Editor’s Note: This is a continuation of last week’s column on a proposal that would open up the Army and Air Force Exchange Service’s online shopping to all veterans with an honorable discharge.
As I wrote in last week’s column, I did a little price-comparing recently, looking at various items for sale online at the post exchange.
The column was in response to a new proposal considered by the military that would allow about 20 million veterans like myself to shop at the PX online.
It’s being pushed by AAFES and would likely greatly increase sales for the exchange.
If approved by the military, the new policy would kick in on Veterans Day.
With this new proposed benefit of online shopping, I wondered if the PX can really be competitive with other online shopping giants out there like Amazon or Walmart.
As a test, I did my own price comparison online, looking at a few products I would likely buy.
Here is what I found:
First things first — shoes.
Stacy Adams Men’s Jonah Slip-On Shoe (brown in color): This is the kind of shoe I wear every day to work. Listed on the AAFES site, the price is $59.
The same shoe (size 11) listed on Amazon: $84.95.
Hey, score a point for AAFES.
Next up, pants.
Dockers Men’s Signature Khaki D3 Classic Fit Pleated Pant: At AAFES, this pair of pants was listed at $35.99. Amazon was little more expensive at $39.99.
Now, onto cool stuff:
Vizio 60 in. Class Full Array LED Smart HDTV: It’s listed as $849.99 on the AAFES website.
Best Buy had it at the same price, and it was listed slightly lower — at $848 — on Amazon.
With a couple of kids of my own, I was interested in baby gear prices.
Graco SnugRide 30 Infant Car Seat – Forecaster: This middle of the line baby car seat was listed as $99 at AAFES. I found it for $71.28 on Amazon.
So there you have it. Like all online shopping, it pays to shop around. It’s a very competitive market.
Still, AAFES did have very good prices, and in some cases, the lowest price I could find.
An AAFES representative did tell me shipping is free on all orders more than $50.
Unlike Amazon or Best Buy, however, online AAFES shoppers must log in before they can view all of the prices on items and shop.
Hopefully, this new benefit will be approved by the military, and all veterans with honorable discharges can, once again, shop at the PX.
At least online, anyway.
Jacob Brooks, a former Army tanker, is the city editor for the Killeen Daily Herald. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7468.