Online shopping has become very popular, with people buying everything from clothes to groceries online. There are many instances where shopping online can be more beneficial than shopping in person. However, shopping online does have its drawbacks and there are times when it can be more rewarding or convenient to shop in person. If you’re not sure whether to buy something online or in person, why not ask yourself a few of these questions to help you decide:
How Soon Do You Need the Item?
Many major companies now offer next day delivery on items purchased online. However, many smaller online companies cannot offer this – so you may end up waiting days for your item to arrive. This is not ideal with gifts or emergency items.
When shopping somewhere locally in person, you don’t have to worry about delivery times. Just make sure that they have the item in stock before you go there.
How Much Time Have You Got to Shop?
Online shopping often takes less time because you don’t have to travel anywhere. In fact, you can do it at any time from any location, making it easier to fit around a busy schedule.
Shopping at a store is better when you have lots of free time – especially if you’re looking to buy an item on a weekend.
What’s Your Budget?
You can save money on many items ranging from jewelry to car parts by buying online. Online stores typically don’t have the same overheads as physical stores, allowing them to charge lower prices.You can also compare more deals when shopping online, plus there are many sites such as Smooth Sales | Crazy Deals Every Day that specialize in deals.
Just be wary of shipping costs on large items – sometimes it’s much cheaper to pick up items like furniture in person, providing that you have a vehicle big enough to fit them in.
Can You Buy it Locally?
There are some niche items that you may not be able to buy locally. Shopping online is better for these items as you can access sellers from around the world.
It’s always worth checking that there isn’t a local seller before going online – local niche stores can sometimes get overlooked.
Would it Be Best to Try it On First?
When buying online, you only have an image and description to base your judgement off of. Some sites offer multiple images and more in-depth descriptions, but this may still not be enough information.
Shopping in person is sometimes better for items like clothes, because you can try them on. Shopping in person also allows you to try perfumes or even foods in some cases (some sites do offer free samples that you can deliver to your home, however this is not always the case).
Which is Better For the Environment and Your Local Community?
Shopping online is usually worse for the environment, because it puts demand on transport vehicles pumping out carbon emissions. Some sites have green shipping options, but these are still not as green as using a local store.
Shopping at local stores in person is often better for the planet. If you’re shopping at independent stores, it’s also beneficial for your local community. Of course, shopping online can be a way of supporting independent businesses, however putting your local community first ensures that your town or neighborhood continues to thrive.
All in all, you generally should shop in person if you need an item immediately, if you need to try it/sample it first or if you want to support the environment and your local community.
You should generally shop online if you don’t have much time to dedicate to shopping, if you want to get better deals, or if it’s a niche item.