Shopping for goods and services online offers myriad benefits, such as efficiency, convenience, greater selection than traditional shopping on a street corner. In this digital age, it is not only more convenient but also allows you to find better prices by scouring the internet rather than wandering around aimlessly in stores trying to find what you’re looking for. Social media has strengthened its popularity even further because, with social sharing sites like Facebook or Pinterest, surfing becomes less of an effort when your followers post their favorite finds.
The advantages are endless: having everything at one’s fingertips can be efficient. Online shopping can be a great thing for many people, but if you don’t know how to do it right, then the negatives of online shopping tend to outweigh its positives. But there are ways that you can learn and enjoy all the benefits of e-commerce while also avoiding scams.
Pros of Online Shopping
Online shopping allows you to shop whenever and wherever. You can avoid rush hours, traffic jams, crowded stores (if you live in a big city), and the pressure of salespeople. From home or office, school, or anywhere else where you have internet access, you can browse for anything at any time.
Online shopping also offers a variety of options that you can’t find in traditional shopping. For example, If your child is looking for a new backpack online, then s/he will have a lot more options compared to if s/he had gone out in the morning and tried on all the backpacks available at Target or Walmart.
If you’re busy with work, kids, school-you can shop from the comfort of your home without having to go anywhere.
Online shopping is also efficient in that you don’t have to physically visit multiple locations, which takes time and money. With online shopping, all purchases are often one click away or even done with an app on your phone. You can also shop at any time, day or night…whenever you have a free moment.
Online shopping is also efficient in that many times it even takes into account your location (via GPS) and suggests items relevant to the country where you’re located! And if not-the sites usually state clearly what countries they ship to. You can tell when a store has been designed with the international market in mind.
There are many websites that help people search for better prices, such as www.pricespy.com and www.shopontop.com. These sites will show you the best price for a product, no matter where you buy it. They do this by comparing the listed prices of major online stores like Amazon, Walmart, and Best Buy (these are just a few). The site also shows you any deals or coupons available for that product.
Product reviews are a great way to find out whether it’s worth your time or not. You can tell if an item is a good buy by reading other people’s opinions and seeing what they had to say about it. You’ll also need to know the features of the product well before you buy, so you know that you’re getting exactly what you want and not buying something for the wrong reason.
Cons of Online Shopping
Buying things online means that there will be shipping costs incurred, which can sometimes add up depending on where your order is coming from and how much it weighs. For example, purchasing food from an online grocer will charge you upwards of $4-10 for shipping (depending on how much food you buy).
Online stores that offer free shipping are rare. But there are ways to avoid paying for shipping.
Returns and Refunds
For people who shop online, it can be frustrating when they encounter hidden fees. One of the fees you may not know exists for items with a return policy is repairs or replacements due to defects in manufacturing within 30 days after purchase.
Many shoppers have returned defective merchandise only to find out later there were additional costs involved, such as paying for shipping labels off-site (in some cases) or even paying someone else at the post office if their store doesn’t provide them for free.
Higher Risk of Fraud
Online shopping is not for everyone. In fact, in the United States alone, there is more than $100 billion worth of credit card fraud online. For many people, this is a big risk and something they just aren’t willing to take if they value their money.
However, one of the easiest ways to avoid fraud and identity theft is by following this simple rule: NEVER use your credit card to buy anything that is not 100% secure. For example, a new book out by an author you’ve never heard of for $30 is probably fraud! But if it’s from a bookstore or online retailer you know and trust-it’s safe to assume that the purchase is legit.
Just because an item is listed for sale on a reputable site or from a big and trusted seller doesn’t mean that it’s legit. Always do your research before making any large purchases online!
Sales Tax and Other Fees
You might shell out more dough than you think if you buy online. Items like jewelry and clothing are generally taxable, but international shipping can make things even pricier. Shopping on Etsy? Be prepared to pay a 5% transaction fee that could be tacked onto the price of your purchase by sellers who want to cover their own costs for convenience’s sake.
You Won’t Get the Full Experience
The experience you get when buying something at a store is vastly different from online shopping. You won’t be able to try it on, feel it, or see how it looks in person. Of course, if you’re someone who knows their exact measurements and aren’t afraid of trying things on before buying them-buying clothing online is a bit more convenient.
Tips for Making the Most of Online Shopping
- Know all the features of an item before you buy it.
- If possible, find out if there is a warranty on your purchase (if it’s something large like furniture).
- Read online reviews about the product to ensure that it works as expected, and stay clear of products with lots of negative feedback or complaints.
- Make sure the retailer you’re buying from has a good reputation and is trustworthy. Look at the reviews, customer service responses, etc. to get an idea of how they operate.
- Use sites like Amazon or other big online retailers that have thousands of positive reviews (and great star ratings!) so you know it’s safe to buy things from them! You can also make sure they’re a reputable seller by doing your research on BBB and similar sites.
In conclusion, online shopping has many pros and cons. The best way to use it is by doing your research beforehand, so you can avoid scams and make the most of all its benefits!