The news this week that Staples has joined many other major online retailers by implementing a minimum or limit on free shipping is still another step by retailers to make things more difficult for consumers.
It is another way that many major retailers are hurting themselves. Many large retailers no longer stock multiple versions of a similar item these days. It has gotten to the point where the "store" as we know it is becoming more of a showroom that hopes to sell us the floor model.
They figure that customers wanting something specific can easily order it online. And now, they are expecting us to pay EXTRA to order it and have it shipped to our door when it is not our choice.
If the retailer does not have the item in its store, they leave us with no choice but to order it online. In that instance, I see no reason why we, as consumers, should have to pay for shipping because they choose not to have it immediately available to us.
When this happens, and it is happening more and more, it is an inconvenience to us to have to wait several days to receive the item we want, regardless of whether it comes to our homes or if we need to return to the store in order to get it.
I'll say this again. If the retailer does not have an item they offer in stock, we as consumers should not be forced to pay extra to receive it days later. Yes, shipping costs money. However, getting items to their customers is a cost of doing business.