Shopping for groceries online: patience, patience, patience

by Michael Carin

My wife, Cielo, and I, having decided to observe a total lockdown, are now conversant with the online labyrinths and protocols of four grocery providers: IGA, Metro, Walmart, and Amazon. After all, if we can’t go out to hunt and gather, then our sustenance is going to have to magically arrive at our door. The times being what they are, however, online ordering has turned somewhat less than magical.

Take special note: the timelines for delivery are beginning to stretch WAY out. Our first delivery will not take place until a week from today, and I placed that order three days ago, which provides some idea of the contours and downsides of the new world we are now inhabiting.  

This morning I waited nearly an hour to access the IGA site. (Fortunately the site puts you in a charming queue and tells you how long your wait time will be, so you don’t have to hover.) Once in, however, I spent more than an hour ordering about ninety dollars worth of groceries, because the site kept seizing up.

Tip to the unwary: when the IGA site’s alert/apology message takes over your screen, don’t panic, don’t give up, don’t exit or apply a sledgehammer to your computer . . . just use your back arrow at the top left of your screen and wait for the site to bring you back to the product pages. Patience, patience . . .

We have deliveries pending from both Metro and Walmart (first and second week of April respectively). I can recommend their sites more readily than IGA’s because they never seized up on me. Then again, with each passing day, more and more people are using the sites, so delays are probably inevitable. Perhaps the best strategy is to do your online grocery shopping in the small hours of the morning.

We are using Amazon for some groceries (like canned goods and coffee, especially coffee), but mainly for products we would normally buy in pharmacies. The thing about Amazon is that different products come at different times, some in two days and some in two weeks (and toilet paper in five weeks). In retrospect I should not have been astounded when Amazon’s timeline for delivering a copy of a well stocked book jumped to three weeks. They’re rather overwhelmed in the warehouses of the world these days.

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