Thursday, April 16, 2009

Brick and Mortar vs. Online Shopping

The internet has revolutionized the way we shop but, obviously, there are still times when it’s necessary to go to a physical store. In this article we’ll look at the pros and cons of both shopping methods.

Brick and mortar shopping, in most cases, gives you the option of paying with cash, check or credit/debit card. And of course when you need something in a hurry or need items like gas, food or medicine, you have to go to a store.
The downsides are that you have to spend money on gas or public transportation to get to a store, in most cases. It can also take a considerable amount of time if you are shopping for gifts or hard to find items. You have to go from store to store sometimes and it can be exhausting.

Increasingly, more and more items can be purchased online, even cars, furniture, computers and houses. If you are looking for something obscure, chances are you can find it with a quick search in your favorite search engine rather than driving all around town. So you save time and gas by shopping online.

The downside is that you can’t physically inspect the product or try it on, if it’s a clothing item. So you’ll need to make sure the website has a generous return policy. For example, Zappos lets customers return shoes at no cost to the customer if the shoes don’t fit properly. Most online clothing websites have generous return policies and provide return shipping labels. Make sure this is the case before you order.

Also, unless you’re willing to pay for overnight shipping, you can’t get the product instantly when you shop online and have to pay a shipping charge. But the convenience of ordering from home and the ability to find discount prices online often outweigh this. And most websites make fast shipping a high priority so you’ll usually get your item in less than a week. Many websites, such as Amazon, have customer reviews and testimonials and this will give you a good idea how reliable the shipping and product quality are.

A final advantage to online shopping: there is now a way to instantly find the best prices on everything and it doesn’t cost a thing. Go here for more details:

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