The Joys and Despairs of Online Shopping

The wonderful world of the internet has brought so many new advancements to our lives. Faster communication, international reach, unlimited information and greater ease in accomplishing things than ever before. One such improvement that the internet has created is the fantastically simple and easy world of online shopping. Now I’ve only recently gotten into online shopping, and I have to say that I think it is incredible. I can get everything I need from the comfort of my couch, and it all gets delivered to me. I don’t have to leave my house at all. What’s even better is that I don’t have to worry as much about things being out of stock or not being in my size, because online shopping gives a much bigger window to shop through. However, all of these positives made me start thinking about a few things. Nothing is as easy as clicking a few buttons and it just arriving in your lap, and I’m sure that most people would agree with me because that’s not how life is meant to work. So while online shopping is awesome for the most part, just like anything else, it comes with its fair share of negatives and disadvantages. Is it everything it is chalked up to be or is it just another ploy to get us to spend money? Let’s see …

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The Positive Side

No time limit

If you have a 9-5 job, trying to get to the shops can become a problem because shops close. Online shopping eliminates this issue because they hardly ever close. Whether you want to do grocery shopping or sock shopping, you can do it whenever you want. Maybe it is your lunch break, and you don’t have time to pop out to the mall – you can open up a browser tab and do it in 10 minutes. Or maybe you are up late at night and feel like adding to your shoe collection. Whenever it is, you can buy it pretty much all the time with online shopping.

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Comfort of home

Instead of having to pull on your jeans and drive to your nearest store, you don’t even have to get out of your pyjamas. You can get everything you want even when you’re lying in bed and to make that even better, you don’t even have to leave your house to collect your stuff. Everything can get delivered right to your home, so convenience is a definite box ticked.

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No unnecessary spending

When you have to go shopping in the real world, you need to pay for petrol to drive to the various stores and parking tickets of all sorts. Even if you get an Uber or a taxi, or catch a ride with a friend, you still have to worry about paying for things like plastic bags. Online shopping removes all of these unnecessary expenses because the packaging is included in the price and you don’t need to drive anywhere and use up petrol. Any way to avoid spending money is a bonus in my eyes.

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Skip the queues

I don’t know about you, but if I gave myself a dollar for every long line I have stood in waiting to pay for my items, I would probably be a millionaire (that may be a slight exaggeration, but I would definitely have a couple of hundred dollars). Queues in shops chow up so much valuable time, and thankfully, there is no such thing when online shopping. As soon as you have selected your items, you go straight to the checkout and pay. No time wasted in a queue is time gained for you to do other things

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More options

When shopping online, you have access to everything the store has to offer. There is no issue of your size being sold out or items being sold out in general because even if the store doesn’t have them in stock, buying them online means they will be immediately purchased from the supplier and sent to you. Another positive is that sometimes you get to see products in the online stores that aren’t stocked in the actual stores, so you get the bonus of extra options. You can also find exactly what you are looking for instead of being limited to what is being shown you because you can search for it. This is the best part of online shopping because you can get exactly what you need without having to hunt it down in the real world.

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Not limited in general

Sometimes what you want isn’t available in your town/city or even in your country. Online shopping bridges this issue of distance because of the beauty of the internet’s reach and international shipping. Whether the product you want is from a store down the road or from a store overseas, it will be delivered to your door either way. Who says you can’t have something just because it isn’t sold in your area?

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The Negative Side

Delivery time

On the flip side of having the convenience of things being delivered to your door, sometimes it is actually faster to go to the shops yourself. Deliveries can be delayed, and shipping can take quite a bit of time, and if you happen to be on a time crunch (like you need this item for a friend’s birthday) buying things online and having them delivered can cause you to stress because of these potential problems. I’m all for convenience, but if it is going to take three weeks for something to be delivered when I could go out and buy it in 30 minutes, I’d rather go out.

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Extra charges

We all think that online shopping saves us money (because of things like petrol and parking tickets), but sometimes we come across additional costs that we would never get in an actual store. The significant extra expense is for something called shipping. What I’ve found is that I sometimes get charged double just to cover the shipping expenses and while this isn’t always an issue, if you’re trying to save money or can’t afford to buy a product twice to get it to you then this can become a real problem.

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No personal inspection

What often saves me from buying things that I don’t need is getting to see them in store with my own eyes, where I can physically touch them with my hands. This works exceptionally well for clothes shopping but also works for groceries, toys and other products. This is because when you are buying clothes in a store, you will try them on to make sure they fit correctly. Even though it is the right size, different styles and cuts mean that it still may not fit properly. Unfortunately, you won’t know this until your items arrive if you buy online. If you get your stuff in the store, you don’t have to stress about spending money on something that might not fit because you have personally checked it out.

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No time to think

A huge problem with online shopping is that it is so easy and convenient. If you are shopping in a store and don’t know whether or not you should buy something, you can always take a few minutes or a walk, and then if you still like it, you can go back and buy it. Shopping in the real world gives you the ability to double check with yourself if what you are buying is what you really want. Online shopping takes that barrier away because all you have to do is click, and you own it. There is no second thought to it, and this can be a massive problem if you are a person who needs a little impulse control. I like having that reality check and not just being able to click and have it delivered.

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Less connection

Sometimes, if I have a gift to get for a friend, I often find myself just browsing through shops and happen to come across the perfect gift. This is because shops allow us to connect with products more – which we don’t get doing online shopping. Browsing is also difficult during online shopping because there are so many options and we often become so overwhelmed that we get sidetracked and end up buying things we didn’t even need (but still haven’t bought what we needed to). For something like buying gifts, unless I know what I want to get, I’d rather look in a store.

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So like with everything, there are both positives and negatives to online shopping, and both play a role in showing which option (online or real-world shopping) is better for you. If you are searching for something specific that isn’t available in your city or lead a hectic life and don’t have the luxury to spend time going to the shops, then online shopping is perfect for you. If you are looking for a dress for a dance, or have no idea what to buy your best friend for their birthday, then actually going out to the shops may be a better option. No matter which one you choose, both have their advantages and disadvantages, and even though online shopping can be a bit of a mission sometimes, I do think that it has more pros than cons. If you have any opinions or experiences regarding online shopping that you’d want to share, please share it in the comments section and follow the blog if you haven’t already so you don’t miss any future posts. I hope you all enjoyed this post.

Lots of love

Blondey on a Mission xxx

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