I’m not normally one to purchase items online – I tend to prefer the traditional brick-and-mortar storefront. This is for several reasons: 1) I like to be able to inspect the quality and condition of an item prior to purchasing; 2) I’m nervous about shipping costs; and, 3) I feel that online purchases are a dangerous proposition for my spending habits. If you can ‘click to purchase’ anywhere, anytime, for an item that you can’t tangibly feel, smell, touch, or taste, how will your brain translate and track extraneous expenditures?
However, my involvement in the Digital Innovation Skills Certificate (DISC) Program has been rapidly changing my perspectives around online shopping. I’m slowly becoming hyper-aware of my interactions with products and services online. And – perhaps because of the increased awareness – I am starting to engage more with online purchases.
My most recent experience with online purchases has been with Carbon Coco. Perhaps simply as a fluke of my age, gender, and other demographic characteristics, I began to see advertisements for Carbon Coco’s natural teeth whitening products pop up regularly on my Facebook feed. One evening, as dazed as I would be watching cheezy late-night infomercials, I clicked through the Carbon Coco ad to the mobile website.
I immediately looked over the customer Testimonials on the website, and read a bit about the ingredients in their products. Turns out that the primary ingredient is ‘Activated Charcoal’ – which also happens to be the absolute mother of all beauty and healthcare products; it harmlessly (if messily) whitens teeth, relieves gas and bloating, helps prevent hangovers, filters water, and helps purify skin (see Dr. Axe.com, 2017). Most recipes for tooth whitening with activated charcoal call for it to be mixed with coconut oil for best effect.
As I delved deeper into the customer Testimonials for Carbon Coco, I became increasingly interested in trying out this product. However, I was turned off by the high cost to ship Carbon Coco products in a reasonable time frame ($15 U.S. for 3-day shipping), the fact that it was an American company, and the lack of options to buy only one or two products beyond the full ‘kits’ offered on their site.
Further research online yielded a local company, CRBN, selling a 70g bag of Activated Charcoal for only $29.45 CAD. Further, this product was available at a number of local health food stores. I eagerly visited the closest option, Nature’s Vibe in downtown Galt, and was very glad to have the option to peruse the store at my leisure, feel the weight of the bag in my hands, and ask questions of the knowledgeable staff on duty.
Ultimately, I did make my long-considered purchase of the CRBN Activated Charcoal product. I subsequently experimented with all kinds of mixtures and pastes, most of them messy but quite successful. I felt satisfied with the purchase because I’d compared options and done some research online, culminating in the best-case scenario of a product I enjoyed, from people I liked, at a reasonable price.
Follow-up note: Purchasing this product also made me feel better in touch with my own health through interaction with a health-conscious community of people. What a positive and happy feeling!