The internet is the best thing to happen to consumers in decades. Pick a product or service — cars, computers, TVs, cookware, homes, insurance — and chances are you can find tons of ratings, information, and deals to help make an informed decision and save money.
This makes it all the more frustrating when planning to buy one of the handful of products that has eluded internet-induced transparency. I discovered this several years ago when buying a mattress. The internet was largely useless against the industry’s bewildering “specs,” dizzying array of models (many of which are unique to a particular retailer), and creepy throwback salesmen who seemed even creepier because of the information asymmetry inherent to our encounters.
The same frustrations have come up in my recent search for luggage. Smart decisions are tough when facing units of measurement and materials that seem made up (“denier,” “Tricore ballistic nylon”); retailer-exclusive models (making comparison shopping harder); and a dearth of authoritative information (Consumer Reports’s website has a single, subscription-required ratings roundup).
Luggage goes on sale every other week, but as with everything else, holiday sales are usually some of the best of the year. I’ve spent some time scoping out Macy’s (in anticipation of a big sale today, Nov. 18) and other luggage sellers, and I think I’ve come up with a few good options. Of course, now I can’t decide which to get.