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Advantages And Disadvantages Of Shopping Online

Mar 22, 2008
All sorts of people shop online for all kinds of reasons.

First, there is the convenience of being able to shop 24 hours a day for any type of product imaginable. The ability to shop from home allows many people who have trouble getting to real world shops such as elderly or disabled people or others with transport or mobility issues to still purchase the products and services they need. Many people also have trouble attending shops during their opening hours, such as those that work the same hours as shop opening times, mothers with young children and no one to mind them.

There are several advantages to shopping online, the first one being the ability to shop at a time that is convenient to you, not just when the shops are open. The second advantage of shopping online is that goods are often cheaper as the seller does not have the costs of running a shop and having to pay wages to salespeople, insurance and all of the other running costs of a real world business. Online shopping can also be a lot more comfortable than real world shopping, you do not have to deal with the weather - you won't get rained on for instance shopping online.

A huge advantage of shopping online is that you have the opportunity to compare as many products and prices as you want without having to spend the time and money to travel between several different shops. You will also be able to read reviews that have been written by other people who have purchased the item you are considering; you will be able to find out about the item from a genuine user not just the salesperson. Finally you will be able to find and buy products all over the world not just in your local area - this makes purchasing hard to find items a lot easier.

The main disadvantage of shopping online is that you have to pay shipping costs and have to wait for the items you purchased to be shipped and delivered. (This could take several weeks if you have purchased a product from overseas, and the costs of shipping may outweigh any savings you made on the purchase price.) You will not be able to purchase an item you need to use immediately online.

Another disadvantage is that you have to buy the item relying purely on a photograph and description, you cannot feel or see the item you want to buy. It can sometimes be quite hard to judge the size or quality of some items purely from a photograph. The final disadvantage of shopping online is that it is much harder and takes longer to return faulty goods; you will have to repack it and pay to ship it back to the seller. It can literally take weeks to exchange a faulty product purchased online.

In summary, the main advantages of shopping online are convenience and cost savings, while the main disadvantage is that the item is not immediately available, and you cannot inspect it personally before you make your purchase.
About the Author
Vincent Norman is a freelance writer living in the UK. He regularly contributes articles for The Online Shopping Centre, who offers the best range of online shopping sites.
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