an enigma to the Senior Cat. If he finds something he wants he comes to me. It is usually a book not available from the local bookshop - a place he still prowls into on a regular basis. They know him well and they have gone out of their way to find books he wants. He appreciates it and returns the favour by shopping there. I do the same when I can but some books I need are books they cannot source easily. (I needed something from Norway recently and they sighed and told me, "The internet Cat.")
And I have bought other things over the 'net. Our new bread machine came that way. It meant it was delivered to the door - important when we do not have a car. What is more it was a good deal cheaper. We knew exactly what we wanted without going to a shop to investigate. That helps. I don't like the idea of investigating something in a shop and then buying it on line. It is a sort of theft from the bricks and mortar business.
There is also almost nothing in the way of yarn where I live. If I want something special, like the linen yarn I need (rather than wanted) recently, I need to go on-line. Once I would have been searching in other ways, calling on overseas contacts, making expensive bank transfers and the like. All that has stopped.
I know small businesses here have suffered. They simply cannot compete with the world, especially given the endless rules, regulations and restrictions that apply to local businesses. Getting something posted inside Downunder is also so expensive that it adds large amounts to the cost.
E-bay does "free" shipping for many items. Other places have a very reasonable cost. It is all built in to the price you pay of course but it is still very reasonable. Local business just cannot compete.
Now the government wants to add "GST" to our overseas transactions. E-bay is threatening to make their service unavailable to Australians if that happens. I can understand why. Trying to collect and pay Downunder style GST is fraught with difficulties.
I don't doubt the regulations will come in. I suspect the government is going to find itself facing a voter backlash over the issue.
You see, people shop on-line now. They don't have the time to try and find the items they want or believe they must have in local shops which are simply not there any more.
If the government wanted to do this they should have done it before on-line shopping became the way to go.
I may buy those new knitting needles this week - before they make it too difficult to do it.