Recently, I was shopping for several items that normally could be found at a brick and mortar location. To my surprise I was told that both items would need to be ordered. I’m starting to see this more and more at stores like Walmart, Target, Home Depot, Office Depot, and on and on.

Retail websites are now carrying more and more items that need to be ordered. My experience tells me this is a trend that will continue. If common products must be ordered because retail brick and mortar locations want to keep inventory levels at a bare minimum, then I’ll do some comparative shopping online for the best deal.

In the case of one product, I was looking for a laptop stand. A quick visit to Office Depot’s website and you’ll find 5-6 models you can choose from. While the retail price was $99 I would have gladly paid it if they had one in stock. When I arrived at the store they only had one in stock, but it was the wrong model for my needs.

A quick visit to Ebay and I was able to find a new laptop stand in California for just $24 + $25 for shipping. It was a comparable product to what Office Depot carried on their website. By being forced to look online I saved $50.

This is my point…if common retail locations force consumers to order more and more product vs. having the product in stock, will consumers start to shop online for better pricing? I think they will. What are your thoughts on the current state of brick and mortar retail?