14 Things You Can Now Buy Online That You Couldn’t 20 Years Ago

things you can now buy online

You won’t believe the crazy things you can now buy online.

Remember back in 1995 when Amazon was solely a bookstore? Now you can buy anything from toiletries and furniture to electronics and fashion. The online marketplace is expanding, and it’s both cool and scary with what you can buy with the touch of your finger. This is eliminating contact with other people, which could be both good and bad. On one hand, we’re becoming lazier and less sociable by doing everything in the comfort of our home. However, we also don’t have to deal with annoying sales people and the time it takes to get from point A to point B. So for those of you who are behind on the times, let us fill you in on today’s technology. And if this doesn’t convince you that you need to be selling online, I’m not sure what will!

1. Car Shopping

Probably the most annoying place where people try to sell you is at a car dealership. What if there was a way to avoid this terrible experience? Car websites now offer a new way to buy a car: buy online, get it delivered, and either love it or return it. Carvana makes it that easy, and gives YOU the control on how you buy a car. Home deliveries also make the car buying process safer and cheaper, so you can take your car home without registering it or buying license plates right away. Who wouldn’t want that? You can also check out Carmax or Carsense for more options.

2. Car Services

Besides car shopping, you can also opt for an array of car services straight from your phone. Instead of calling or waiting for a taxi, try Uber or Lyft. Here you select your current location, your destination, AND see the fares up front, so there’s no additional costs or surprises. You can even save money (and help save the environment) by pooling with other nearby riders. They’re both quick and show your driver’s name, the vehicle they’re in, the license plate number, their ETA, and route. You can even message them directly on the app to give them specific directions, and take into consideration the rating/review after your trip. Besides ride sharing, you can now even reserve a parking spot online. Parking Panda actually allows you to find and reserve guaranteed parking, which is great if you live in or are visiting a busy city. No more wasting time and sometimes the price is even cheaper by using the app.

3. Mattress Shopping

Okay, this is probably the only one I’m not 100% sure about. Sleep is definitely important to me, as it should be just as important to you. Therefore, you should test out and feel the mattress you want before investing money into it. However, mattress shopping has now also moved online which is once again changing the game for how consumers shop. The most popular brand today is Casper, which offers 100 nights of sleep RISK FREE! You simply choose your mattress online, and it is delivered to you with free shipping and returns. Imagine unfolding a comfortable mattress out of a box? Two other websites to try with similar benefits are Dream Cloud and Lull. If anyone decides to try these out, let us know how it works out, we’re curious to hear from you!

4. Home Furnishings

Speaking of home goods, you don’t even have to go to a physical store to get furniture for your place anymore. Websites such as Wayfair are changing the game with things you can now buy online, which is definitely something that couldn’t be done 20 years ago. You can now shop for home furnishings and décor items straight from the comfort of your own home. Again, I wouldn’t trust this for mattresses or couches (personally I need to feel it for myself in person). But if you want to completely avoid the whole in-store experience, then this one’s for you. I actually just moved into a new apartment this year, and bought all of my furniture and decorations from IKEA and Amazon and got them conveniently delivered to me. Definitely saved me time and money!

5. Personal Styling

Do you hate going to the mall but also aren’t sure where to start when it comes to online shopping? Wouldn’t it be great to have your own personal stylist to select just the right clothing for you?  Well, you’re in luck, because a personal stylist is yet again one of the things you can now buy online. Stitch Fix assists both men and women to become more fashionable without even leaving your house. All you have to do is sign up, fill out a profile with your size, style, shape, budget, and lifestyle, and then choose a delivery date. This service selects all your items for you and ships them out quickly. The best part is that after you get your items, you have three days to try on the clothes, keep what you want, and send back the rest. You’re only charged for what you keep – it’s that great. Of course if you need more assistance, we’re happy to help with our image and styling services as well!

6. Wedding dresses

Similar to mattress shopping, I personally wouldn’t trust this one. But yes – you can now purchase your wedding dress online and get it delivered to you in a box right to your home. LightInTheBox is the leading company for this, as you can also order other occasion-dresses and items. Here you can select the exact size, color, shape, etc, and a customizable gown will be shipped to you. Some even mimic top designer gowns, for a lower price. Another interesting website is Floravere. This is a “Bride Box,” making your bridal try-on experience comfortable in your own home. Each Bride Box includes your selected sample gowns, a home try-on kit, and dedicated time with a personal stylist. You choose the delivery date, the gowns get shipped to your home for free, you try on the samples, ship them back, and then get your final made-to-order gown in about 3-4 months. Sounds like a fun thing to do with your friends, right?

*DISCLAIMER: We are not suggesting or promoting these companies. We are also not responsible if you try out these websites and have a bad experience, for sometimes you’ll get a dress that doesn’t match your needs.

7. Gently-Used Clothing

Say goodbye to thrift stores and flea markets, because the internet now allows you to buy and sell gently used clothing and products. Poshmark is the leading site in this category, making it fun and simple to buy and sell fashion. If you’re thinking about selling, all you have to do is take a picture of the garment, fill in a description, set your price, and you’re done! Then when you make a sale on Poshmark, they provide you with a pre-paid, pre-addressed label ready to be put on the box. All you have to do is package it and send it off, so shipping is free and super easy. If you choose to be a buyer, know that you are protected with every purchase and will not be ripped off. Another online platform to try that goes beyond just clothes is Offer Up.

8. Laundry Service

Speaking of clothes services, did you know you can also do your laundry online now? That’s right – whether you always forget to drop off your dry cleaning, you don’t have a washing machine in your home, or you just hate doing laundry – the internet can help. Rinse is a laundry service that will actually pick up your dirty laundry and deliver clean clothes to your door within 24 hours – 36 hours. You can go online and do this from your tablet, laptop, or phone any time and schedule your pickup for any day of the week – including Sundays – which is super convenient! You also get to pick exactly the service you want, whether it’s dry cleaning, wash & fold, and/or hang dry. Your Rinse Valet will arrive between 8pm – 10pm with your Rinse bags, and all you have to do is fill them up and confirm your delivery date. Then a laundry professional will complete your chore in a careful manner, while keeping you updated via text and on the site/app.

9. Handmade Crafty Products

If you’re looking for products made from another person, then Etsy is a cute e-commerce website you MUST check out. It’s focused on handmade or vintage items and supplies, as well as unique factory-manufactured items. These items cover a wide range, including art, photography, clothing, jewelry, food, bath and beauty products, quilts, knick-knacks, and toys. There’s something for everyone, so it’s great to even browse on your free time. If you make products yourself, it’s also a great site to start selling your items on.

10. Wholesale Products in Bulk

Maybe you need to order products in bulk for a birthday party, a bridal group, a school event, etc. Or maybe you just want to re-sell products and make some profit on the side. Well, did you know it’s now possible to do this online? Websites like Alibaba and DHGate are based in China and known for selling wholesale products. Think of it like Amazon, except a whole lot cheaper and a whole lot more products. The prices are low since they’re coming from overseas, and shipping surprisingly doesn’t cost that much. Just be sure to order your items in advance, for it can take some time to get here.

11. Grocery Shopping

If you tell your grandparents you shop for groceries online, they’ll think you’re insane. How do you know if the food is fresh? Where is it coming from? If you’re like me and absolutely despise grocery stores and food shopping, then you’re probably already aware of this option. And yes – the food IS fresh and this is actually a super reliable option.

This started with PeaPod by Stop & Shop – you order your groceries online, pick your delivery date/time, a huge truck comes to your home, and carries the bags inside. Now, there’s an array of apps that make this even easier. My personal favorite is Instacart, which allows you to pick from a variety of nearby food stores in your area. You search and add items to your cart, choose the delivery date/time, and then your very own PERSONAL shopper does everything for you! It gives you their name, which items they shopped for, which items they couldn’t find (in which case you can approve a replacement), when your items are being kept in refrigeration, and when they’re on their way. It’s like you’re virtually on the shopping experience with them, and the app gives your accurate updates. I also use this because I don’t have a car and don’t live close to a supermarket, so it’s honestly super convenient and easy for me. Other popular ones to check out are FreshDirect or Blue Apron, which delivers the exact ingredients to your doorstep to make gourmet meals yourself. Thank you, technology!

12. Food & Drinks Takeout

Let’s say you don’t want to go bulk grocery shopping. Maybe you’re craving your favorite drink from Starbucks, or want a slurpee from 7-Eleven. Or maybe, you’re in the mood for some fast-food. Well – there’s an app for that! Postmates is a beautiful thing that delivers your food and drink needs to your door. I personally love it because you can get anything you need or want quickly, no matter how far and what the weather is outside. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can always explore other online services that essentially do the same thing: GrubHub, Seamless, or UberEats. Say goodbye to phone anxiety and messed up orders!

13. Freelancers/Work Help

Need help with your taxes or Quickbooks? Need someone to create an image for you or a logo? There’s a website for that. We always recommend that you delegate tasks out to people that you don’t have the experience or time to do. Upwork and Fivver are two reliable sites we use regularly. You simply post the job description and budget, and receive a ton of offers the same day. You then get to look at each person’s skills, profiles, and ratings to choose the best virtual assistant to complete your task online – all for a super cheap price. You also get to review their work and can chat with them before you pay them, which is great to ensure it gets done right. If you haven’t tried these websites yet, you’re truly missing out! This can be for personal tasks or for your business.

14. Christmas Trees

The last one we recently found is perfect for the upcoming holiday season. Believe it or not, you can actually now order a LIVE Christmas tree up to 7 feet tall on Amazon! Did you ever think you could browse for a fresh tree without stepping outside in the cold? It’s definitely ideal for those who never have the time (or energy) to go out and take a tree home themselves. Plus you don’t have to worry about the hassle of strapping it to your car roof!

Did we miss anything? Were you shocked by any of the things you can now buy online? Let us know in the comments! Also if you don’t have your own ecommerce store setup, we highly recommend you start selling online NOW. Let us help you and work together, or check out our online course Mastering Digital Marketing where we teach you exactly how to build an ecommerce shop that’s optimized for sales, how to work with a web designer, and how to increase sales once your site is up!

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