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Eight Reasons To Shop Online This Christmas

Feb 17, 2008
This Christmas will be the biggest ever for online shopping despite the doom and gloom predictions of the retailers. Consumer confidence may have disappeared from the high street but it's the online sector that's set for bumper Christmas sales. It's amazing to think that the growth in on-line sales is massive yet compared to the traditional off line store we've still only scratched the surface, the future certainly looks rosy in the on-line world.

I was recently shopping for a barbecue grill and I started to look at what was available by doing a Google search. The internet is fantastic for information (although there's still a lot of rubbish out there) and once I'd sifted through the trash I found some really good websites that satisfied all my needs without leaving the comfort of my armchair. It got me thinking to write this article and just crystallize in my own mind exactly what it was about buying through an online store that gave me such a good feeling about spending so much money!

One thing that I detest about the off line store is that the range of choice is always restricted and I can't find all the top brands altogether under the same roof, so I end up walking round until my feet ache trying to evaluate the best product for me. When I've chosen it I then have to walk round again to find the best deal and when I'm finally in the right store and ready to make my purchase the sales assistant tells me "Sorry, it's out of stock". Then in attempt to placate me (and it makes me even more frustrated) the sales guy tries to sell me something that is in stock but not exactly what I want. What a waste of a day!

If you're reading this thinking "I've been there" then it's probably time to start buying online. I was surprised at how easy it was and how the new breed of online stores really understand my needs.

1. The range of choice is greater. There's nothing more to say on this point, every brand I wanted was there for me to read about.

2. The features of each item were clearly displayed so I could see the differences between the different models.

3. For more information some online stores now have videos.

4. There's web forums so you can discuss before you buy.

5. If you want to talk to someone about your purchase, many online stores invite you to give them a call.

6. Everything is delivered to your door.

7. The price is definitely competitive.

8. There no state sales tax!

OK, let's be clear on that final point. If you're unfortunate enough to live in the same state as the online store then the chances are that you'll have to pay the tax. I guess there had to be a catch somewhere and that's the luck of the draw.

There's been many well publicized stories about internet fraud and warnings about buying on line but my view is that we need to get this into context. Statistically chances of being ripped off are no worse than with any other sales transaction, it's just that web based fraud generates more interest at the moment and sells more newsprint. How many times do read about somebody being pick-pocketed in the shopping mall? Never? Yet it happens all the time, it's just that you and I are just not interested so journalists don't bother writing about it.

But even as I write, the big news stories are about the boom in internet shopping, not the risks, and this just goes to show how safe the internet is these days thanks to secure payment processes like Paypal or Google Checkout and website security systems such as Hackersafe.

Let's also not relax too much so just as you don't stroll down the sidewalk waving a wad of cash, the same care should still apply to the internet. Remember, whether you shop on line or not banks and credit card companies never send you e-mails asking you to confirm personal details or passwords. If you receive mail like this report it to your bank or credit card company. Use your common sense and buy on line with confidence.
About the Author
The Barbecue Smoker Recipe Man writes free barbecue recipes & outdoor smoker recipes on gas, charcoal or electric. Outdoor grilling tips, easy fire pit menus, healthy rotisserie suggestions and best homemade bbq sauce recipes are all available at Barbeque Smoker Recipes
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