Why I Purchase Most Everything Online

We love buying products online. It's easy, fast, and convenient.

Consumers are saving time and money by purchasing products online. A majority of the time when you go the a brick and mortar shop, you have a list of the items you already want to purchase. Any my two most important reasons for buying online are:

  1. Saves Me Money - You can now quickly compare prices at big marketplaces (like Amazon.com) or price comparison sites (like Google Shopping). One thing to be aware of is even the lowest list prices online are not always cheaper than items you may find at your local store. Remember to take advantage of free shipping and the handful of websites that still don't charge tax. Plus, there is always Ebay for used items.
  2. Saves Me Time - As long as you plan ahead and are not in an urgent need for the item, the item will end up on your doorstop. No more trips to the store to pick up a single item (especially with the rising price of gasoline).

But buying online is not always risk free. As always, there are scammers out there who try to take advantage of others. And I have not yet been scammed (I'm relatively computer savvy), I've heard many times of purchases where the website did not ship the item. Thankfully, most credit cards (check with your credit card) do offer some level of protection. If you've been scammed, report it to your credit card company so they can attempt to stop payment. Your credit card company is likely to refund you the money. But some points to watch out for:

  • Low Quality Websites - Low quality websites may be an indication of the level of service. That being said, a well design website does not guarantee high level of service.
  • Bad Reviews - Do a Google Search for "myunheardofwebsite.com reviews" to find the input of other consumers who may have been scammed. People LOVE TO RANT online about this kind of thing.
  • Price Too Low - Sometimes, if the price is listed FAR below what you see elsewhere, there a chance something fishy is going on.
  • Low Security - If during checkout, the website url starts with http instead of https. If this happens, your information has a higher chance of being stolen (by someone other than the website). You should only enter your credit card information (and other sensitive information) on well protected websites.

And even though I make most of my purchases online, the only categories I don't buy online are food and clothes. In the near future, I can imagine a small chance of buying non-perishable foods online. The main roadblock is that as long as I am need to make a trip out to buy the perishable items, it doesn't take much time to buy the non-perishables at the same time. And since we are talking about food, I'm more inclined to do a visual check of my food before buying (i.e.. making sure the eggs aren't cracked and the produce is not rotten). In the case for clothes, even though I don't consider myself big on clothes, I do prefer to make sure a good fit clothes. I don't want to wear overly large items. Additionally, clothes on a picture can be deceiving. Just because the clothes looks good online does not mean it ever looks decent on me.

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