The Pros and Cons of Online Shopping

The Pros and Cons of Online Shopping

Online shops continue to grow throughout UK in the recent years. As a matter of fact, online sales are expected to grow by 16.2% by the end of 2015.  Additionally, BBC News has reported that an average UK adult spends 8 hours and 41 minutes a day on media devices.

Online shopping has many great benefits – which is why it doesn’t come as a surprise that many people prefer to shop online than go to shopping malls.

One of the most important advantages of shopping online rather than traditional shopping is convenience and comfort. You can shop in your sweatpants, and you can shop anytime, even during midnight; whereas you have to look presentable when you go to shopping malls, and shopping malls have mall hours to follow. Shopping online is extremely convenient that you can buy items on sale without competing with other buyers, without the long lines.

You can also save time and energy with online shopping because you don’t have to travel or drive to the mall to buy things; what you purchase online is delivered right to your doorstep.

You can handle your money better while online shopping because you can easily compare prices. Unlike in-store shopping where you may have to move from one store to another just to compare prices, you just type in the item you’re looking for and you can compare different online stores that sell the item. You can save a lot of money because you can easily go for the cheapest price.

Privacy is also one great benefit of online shopping. You don’t have to be embarrassed about buying lingerie and other private merchandise.

Of course, online shopping has its disadvantages, too.

When you shop online, you have to wait for days (some can even take up to weeks) for the purchased item to be received. Some delays in arrival are also common in online shopping. With traditional shopping, you get the item instantly and you get to use it right away.

Another downside of online shopping is not having the ability to thoroughly check the item before purchasing. For an instance, if you buy clothes online, you won’t get to actually feel the texture of the fabric, so no matter how perfect the merchandise looks at the pictures, you can never be a hundred percent sure that it would look exactly the same way when it arrives.

Clothes you buy online can’t be tried on before purchase. Even if it looks good on the model, you can’t be absolutely positive if would fit you the same way – especially that everyone has a different body type.

Shipping may cost a lot; there are even some online shops wherein shipping costs more than the item itself.

It’s always possible for the item you purchase to incur some damage during shipping.

Returning of items can take weeks to be processed, and not all online stores offer free shipping for returns.

Reading customer reviews is important in online shopping. You get the idea whether or not you can trust an online store with the help of customer reviews; but customer reviews can be faked – and that’s another disadvantage of online shopping.

Online shopping has its pros and cons, but the cons can be avoided if you’re extra careful before buying anything online.

Online Shopping 101: What First Time Online Shoppers Should Expect

Online Shopping 101

More and more people switch to online shopping from the traditional, in store shopping – and why not? Shopping has never been this easy; you get to enjoy shopping at the comforts of your own home.

Online shopping might appear as a challenge to first time online shoppers, but doing some online reading before actually trying to buy online can be a great deal of help.

Knowing what to expect and what to look for in online stores is essential. If this is your first time to purchase items online, here are some tips that might help you out:

The key to getting important information about an online store or a product is reading reviews given by buyers who have purchased the same item. From reading reviews, you can get an idea not only about the product, but also about the online shop itself. Reviews are very helpful in determining if an online store has excellent customer service, easy return policies, etc.

Most online stores accept returns; but it may take days and even weeks for returns to be processed so it’s better to examine what you want to purchase carefully. Be meticulous in checking images of the product before buying it. Being extra careful in doing a thorough check in an item before purchasing will help you set your expectations about the product.

Explore some more and don’t just settle on the first online store you stumble upon. Look for other online shops that offer the product you’re looking for and compare prices. Again, read through the sites carefully because although a particular item is being sold on two different sites at the same price, there’s a possibility that one of the online shops offer free shipping, or has a better return policy.

There are many online stores that automatically offer free shipping, while some others only offer free shipping when you’ve reached a certain amount of purchase. Most products for sale with free shipping take longer time to be delivered, but if you don’t need the item urgently, it’s wiser to just be a little more patient – it will save you money as well.

Read through the site’s return policy to make sure that you’re getting a good deal. Even when online stores offer free shipping for the delivery of the item to you, it doesn’t necessarily mean that returning purchased items to them will also be free of charge. Make sure that you understand their return policy so you know what to expect and what to do next should the item you receive does not meet your expectations.

There are many ways you can pay for items bought online. Credit cards, debit cards, wire transfers, PayPal, and cash on delivery are just some of your options when it comes to paying for the product. If you’re uncomfortable providing your credit or debit card information online, paying via PayPal is a good alternative. Setting up a PayPal account is quite simple and easy. Paying online purchases by PayPal is also hassle-free. Payment by wire transfer is commonly accepted by online stores, too. However, if you don’t feel safe making online payments and prefer paying by cash, some online stores offer cash on delivery.

Online shopping can be risk free if you will actually do some research about the product you want to buy. Spending a few minutes reading through an online store and comparing prices isn’t much of a big deal if it means saving your time and money.

Shopping online is an enjoyable experience; especially if you’re a smart and prepared online shopper.

How To Resist Impulse Shopping

How to Resist Impulse Shopping

Have you ever gone to the mall planning on buying just a couple of items and ended up going home with a bunch of stuff? Yes, that normally happens to most of us, and no, you’re not alone.

Impulse buying is a common concern among shoppers; it’s easy to give in to impromptu purchases every now and then. However, if it’s becoming a habit and you already have debts to pay, then impulse buying is something you have to deal with.

Resisting making purchases on impulse is easier said than done – but it is possible.

There are some steps you can take in order to stop yourself from buying things you don’t really need.

When you go out to buy something, go with a list of things you need to buy; but don’t just stop there. Of course, this will only work if you stick to the list.

Don’t bring your credit card when shopping, or, if you can, cancel your credit card altogether to avoid making unnecessary purchases.

Don’t go shopping when you’re in a bad mood. Shopping while you’re feeling blue or sad or angry is not a good idea because your emotions may affect your judgment in deciding whether you really need to buy something. Shopping while you’re upset may urge you to purchase something that you don’t need just to make yourself feel better. Think of other ways to improve your mood.

Choose your company carefully when you shop. Don’t go with friends who are impulse buyers, too. Go with people who know how to manage their own budgets so they can stop you from buying unimportant items.

If you’ve seen something that you really want to buy but may ruin your budget, spend some time pondering how much you really want it. Hold off as long as you can; that gives you more time to think, plus, the interest you have in things you don’t really want so badly will wear off after a few days.

Buy from stores that have good return policies. That way, even after you’ve purchased something you’d lose interest in after a few days, you can always return them.

Leave immediately after purchasing what you’ve planned to buy in the first place. Don’t linger around the shopping mall. Setting a schedule, like planning other important things to do after shopping, can also help a great deal because it will limit the time you spend shopping.

Allot a small part of your monthly budget for impulse purchases so that you don’t feel guilty every time you buy something you want.

It will take a lot of self-discipline in order to resist buying on impulse. Still, taking one step at a time is better than doing nothing.

Grocery Shopping On A Budget

Grocery Shopping On a Budget

Shopping for food is not only important, but is something you’re required to do regularly. Grocery shopping on a tight budget is challenging, but if you plan ahead, you can manage your budget more properly and focus on being more practical in buying grocery items.

One effective way to be able to save money (even before shopping) is to learn how to cook and planning your meals for the entire week. Learning how to cook meals means buying the actual ingredients needed and will cost a lot lesser than eating out. In addition to home cooked food being more affordable that food from restaurants, you can always eat the leftovers from last night’s dinner as your lunch today. You may even reuse these leftovers into cooking other meals.

You do some online research for recipes of affordable meals you can cook on to maximize what you can save without starving your family or neglecting their nutritional needs. Once you have planned your meals for the week, make a list of the ingredients you need to buy so you can be prepared at the supermarket.

When you already have the list of essential things to buy, stick to it. Don’t be easily enticed by large stickers and tags saying that something’s on sale, because sometimes, you won’t really save much by buying these discounted items you don’t even need.

Switch to cheaper brands. Cheaper brands don’t necessarily have an awful taste or bad quality; sometimes they even taste the same as the branded ones – the only difference is that you can save more in buying them.

Use cash when paying for your grocery items and don’t bring your credit card to avoid buying things that aren’t on your list.

It’s always better to shop alone so you can stay focused on your list and for you to be able to stay away from buying items you don’t need. If you bring your children with you, for an example, you may just end up buying chocolates and chips you won’t normally buy if you’re shopping alone.

Don’t shop while you’re hungry. According to research conducted by The Chinese University of Hong Kong and the University of Minnesota, shopping on an empty stomach can affect our behavior and make us buy things we don’t need.

Buying fruits and vegetables that are in season will help you save a lot, too.

If you want to go the extra mile in saving money, you may also want to visit farmers’ markets instead of supermarkets for your fruits and vegetables.

Sure, going grocery shopping on a tight budget is hard, but once you get used to looking for cheaper grocery items, you’ll be surprised on how much money you can save by just making some adjustment to your food choices.