We've all felt a little guilty. (Well, some of us)
We've gone ahead and done it anyway.
Now, It has a name ….. SHOWROOMING
Wikipedia* describe it thus:
Showrooming can be costly to the retailers, not only in the loss of the sale, but also due to damage caused by the floor samples of a product. (2)
There's more to it than that, of course.
For starters there's the issue of taxation. At present on-line stores can locate virtually anywhere they please, and change as often as they like dodging tax tripwires like Value Added Tax (VAT), sundry sales taxes, local levies, income taxes …. and on and on and on. There's no international agreement that really covers the issue and, given the nature of the problem there possibly never will be. No government likes companies, especially profitable ones, residing – even if on paper only – on their 'turf', but hate the prospect of that company moving elsewhere even more.
There's no denying that customers benefit big time: and that's no bad thing.
However, one problem may loom larg(er) in the near future.
At present the much maligned bricks and mortar stores do offer online retailers and customers alike a shop window. As on-line selling grows ever more successful ….. where do you go to feel, touch, smell, heft, read the small print on the packet in 7 different languages, and ask a real life salesperson what they think of it. But by that time the only way we know how to communicate with our fellow humans is via digital devices anyway.
Wikipedia: > Search > enter Showrooming