Buying from an International Retailer

One great thing that has come from ecommerce, is the ability to shop around for the best prices. Being able to choose from not just a select few retailers but from hundreds or thousands really has it’s advantages. Competition is always a good thing. Every retailer is constantly trying to outdo the other.

I do a good bit of shopping online, mainly for music, dvds and books. And I think that if I hadn’t, I’d be down a lot more Euros than I am right now.

Lately though I’ve been feeling more guilty about my online shopping. All of my purchases in recent months (if not since my first ever online purchase) have been from a retailer in another country. What’s to be feeling guilty about you ask? I’m saving money right? Yes, but the money I spend is not going back into my country’s economy – which it needs.

I’ll admit, I do my fair share of complaining about how this country is run, but when all is said and done, I’m still proud to be Irish and want to help make it a better place.

Some might argue that my online spending habits won’t really make much of a difference, but every penny helps (even though we’re using cents now :)). Others might argue that if the economy can be affected by the small number of Irish people spending there earnings online, then the government should do more to help lower prices.

Maybe they should. Maybe they are. Or maybe I shouldn’t worry about my country’s economy so much, and let those elected do the worrying instead.

Why annual contracts?

If there’s one thing that really bugs me about the Broadband (DSL) packages on offer here in Ireland, it’s the requirement of annual contracts. In fact it doesn’t just bug me, it frustrates the hell out of me. Why can’t the Telco’s offer monthly contracts? Or quarterly contracts for that matter.

I mean come on… so much can change in a year! I might not be around this time next year, or I might decide to move house 6 months from now. I understand why there’s a need for annual contracts on mobile phones (cellphones). With them they make their money back on the price of the phone. The same could be said about Broadband packages offering a free modem with them, but all the Broadband packages here state that the modem remains the property of the Telco’s until the contract expires. So you’re not even paying for the modem!

So, why force someone into a 12 month contract when there is absolutely no need? And they (the Telco’s) can’t use the excuse that they have to have some way to pay for the upkeep of the lines because the cost of Broadband is extortionate enough (averaging around €40 per month – along with a bandwidth limit!).

Don’t be greedy!

While having a drink one of the nights, I started playing online poker courtesy of A dangerous combination! I was playing for fake money and was doing very well so I decided to up the ante and play for real money.

After purchasing $10 worth of chips away I went to make my fortune. I started off really well and ended up at approx $140. That’s where the greed kicked in. I started to end up staying in most of the rounds in the hopes of getting a good hand and win a tidy pot.

I didn’t have such luck.

Before I knew it my chips had dropped to about $20 :(

I don’t plan on letting my greed get the better of me in the future, that’s for sure. I’m going to continue to play for real money, but have set myself a guideline. Any time I reach $100 (if I ever do again), I will bank $75 of it and start again with the remaining $25.

Maybe I should bank $90 and start with $10 or is that being greedy? :)