I don’t know how to shop anymore

The sole is starting to peel of from my snow boots, so I’m in the market for some shoe goo or Gorilla Glue.  I’d really like to get it today because the flapping sole is getting annoying.

As I was thinking about this just now, I realized that I don’t know how to shop anymore.

In other words, I don’t have the faintest idea how to buy shoe goo, today, in a real place.  I guess 10 years ago I might have googled for shoe stores or department stores, and then called them, but I can’t possibly imagine doing that now.

My (and I know I’m not alone) go-to now is to order on Amazon and forget about it for a day or two.  That is really easy and works for almost anything.  But it’s not the same as getting it today.  And I’d really prefer to buy from a person in a place if I can.

For example, I needed a watch battery for a garage door opener.  Rather than try to figure out where to buy that in the real world, I ordered it on amazon and waited.  That seems silly for such a tiny thing, that is actually available in lots of places.

What i would really like is a shopping interface like amazon, but that just points me to local merchants.  Someone I can walk to on my way to the subway.

You are probably saying: but google shopping already does this!  And you are right, sort of.  They do offer a “find in stock nearby” option — but the problem is that it’s only got big box stores and dedicated e-commerce sites.  My guess is that there is a bottle of Gorilla Glue closer to me than the nearest Home Depot.

The folks at TalkTo are one group that’s approaching this problem — by surfacing answers to the”is this in stock” type questions via a phone-to-web interface, and publishing them online.

It would be great if this, or something like it, works, and I can learn to shop locally again.

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