If you want to find out whether a person is an online shopping fanatic or not, ask him to recall the names of at least 10 websites which he/she uses for online purchases within a minute’s time. That wouldn’t be too hard given that we are all connected in the virtual world and everything is readily available at our finger tips, literally! Every skill, every talent, every idea is marketable today. You can sell homemade handicrafts, electronics, furniture, jewellery, apparel, or even services such as tutoring, home cleaning, escorting and what not. You can reach out to small, private sellers or shop from the biggest brands and famous designers; all from the comfort of your home or any place that gives access to an internet connection. These virtual shops provide multiple payment options also so that you would not have to line up at that crowded ATM queue to withdraw money. If you are ready to splurge some money and devote an extra bit of time scouring the net, you might chance upon some unique, vintage and rare products or even relics from the past.
To reiterate, online shopping really depends upon what you are looking for and how much time and money you are ready to spend. You might also get awesome discounts or coupons that you will not get elsewhere. Very often, people hesitate to shop online because of the underlying uncertainty that the item they receive will not be the same as the one they placed the order for, judging by the picture and the seller’s description. If you are one of those people who are still unsure about shopping online, we have tried to put things in perspective by analyzing the pros and cons of online shopping.
Price- Products are sold online at a cheaper rate as compared to shops. This is true to a great extent and reasonably so. The online sellers don’t have to pay as much rent or taxes for their warehouses, whereas the maintenance of real stores are very pricey. Sure, you might find some online stores with relatively higher prices, but they will come with the promise of higher quality also.
Location- You don’t have to travel overseas to buy the item you fancy. Most of the internet stores have world-wide delivery. This way, you save time, effort and money. Online shopping gives you access to any brand you have been dreaming about as long as they have an online outlet.
Shopping groceries does not have to be a full day affair with half the day spent waiting at traffic signals. Online shops have a review and reputation system wherein you can rate and leave a review about your product and shopping experience from that particular shop or buyer. Hey you can save up on the vehicle fuel as well.
Delivery- You might have to wait a day or two or even more when you order online. If you are looking for something to wear the next day to a party, counting on an express delivery from an online seller might have its own pitfalls. Conversely, the shipping terms and conditions pertain to the seller and the postal company. Both parties are responsible to ensure that the package arrives fast and to right address. There might even be option to set the delivery address as your company address for those people who are at work and have no time to pick up their parcel.
Uniqueness- We are talking about those people who can’t get enough of clothes and shoes. Every fashionista dreads to be dressed the same like someone else. With plenty of options to choose from, there will be no shortage of extraordinary and unusual products.
Designer items at affordable prices- Not everyone can afford designer clothes or jewelry, but sometimes but the temptation might be just too hard to resist! When you shop online, you might be lucky enough to get an exactly replica of the original.
Unclear measurements and sizes- The online sizes and measurements can be quite confusing and is one of the main reasons why we vacillate whether to buy or not to buy. The online size chart may differ from the size of the original item and vary from one brand to the other. If someone has a non-standard type of body, it might be complicated to select the appropriate size. The same applies to shoes and accessories. Even if you choose a certain size after taking proper measurements, there is no guarantee that the fitting will be comfortable. Thankfully, the reputed online stores always come with guaranteed returns or offer money back guarantee.
Duplicates, discrepancy from the original product- You have heard this time and again. Unfortunately, we cannot ensure that the products we see online are original or if they would match the ones delivered to us. Pictures on the websites may not reflect the real color tones, quality of the materials or the real measurements of items. Besides, the products displayed on the models will not look the same when an ordinary person tries it on. Many people end up being disappointed with their orders and stop buying online altogether.
The online shopping obsession- That’s true! The more you see the more you spend. There are so many irresistible attractive offers, discounts, clearance sales and cheap prices online! Now that most online shops have their own shopping apps, updates about offers and discount sales flood your mobile. At first glance it might look like quite a bargain, but finally you end up repenting the unnecessary fortune that you might have spent on shopping things that you didn’t really need. Online shopping addiction is very much real.
Shipping problems- If you are an experienced online buyer you might very well know that there is a small probability that you may not receive the product at all. On many occasions there might be delay in the delivery of the product due to fraudulent or negligent courier/ postal services. However the reputed online stores have a purchase tracking system as well as a refund option. But no compensation can make up for the disappointment in not receiving an item for which you have been impatiently waiting.
Resale– In case you are not completely satisfied with the product delivered to you, there is always the option to resell the item via websites like EBay. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure! It has indeed become a profitable business to resell already purchased items or second hand items to make extra money or to get rid of unwanted items. Therefore the idea of online trading is bilateral- people sell, people buy and people sell again. You are both a customer and a seller.
So, weigh all the negatives and positives of online shopping to decide if online shopping is really your thing!