Originally Posted by l_macd
I'd say that's more personal choice and simple comparison shopping than anything ethical or moral.
It just seems wrong to me to take advantage of a shop if you have no intention of buying from it. Just comparing prices, or choosing one shop over another because of better service, better information or whatever is a different thing.
I know when I bought my last TV I did a lot of research online beforehand, but when I eventually went into a shop to buy it (I wanted to be able to see it in action first), I felt it only fair to buy it from the shop despite it being a little cheaper online. But the fact is, it was still competitively priced, if it had been a lot dearer I'd probably have walked out without buying it....
It's all about intent for me..... that's not so bad, so is murder!
Sounds like you took advantage of the review and information infrastructure (not to mention bandwidth) of online retailers to do your research with no intention of buying from them. You monster.
I just don't see how the reverse scenario, of using a physical store then buying online is any worse from a morals perspective. Maybe your browsing at a physical store costs that store more money than browsing a physical store, but so what? The physical store setup their business that way, costs and all; it doesn't become a question of morals simply because some arbitrary cost threshold gets crossed.
It seems like people are imputing morality where there is none so they can feel better about their own shopping preferences. Feeling one form of shopping is better than another (shopping in-person vs. online) because it supports local businesses is all good, but saying that preference is morally superior rather than just a preference seems incorrect to me.