O is for Online Shopping PrOs and COns

Woman shopping online

Over the last decade our constant connection to the internet has made online shopping a common practice throughout the world. This new shopping revolution has become preferred over physically going out and about to search for desired merchandise. But as is true for with most everything in life, online shopping comes with advantages as well as disadvantages. So what are the pros and cons?

The PrOs:

  • You can shop online early in the morning or late at night, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. And most items are available for next day delivery.
  • Online shopping may save time, energy and money – no more filling the gas tank, packing the kids into the car and no more waiting in long lines to find that perfect gift.
  • Online shopping offers immense choices on many products.
  • Having access to consumer comments and feedbacks on products may help you decide whether or not a purchase is right for you.
  • Online research and comparisons are made simple by using various consumer tools such as Consumerreports.org and CNET. Many retailers’ now offer side by side comparison tools helping your online experience to be more efficient than in-store shopping.
  • Many online companies offer free shipping on returns making the consumer return process less painful.

The COns:

  • When purchasing clothing or anything made from textiles, you cannot touch and feel the fabric. So read the fabric description carefully and know the difference.
  • You will not know the quality of the item until you have it in your hand. This is where community forums may help answer questions.
  • You run the risk of the website being unreliable and not delivering the exact product that was promised. Beware of counterfeiting, it is a huge business!
  • Use only reputable websites that have been referred by a trusted source.
  • There are many products and services in the food, apparel and home decorations which may warrant sensory inspection such as taste, touch and smell. Only you can decide if this is necessary.
  • We no longer need to step foot out of our homes…this is great for the disabled and elderly but what about healthy bodied future generations…think Walle!

The way we shop has changed and with change comes both prOs and cOns. Online shopping, just as anything else should be used to make our lives run more effectively and not as a way of life. Nothing can replace the sight, sounds, feel and smell of human contact, hands-on, and social connection made available through milling about with other shoppers.

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About Ann Zuraw

Ann Zuraw, the voice behind "Chicks, Chat and Change", is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®), and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA™).If you have comments on this post contact Ann Zuraw

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