Online shopping pros and cons

Instant gratification of wants- That’s one basic instinct that online shopping feeds, and probably the single biggest reason why most of us shop online. Clearly, with mobile apps that make it all the more convenient, online shopping is the new “high”. This article reviews online shopping- the latest fad, highlights its pros and cons, and provides some tips for online shopping that help you shop wisely.

Online shopping advantages

Convenience

Online shopping provides the convenience of shopping at a click, without moving an inch out of your house, braving the traffic or long queues at billing counters. You can shop anywhere, anytime and get the best deals easily.

Online shopping deals

Promotional sales such as special sales, deal of the day etc. are enticing campaigns that offer the best deals on every item of purchase from apparel and accessories to electronics and appliances.

Online shopping comparison

There are sites that allow you to compare prices of similar products from different companies. Wit brick-and-mortar shopping, it becomes tedious to go shop-hopping, comparing prices from store to store. But with online shopping, you can easily get the best price on any product at a single click.

Free shipping

Many shopping websites offer free shipping and delivery on products, which means you don’t spend extra money on going around checking out stores, and you don’t pay a penny extra to get the product delivered right to your doorstep!

Innovation

With smartphone and tablet apps making research and comparison all the more easy, online shopping is the most convenient way to shop.

Online shopping drawbacks

Problem of plenty

There are endless shopping sites, innumerable products and choices and infinite deals. It is practically impossible, at any point of time, to scan all that is there on offer, before making a choice. And even if you do, you’ll end up spending a lot of time and effort shopping a single product. All-in-all, it could be a crazy experience.

Compulsive shopping

Most of us give in to this- even if you don’t need something, you’ll probably get it, because it’s “on sale”. Giving in to temptation is the worst part of shopping online.

Quality issues

If you aren’t smart enough, you could get a product delivered to your doorstep, only to realize that it isn’t quite the quality you were looking for. And most of us don’t study the return policy in detail, when we’re shopping!

Getting into debt

When you use credit cards to shop, it’s easy to build debt if you can’t refrain from impulsive buying.

Security

Protecting your identity and personal information may be a challenge because there’s a chance that important information is misused. Always look in the address box for the s in https:// and check the “lock” symbol on the lower-right corner before paying.

Online shopping tips

Figure out your needs

Don’t go on a mad spree- list your needs and refrain from shopping anything and everything that looks enticing. Refrain from impulsive buying.

Compare prices before buying

It’s easy to compare online, so make sure you get the best price for what you’re buying.

Quality check

You can’t always be sure of quality, but look for ratings (even these might be cooked up at times), reviews, product information etc. For shopping clothes, for instances, use the zoom over button to view your buy more closely.

Protect your personal information

Protect your computer with anti-virus, anti-spyware and secure firewall. Check the site’s privacy policy to know how personal information will be used. Check your credit card statements often.

Beware of hoax deals

Legitimate companies never send emails trying to lure the customer into giving out important personal information. Don’t respond to such emails. If an offer sounds too good to be true, get extra cautious.

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