(Guest Blog post by Matt Elin)
I wanted to share an experience trying to get more forensic supplies online. I recently needed a new fingerprint brush and like most detectives or crime scene techs, sometimes it’s just easier to order it yourself than to put in a request through your chain of command.
Maybe I’m just spoiled since Amazon Prime came into my life, but I found some things that I cannot believe still exist on websites- order minimums and paying for shipping!
(Anyone who has ordered anything on Amazon Prime knows that whenever you need to pay for shipping on some site you feel a sense of outrage!) I’ve abandoned entire orders just because I had to pay for shipping- I know I can’t be alone in this feeling!
I went to a major forensic company's website thinking, I’ll just quick order the one brush I need (it was about $10) and I'd be back in business. One of my brushes had seen better days, so it was time for a new one. Well I added the lone fiberglass brush to my cart and hit checkout. Nothing happened.
I hit checkout again, and that’s when I noticed a little notification on my screen “$25 minimum order!” Really? I need to order three of these things just to get the one I need?
Fine. I changed the quantity and now I get 3 brushes for $30. Hit checkout. Then it makes me register an account. Fine, I need the brush, so I do it. On to shipping…
Whoa! My jaw drops... $19 just to ship this to my house for standard ground shipping. Yes folks that’s the cheapest option and it takes up to 5 days for delivery!
So to recap what started out with me needing one single brush for $10, has now turned into an almost $50 purchase...for 3 fingerprint brushes. Two of which I don’t even need!
There has got to be a better way.
So I turned to the place I always do for 98% of my online shopping. Amazon.com
Here I found a shop that has the same fingerprint brushes, plus they come in a carrying case for $20 bucks. And it can be here tomorrow!
Plus it says the shop is owned by current law enforcement, which is a nice little bonus. Finally we’ve caught up to the modern world.
To recap my quest to buy a single fingerprint brush:
Option 1: Buy on a major Forensic Supply Site
1 Brush + $10
Minimum $25 order size (add 2 more brushes) + $20
Ground Shipping (up to 5 days) + $19
(gets me 2 extra brushes I don’t need and I have to wait 5 days)
Option 2: Order on Amazon
1 Brush + $19.99
Prime Shipping (Free 1 day)
(gets me the 1 brush I needed in the first place and I get what I need tomorrow)
So all in all what I have learned is this, it’s time for a better way to get forensic supplies. I hope this trend continues and I can find more and more of what I need on Amazon, without the hassle of these outdated minimum orders and paying for shipping.
In case you’re wondering where you can find this same stuff here’s the website:
This has all the different products and links right to each Amazon listing so it’s easy to navigate. They’ve actually got a good collection of stuff for CSIs.
I don’t see why more police departments aren’t ordering from Amazon for stuff. Products tend to be cheaper and arrive in 1-2 days. Maybe it’s because most of the administrators right now are a generation or two older and don’t even realize that Amazon is an option? I’m always one that is for supporting small businesses over the big guys, and it looks like a lot of these sellers on Amazon are just that- small businesses.
Shoutout to Taction USA for solving my problem and trying to break us out of the old way doing things. Hopefully more of these departments catch on and this causes a shift for the better. Cheaper products that are here fast, and we don’t have to order 10 of them just to qualify!
Rant over. Thanks for coming to my TED talk.
*Special thanks for the kind words Matt!
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