Style

The Pros & Cons of Online Shopping

By Alexis Galmin
Photos: smackwagondesign.com

In today’s age of the Internet, we can do virtually everything, a big one being online shopping. You can purchase anything your heart desires without putting on a drop of makeup or finding a presentable outfit so the sales rep will take you seriously and not direct you straight to the sale section (even if you were beelining it in that direction anyway). But have you ever looked up from your screen long enough to consider the advantages of just getting out and really going shopping? Well, we’ve done the work for you by compiling a list of the pros and cons of online shopping:

Online shopping concept.

Pros

Convenience – yes, of course it’s more convenient to sit at your desk, on the couch or in bed (if that’s your thing) when shopping. But this convenience goes much further than that. Convenience encompasses the entire idea of shopping online.

  1. There are more options to search through. We all know it to be true that each store only holds physical stock of the items that are believed to sell best for its demographic area. Online, we have the freedom to look through an entire library of items that may not be in stores.
  2. Browsing the selection is incredibly easy and fast. Much faster than shuffling through clothing racks hoping to find your size, another color or one that doesn’t already have makeup stains on it from the customer before you.

Saves money – More often than not, every time that you shop at a store online you have to sacrifice your email to the company’s mass marketing email list. At first you think, “Ugh, more spam mail,” but once you start receiving those “Special Offer” emails, it all seems worth it. Also, clothing companies online are more likely to have mass sales because they have more inventory in stock at the end of the season that, if unsold, will have to go to the next discounted brand name clothing retailer, like T.J.Maxx or Marshalls.

Lastly, the best part is that we all love presents (even if we buy them ourselves). It’s a total play on our psyche, but receiving a package in the mail just makes your day.

Cons

Shipping Costs – We’ve all seen the banners on webpages: “15 day standard shipping rate of $9.99, but if you pay only $40 more you can have your items shipped for free!” This is the best trick in the book because it seems justified… “If I’m going to spend $10 just for shipping, I might as well spend four times that price on clothes instead.” Even if you don’t fall for this trick, you’re still spending a lot on shipping costs.

Can’t try it on – You’re usually a size 2, you swear… Even if you are, many store brands have different size charts and standards of body shape that may not be exactly fit for your figure. This is how you end up with this fantastic dress that’s just a little too loose, or a little to tight in certain areas.

Can’t determine the quality – Sure, you have a good understanding of cotton, silk, wool and everything in between. Plus, you think that you know how each material will wear. But you don’t really know the quality of the cotton, silk or wool when zooming in is the best you can do.

Waiting on delivery – We all have the mindset of wanting what we buy right when we buy it. But that is just not the case when online shopping. It’s tragic, really.

Returning – This goes hand-in-hand with the inability to determine the quality of your purchase. For whatever reason, making a return can never be simple. There are a handful of requirements for making a return, and these usually do not include anything that says “FREE.”

Whether you prefer scanning an online shop or a day out-and-about, try both styles of shopping. You may find you prefer one over the other, but it’s good to know what you’re up for when it comes to those new pair of boots you have had your eyes on.

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