by JANET BONILLA
This photo was put together by JANET BONILLA.
Given that most of ones time is spent behind a computer or phone screen, it is no surprise that most of their money goes into online shopping. Online shopping is much more convenient and it can save you the stress of looking at clothing items one by one at your local mall. However, it can also lead to long waiting periods and the possibility of the item not fitting you or not being to your liking after all. From Amazon to Zappos, there’s a whole range of companies dedicated to making online shopping easy and relatively cost effective.
Despite the tremendous amounts of online shopping people do in their daily lives, you can agree that malls are still pretty packed on a Friday night. Is it better to shop online or simply go to the mall? Here’s the breakdown.
Pros of Online Shopping:
1. Save Time & Be Hassle Free!- Most people can agree that they go on bombing mission shopping trips. Which are (get in, get what you came for, get out) trips. Not many people have the time and energy to do this. It takes a little over an hour to get your car into the mall, find parking, and search for the item you are looking for. It can be quite ridiculous if you are looking for one single item. When this happens, you may feel the need to compensate yourself the amount of time taken out of your day. Ultimately, buying more items than you need. Shop online and there’s no need to go through that much stress! Simply order something ahead of time, and Walaa! It will get to your house before you know it! Saving you time, and money!
2. Save Gas- Everyone knows gas is pretty expensive right now. A significant amount of ones monthly budget goes into gas. Every cent is important and burning more gas for recreational shopping trips just is not a viable option on a weekly basis. Shopping online means absolutely no gas required!
3. The Ability To Price Compare- When you are shopping at a convenience store, it is easy to gather all of the cutest items and simply throw it onto your “getting this” pile. You are in shopping mode and it is easy not to put much thought into whether or not you could get it for a better price at different retailer. You are there. It is cute and relatively cheap and you are going to get it. When you are shopping online, you can simply search the item and find the best price instantly. More than likely, you will find the exact same item just relatively cheaper!
4. Shop 24/7 (and be lazy!)– This one is pretty self explanatory. Try doing THAT at your local Forever 21!
5. Unlimited Sizes/Color Options– A major downfall of traditional retail shopping is the extremely limited sizes and inventory. You have found the cutest top ever that goes perfectly with your high waisted shorts but sadly, they only have it in a size XXS when you are a size medium or large. Darn. But usually online, you can will be able to find the exact shirt for a size that fits right.
6. No pushy salespeople- “Hi, welcome to ____!” “Hi!! Everything on the racks are 70% off!” “Hi!!! That is a cute blouse. Can I get a fitting room started for you?!” You know you have heard these all before. Sometimes you just want to quietly peruse racks of clothing without being bombarded with questions or energetic greetings if you simply want to get in and get out. If you want solitary shopping, online is the place to go!
Cons of Online Shopping:
1. Shipping Costs- It is pretty easy to fall into the trap of paying more for shipping than for the cost of the item itself. Many sites have free shipping if you spend a particular amount. Definitely check what the shipping cost is before you punch in your card number. It is easy to let the excitement stop from letting you think correctly. If the shipping costs less than you would spend in gas going to a physical store, then you have definitely won!
2. Wait Time- Convenient stores grant you instant gratification. If you buy something online, you have got to wait at least a day or two to receive your items in the mail. But in a world where instant gratification is pretty much the only kind, maybe we could all do with a little patience now and then. It will certainly make you appreciate the item that much more.
3. You Can Not Try It On- This is probably the biggest con for online shopping. Everyones body type is different. What works for someone else, might not work for you. This combo does not cooperate well with quick online purchases for jeans, skirts, or even dresses. Plus, you can not physically touch the fabrics to see if it is worth the money, if it will hold up through multiple washes, or if the color you are seeing on your computer screen is even accurate.
4. Hassle of Sending It Back- Many stores will give you a return label to ship the item back if it does not fit or it is not what you thought it would be. Those are the stores that are worth your money. If the manufacturer does not provide a return label, sending something back can be a true pain, especially when the issue could have been avoided in the first place if you would have had the opportunity to try it on before purchasing.
5. Payment Insecurities/Hackers- The internet is prone to hackers and your credit card does have valuable personal information. If someone gets their hands on it, it could cost you more than your whole shopping experience times two! Be careful online and what company you authorize your card to.
6. Damage- When you are dealing with shipping, damage is always a great possibility. Obviously, there is not a whole lot you can do to avoid it. Just hope that the company you are purchasing from is reliable.
7. No Cash Option- If you take cash out at the beginning of the month and set that aside for clothing and accessory purchases, it is basically impossible to use that online. When you are online shopping it is incredibly easy to go over-budget with just a few clicks. If you know you are going to buy something online, check with your bank account first. Take less cash out to compensate for the card purchase.
All in all, online shopping has its share of advantages as well as disadvantages. If you are the type of person who can not buy an item without trying it on, online shopping is definitely not for you. It will lead to a series of complications wasting your time and money. If you are the type of person who would rather stay at home and shop instead of going out into a crowded mall, then online shopping is definitely for you! If you are comfortable with the factors of online shopping, you should definitely do it!