Among all the things I never thought I would purchase from Amazon, bras and antiperspirant are ranked pretty highly.
Last year, I bought bras on Amazon. Now, it looks like the online retailer is going to be my new source for unscented antiperspirant.
Anyone who has ever worn a bra knows that you don’t buy a bra without trying it on first. However, anyone who has ever found the PERFECT bra knows that you buy that same bra until the end of time.
I’ve found the perfect bra a few times over the years, only to be disappointed when I returned to a department store to buy that EXACT bra only to find that the manufacturer had changed it ever so slightly, so that now the cups cut funny, dented lines across my boobs or gaped as if I had lost an entire cup size (note: I have never lost an entire cup size, even after I had my tonsils out at age 20 and lost an inadvisable amount of weight).
So last year, frustrated yet again after another department store failed to stock the make and model of bra that had supported me for months, I turned to the Internet. I googled the five-digit identification number I found on the tag and — voila — Amazon had it in stock. In my size. In multiple colors. For $5 less than I had paid at the store.
And now, 14 months later? Amazon STILL has it in stock, in all colors and sizes. The department store? I have no idea. I can’t be bothered to start from zero with another make and model of bra when Amazon has the one that fits me perfectly. Brick-and-mortar retailers have forced my hand in the name of product diversity, making me go online to find what I want because they stock everything but.
Same thing with the antiperspirant. I can’t STAND the odor of scented antiperspirants made for women. I actually like the smell of many of the men’s varieties, possibly because they’re woodsier and darker. But the women’s products are powdery and flowery and just plain insipid. I can rarely smell them on other people, but I can ALWAYS smell them on me.
I can’t really see why women put up with those scents even if they don’t find them offensive. Many women spend a lot of money on other scented products, like lotions, powders and perfumes, that they carefully layer on to produce just the right subtle scent. Why would they mix in a cheap floral antiperspirant on top of that?
To each her own.
My choices of unscented antiperspirants have been dwindling for years, but this summer they dwindled to zero, at least locally. And it’s not that manufacturers aren’t making them anymore so much that stores have developed some lazy stocking behaviors. I visited two big-box stores and one drugstore in my search; in each, the deodorant aisle had slots for literally dozens of different product varieties, but approximately 30 percent of the slots were empty.
While I enjoy a home and a workplace that are both in close proximity to these retailers, it’s not my responsibility to make return trips just to check to see if anyone has bothered stocking the shelves. I get the feeling that once I’ve ordered my first six-pack of unscented deodorant from Amazon, I’ll never bother looking for it locally again.
So, brick-and-mortar retailers griping about the Internet stealing your business: Try harder. I’m not asking for huge discounts or home delivery. You simply have to stock the products I want to purchase. And you are failing.