There are many advantages and disadvantages to shopping online. I have been shopping online for over 14 years and feel that I am fairly well qualified to compare and contrast online and local stores one walks into to shop.
ADVANTAGES OF SHOPPING ONLINE
- You can do it 24/7. You can shop whenever you want. If you want to buy a new Mobile at 3 a.m., you can.
- You can shop from the comfort of your own home. If it is hot outside, you don't have to go out in the heat. If you don't feel like getting dressed, you can wear your pjs (or even nothing at all). If there is a foot of snow on the roads and you can't get out, you can still shop. Also, if you don't feel well, this is definitely the way to shop
- Wide variety of stores within a few clicks. This is very important for me since there are few stores in our locale. However, I can get online and find almost anything I need or want. I have been able to sample foods from all over the world via online shopping
- Comparison shopping is simplified. Let's say your Wife has told you that she would like apple ipod for her birthday. Comparing the prices of this ipod is much easier online than by running to a variety of video stores. The easiest way is to use some price comparison sites such as ebay.in or tradus.in.
- Discount coupons and Cashback are more readily available online. For example, if you are planning to buy a book at a Local bookstore, you are unlikely to find a coupon to reduce the cost of the book. However, many online bookstores (like other types of online stores) offer discount coupons.
- No lines to wait in nor cranky people to deal with. Many people find this to be great, especially during the holiday season when lines and tempers can both flare. Also, all of us have days when we are "out of sort" and no one has to deal with US when we shop online.
- You don't have to drag kids all over the place. It can be a real challenge to shop with several little "pitter-pattering" feet around you who have "shopped 'til they have dropped" the moment they entered the store.
- You can use anyone's credit card (assuming that they authorized you to use it. Careful clerks will not allow you to do this in the store. However, there are times when that person is not available and they have approved of your purchase.
- You can listen to whatever music you like while shopping online. Or, you can listen to the TV, talk on the phone, or listen to NOTHING at all. However, if you are in the store, you may have to hear someone else's kid screaming, hear boring music,or hear stuff you just don't want to listen to.
- Online shopping is PERFECT for buying gifts that are to be sent to distant friends or relatives. Most online stores will even wrap the gift for you before sending it. You can even indicate that it is a gift so that the invoice is not included with the item. Buying these types of gifts online is very convenient since you don't have to wrap the gift, properly package it, and then drag it to the post office.
- One can shop in private. There are times when privacy really matters for many people. For example, lets say that someone needs to buy condoms, or bra. Many people would be too embarrassed to buy these items in a store where they have to face at least one other person who knows what they are buying. When you buy these items online, that embarrassment is minimized.
DISADVANTAGES OF SHOPPING ONLINE
- It takes time to get your items normally 2-3 days or in some cases 10-15 days to receive your bought item.
- You can only see what will fit on one page at a time. When you walk into a Local store, you can see many more items at a glance. When I know EXACTLY what I want (item name, brand, style, etc.), I find that I can locate the item more quickly online. However, if I only have a general idea (or less) of what I want, then I find that it can take me much longer to shop online. For example, if I am looking for a gift for a friend's birthday but I don't know what to get her, I will probably have to load MANY pages before finding the perfect gift. However, I find that I can browse through the store more quickly for purchases like these.
- If you have a slow connection or if there are many shoppers at this site, shopping will take F-O-R-E-V-E-R. I only have a 56K dial-up modem so I find that online shopping can take a considerable amount of time. Sure, I know that it does take time to get into the car, drive to the store, park, walk around the store, check out, find the car, drive home, and unpack the stuff. However, at least I am busy doing these things so I don't get as annoyed as I do when I have to sit and wait for page upon page to load.
- You can't buy with cash or write a check (at most sites). If I want to pay for PENDRIVE at local store, I can pay cash, write a check, However, on-line one is typically limited to using either a credit or debit card. Update: Now there is feature like COD same like cash, where you can pay while it deliver to your home.
- You can't touch the item, let alone try it on. The same difficulties one encounters while shopping from a catalog plagues online shopping also. That wonderful burgundy dress that you see on the screen may actually turn out to be more of a purple shade. Or, the material may be flimsier than what you had expected. And, it will probably look much better on the model than it does on you (unless you are a raving beauty also). In a B&M store, you see the real color, can feel the material, and can try on the item. Likewise, I have a hard time imagining how big a 9" X 3" X 8" purse is. However, when I can pick it up in the store and compare it to the purse I am already carrying, I KNOW if it is the size that I would like. I also KNOW if I like the feel of the material, whether the straps will comfortable fit over my shoulder, etc.
- Returns are more difficult online than in Local stores suppose you buy a shirt from ajio and it doesn't fit you when you try to return you have to pay shipping + 4-10days of waiting to get refund.
- Shipping and handling costs can be astronomical i have seen many items on ebay which is selling at rs 25 but shipping charges are 75 300% more than item value.
- On-line shopping lacks the personal touch. There is no clerk to smile at you and say, "How are you today?
- Dangerous for shopaholics. Don't laugh. This is serious. In the past, a shopaholic didn't have to worry about controlling their addiction while at home. However, if their is no internet access in the home, that person must face their addictive behaviors even while at home.
- You can read parts of a book at a bookstore but not online. Browsing for books online is very difficult for me to do. I like to read a few pages to make sure that I can "get into it" before I buy it. This is not allowed online.
- payment got stuck it happened with me many times while paying item internet gets fail or something gets wrong and i have to email lot of time to cc avenue and shopping sites
CONCLUSION As with everything else in life, there are pros and cons with shopping online. I find shopping online to be an excellent way to shop for certain items. However, for other items, I would rather shop at a Local store. Also, there are times when just want to get out of the house and need to do some shopping. For these times, it is "Hi Ho It's Off to the Store I Go"
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