Sunday, January 9, 2011


It has been chilly in Florida so this past Friday I went about shopping for some tights to wear for work. Last winter, I bought a pair of SPANX tights that I have been very happy with, they wear well, wash well and they have the SPANX technology (extra thinning powers). But, SPANX tights are not cheap so I googled for pricing and options and settled on a chocolate (brown) and graphite (gray) pair that I could order via However, I balked at paying $4 in shipping so I hesitated when it came time to click "buy".

I contemplated whether it made sense to pay for shipping for ordinary goods that I could obtain via my local mall 5 minutes away. So I started thinking about the cost/benefit analysis (CBA). First, I could conclude my purchase in less than 5 minutes (time already invested by the way) or I could jump in my car drive to the mall, park, walk to the store, and then hunt for the same two items. I would also have to risk that the store would not have the colors, size, etc. that I already had selected. So, to run to the mall would likely require at least a half hour of my time. Second, a drive to the mall would include gas costs, parking costs and the chance that the prices at the store would be higher than on-line.

Third, I had to consider the "know thyself cost". I'm not a "shop to I drop" type of gal, but I also know that if I find myself at the mall I'm likely to pop in to Ann Taylor or Banana Republic, etc. (especially if they have sale signs in the window). And once I'm in the store, I know that I'm likely to purchase something.

As a result, I concluded that the $4 shipping cost was worth it. I clicked "buy" and I await receipt of my new tights. What would you do?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent cost-benefit analysis. I would have done the same thing. Another option would be to wait until you were going to the mall/store anyway (for other shopping) and look for the item then. If they didn't have the color/size you needed at the right price then you could go back online and order. Downside: the waiting!