue which vendor to use let alone if I was going to end up buying a used and/or refurbished item when I selected the cheapest option.

As time was quickly passing by, I started to freak out because although, yes I am a procrastinator, I also know when I have taken the procrastination too far. (And my procrastination timeline isn’t as long as Kay’s. He likes to push the limits even further than I do.)

Totally freaking out, slightly embarrassed, aggravated, and really sad with the realization that now I totally suck at online shopping, I broke down and asked Kay for help. Yes, help buying his own birthday present.

There are no words to describe the shame in feeling so helpless that you can’t complete what should be a simple task by yourself. This was online, for goodness sake. No live people or even having to leave the house to aggravate my agoraphobia.

Kay got me to here online since he had ordered with this company before.

And I wanted to see if I could complete the rest of the transaction myself.

Answer: NOPE

Most of the same online principles apply even in an alternate language, but the banking system here is quite different which leads to different payment options.

I eventually completed the order and then there was one more screen asking me to verify more banking information.

Although I felt this was an epic fail at online shopping, I did later work my way through the German Amazon page to order movies… Still needed some help though.

Guess this means I just need more practice? Which, I guess could be fun.

But how the heck do foreigners in Germany shop online with no German guidance?


As for Kay and outlet shopping… it was amusing going to an outlet mall in southern Florida and having many of the sales associates start speaking to us in Spanish.

I just laughed because the feeling isn’t too different than not understanding everything in German when going to the stores here.

And it was pretty hilarious when Kay was annoyed with everyone speaking Spanish.

“Now you know what it feels like,” was my unsympathetic response. Because at least in southern Florida, they have no problem switching immediately to English. Well, at least at the outlet mall anyway.

Living in Germany… I have more empathy for immigrants in the US more than ever.

  1. cliff197603-17-13

    Living in Germany… I have more empathy for immigrants in the US more than ever.

    Ain’t that the truth! I have some under-educated, bigoted, anti-immigrant relatives in the U.S. Their tune would change the moment they started over somewhere with a foreign language.
    cliff1976 recently posted..Feeling crabby? Come to Puerto Vallarta.My Profile

  2. Deanna03-29-13

    Ugh. I’ve tried that already while I’m still here in the states and I get frustrated. I know enough German to somewhat muddle through the process but not enough to really read descriptions to be comfortable buying things. It’s also frustrating because my husband has been doing all the searching for a car and apartment because of the language barrier. It will get easier! That’s what I keep saying anyway :-)

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