Online Versus In-Store Shopping – Pros and Cons of Each

Christmas is getting close, and Black Friday is even closer.  It’s time to start thinking about shopping for gifts for your friends and family. With the internet, there are a lot more possibilities than just the local mall for gift shopping, but can you trust buying items online? There are a lot of pros and cons to both shopping online and in store.


Pros and Cons for Online versus In-Store Shopping

Online Shopping

These days, you can do just about anything online. You can talk to your cousin that lives across the country face-to-face, find your soul mate, and buy everything from collectibles to groceries. But especially when it comes to the holidays, is shopping online safe and what are the quirks that might cause you to order the wrong item?


* You can find virtually everything online.

* You can sometimes find better pricing online.

* Rare and collectible items are easier to find.

* You can purchase items from all over the world.

* You never have to leave your house – everything is delivered to you.


* It can be hard to know if you are getting a fair price if there isn’t much to compare items to.

* It can be hard to know if a seller is trustworthy.

* You cannot see or touch items in person before you make a purchase.

* There is a chance of credit card fraud.

* There is a possibility that your purchase could get lost in the mail.


* Look for companies that offer free returns or exchanges in case the item is the wrong size, etc.

* Research sellers – most sites will have seller ratings.

* Only purchase through secure sites. Consider using PayPal.

* Always get tracking numbers for all packages.

In-Store Shopping

Shopping in store is like falling back on a comfortable habit. It can certainly be comforting to do things the “old-fashioned” way, but could you be missing out on something? Is it worth all of the extra work going store to store, and could you find something better or for a better price online?


* You can see and touch items to test quality.

* You likely have an idea of which stores you prefer.

* You can try clothes on.

* Return policies are usually pretty straightforward.

* Some stores price match.


* You could be missing out on a better price somewhere else.

* Going from store to store is tiring.

* You might not have disposable time to look everywhere for what you are looking for.

* Sometimes dealing with sellers and big crowds feels excruciating.

* Finding rare or collectible items is more difficult.


* Try calling ahead to find out if stores have a certain item or certain size.

* If you find an item in a chain department store but it is damaged or you need another size, they will usually look up that item to see if another store has it.

* Try to make time to go shopping during the middle of the week, when there are fewer people in the stores.

You can use these lists to decide whether online or in-store shopping is better for you. Also consider the middle ground. You can use online shopping to look for rare or collectible items, and stick to the stores for clothes and other usual items.

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