Jeff Bezos launched Amazon.com in 1994 as an online bookstore. Nearly a quarter of a decade later, Amazon has completely disrupted not only the book market but nearly every other market that contributes to the daily habits of modern households.
You can buy appliances, clothing, technology, pantry staples, toiletries, and even takeout from your favorite restaurants on Amazon.com. The addition of Amazon Prime, which offers free two-day shipping on numerous items, eliminated shipping-cost blues, and consumer impatience problems. In my opinion, Amazon Prime is primarily responsible for the wide adoption of online shopping for anything and everything.
Considering that you can get everything from a dishwasher to an ugly Christmas sweater from this once Barnes & Noble competitor, it is no wonder that so many travelers are turning to this online superstore for luggage purchases. But is Amazon the best place to shop for luggage? To answer that question, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of buying something as crucial to the travel lifestyle as a piece of luggage from this online superstore.
Pros to buying luggage on Amazon
Amazon carries hundreds if not thousands of brands. You can browse more than one line of products, unlike your options in a Tumi or Samsonite store. You can find hard case roller bags, duffle bags, backpacks, trunks, over-nighters, and sets.
Whether you are looking to hike the Appalachian Trail, take a luxury trip across Europe, or desperately cram a week’s worth of clothing into the airline-approved “personal item”, Amazon has got you covered. There are dozens of choices within each luggage category.
One of my favorite things about shopping on Amazon is the incredible community of customer reviews. Before I buy anything, I check the star rating, read the top rated comments, and scroll through the hundreds of responses until I find a photo of the product I am considering.
In more traditional shopping environments, I would not have access to feedback on how well the item holds up, how dirty it gets, which features are better than expected and which fall flat on expectations. Depending on the popularity of a product, there can be dozens of pages of reviews.
I have made it a personal policy not to buy anything without making sure it is highly reviewed by other shoppers like myself. I don’t want to buy a backpack if the waist strap is bound to break. In the past, the only way I could have learned that was by trying the item out myself.
One of most significant benefits of shopping online is the convenience of it. Without ever leaving your home or office, you can comparison shop and make a purchase. No need for in-store pick up either. The items can be delivered to your front door.
The concept of visiting a physical store to look for an item that they may not have in stock or that is not going to meet my needs is exhausting. It is sometimes hard to believe that online shopping is a recent phenomenon.
Cons to buying luggage on Amazon
Harder to “sample” products
One thing you lose with online shopping is the ability to try out the items first hand. Maybe the roller bag you are considering has a sticky wheel, or maybe the “red” duffle bag is actually kind of pink. Those things are impossible to determine over the Internet.
Amazon has a fantastic return policy, so it is still possible to order an item, try it out at home and ship it back if it is not to your liking. But that kind of eliminates any convenience you gleaned from the online interaction in the first place.
This may not be important in a lot of situations, but the 2-day shipping can be a problem if you need a piece of luggage immediately. If you pop a zipper, lose a wheel, or just buy too many souvenirs for your luggage while traveling, you may not have the 2 days to spare.
Factors to consider
Before you decide if Amazon is the best place to shop for luggage, ask yourself the following questions:
• How soon do I need this item?
• How likely am I to ship it back if it isn’t exactly what I wanted?
• Do I trust the Amazon Reviewers?
Depending on how you feel about your answers, Amazon can be a great place to purchase luggage. I have personally have bought packing cubes and a fantastic hiking pack off of Amazon. I couldn’t be happier with my purchases.
Just in case you don’t know what you want, below are some of the top sellers for various pieces of luggage, all available on Amazon, and all just two days away from being yours (if you have Prime).
Hard Case Roller Bag
The Rockland Melbourne 20-Inch Expandable Abs Carry On Luggage is a best seller and an Amazon Choice. This suitcase is only low in price and comes in 40 different colors. It is ideal for the jet-setter who doesn’t want to deal with checked baggage. Buy it now.
The Plambag Unisex’s Canvas Duffel Bag Oversized Travel Tote Luggage Bag is another best seller. It is also low in price and available in three colors. It has plenty of positive reviews, and many of the reviewers use the word “sturdy”. Buy it now.
If you are anything like me, you’ve been taking advantage of all of the cheap travel the newer budget airlines are offering. The only downside is that there may be restrictions on how many bags you are can bring. This is where the SwissGear Travel Gear 1900 Scansmart TSA Laptop Backpack really shines. It’s got about a dozen different pockets to store all of your travel gear, and can even fit a 17-inch laptop. Buy it now.
Luggage sets are fantastic to have for longer trips, and the Samsonite Omni PC Hardside 3 Piece Set 20 24 28 Spinner is a fantastic travel choice. It comes with three quality pieces and can be ordered in 11 different colors. Add packing cubes to your luggage and you’ll be good to go. Buy it now.
Be sure to do some research into the best pieces on Amazon the next time you’re in the market for luggage. You can take advantage of having your new bag sent right to your door!