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Pleasures and Pitfalls of Online Shopping

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The Christmas holiday shopping season has begun, and many of us are heading no further than our computer devices. No wrapping in multiple layers, facing sometimes treacherous roads and driving conditions, fighting mall crowds and long lineups, not to mention the battle to even find a parking spot during this ultra-busy shopping season! The convenience of browsing relatively at leisure online is hard to ignore. Along comes , the allure of great deals offered up by Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and we’re hooked.

No or low-cost Shipping

Many companies offer free shipping with a minimum quantity order. This often works in their favour, when you add extra items just to meet the minimum required for the free shipping.

Easy Return Policy

Most companies will include a return shipping label, and returns are as easy as popping the item back in its bag, adding the new label, and bringing it to the post office. You are reimbursed for your purchase when the item is received at the warehouse.

The Downside

While companies are eager to please you and keep you as a customer, returns can be a hassle sometimes depending on the size of item.

I recently ordered a pendant light that was featured with a plug-in cord. When the light came within a week, I was delighted at first—except this light had to be hardwired in. I immediately let them know that they had sent me the wrong item. The company was quick to apologize for their error and the inconvenience. They were going to ship out the correct item, and the wrong light would be picked up over the next few weeks. Shortly afterwards an email landed in my inbox, explaining that they would not be able to send a replacement light after all. They explained that the light I originally ordered was out of stock and could not be reordered at this time. I was sent a return shipping label. I just had to repackage the item, stripping the box of any previous labels, add the new return label, and either drop off or call the shipping company for a pickup. They put me on a notification list for the light when it was back in stock.

Then there is the case where the item is not quite as it looked online. Anyone who recalls ordering from the Sears catalogue can relate to this!

No Sales Advice

You finally find the jacket that you wanted and it’s even on sale. What a deal! But now you can’t decide on the most suitable colour for you. And you start to worry about the style and fit. Well, there’s no replacing the advice and attention from an experienced sales clerk and fashion expert. Being able to try on clothing and footwear is always the best way to find clothing that fits, feels and looks good. You may be one of those people though who like to try on clothing in the comfort of your own home. You can take your time and try it on multiple times to be sure before you decide. Not to mention those sales clerks can be pushy too!

Too much screen time

The online stores are open 24/7, so you find yourself online a lot more. You can even shop in the middle of the night in your pjs when you are having trouble sleeping. You may begin to lose touch with your community and local retailers.

There’s nothing like a community Christmas market for an enjoyable experience.

Online shopping is definitely gaining traction worldwide. With limitless variety, quantities and better prices it is difficult to ignore all the benefits!

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