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Disadvantages of Online ShoppingBY: Jessica | Category: Shopping | Post Date: 2009-08-13
The craze of online shopping has picked up quite significantly in the last decade and online sellers are expected to improve their share of purchases for years to come. There is no doubt that you can find great deals online and so many different brands which may not be even available in regular stores, even shopping malls. If you have never shopped online or even if you are a regular online shopper, you should understand that despite of all the hype, there are certain disadvantages of online shopping.
1. YOU DO NOT PHYSICALLY SEEN THE ITEMS:
Normally when we shop from a regular store, we can see the item and atleast visually inspect that it looks fine. You can select a co lour, size and can even speak to a sales person to clarify doubts regarding an item. I feel the biggest disadvantage of online shopping is we do not physically see the item till it arrives. May be you have seen it in the nearby mall but there is a possibility that the particular piece you have ordered may be defective. Misinterpretation or misunderstanding of items bought online is a common problem. Usually the photo of items you see online are much better than once you have the item in front of you.
2. WAIT FOR THE ITEMS TO ARRIVE:
Once you place you order the waiting game starts. You have to wait for a few days for the item to arrive which can be quite frustrating. Most experts believe that we are most excited about your "buy" in the first few days, so by the time your item arrives you will most likely be less excited then getting the item on same day you made the payment.
3. CHANCES OF MISHANDLING WHILE SHIPPING / DELIVERY RISKS:
What if the item you are expecting never arrives, you will be lost in a series of phone calls to the seller and the courier company. What if you are not at home during the time of delivery and the courier company leaves the package on your door and a passerby decides to steal it? What if the shipping company broke your stuff and you realize it after opening it when the courier man has already gone away. The seller might claim that you broke it.
4. SHIPPING CHARGES:
Only a few sites offer free shipping, some others will ship for free only if your total purchase price exceeds a certain amount. Shipping fee is often a big discouragement for online shoppers.
5. RETURNING MERCHANDISE:
Even if the seller agrees to take back the defective merchandise, you often have to pay the cost of shipping it back. Additionally you have to call and convince the people regarding the reason of your return. Some good sites do have excellent return policy, but not everyone.
6. ONLINE SECURITY:
Making payments online is usually safe but not always. There may be sites which are not secure or do not encrypt your personal credit card data, so if a hacker breaks in their system, your personal data can be compromised.
7. RISK OF ONLINE FRAUD:
Some people pretend selling items at a very cheap price and often send you a low quality, opened or refurbished item, in other cases the site may shut down unexpectedly, leaving lot of customers who might have already paid for the item but did not receive anything. Shopping online can also take you to phishing sites which want to defraud you.
8. TIMEZONE DIFFERENCE:
In countries like USA there are various time zones and the customer service hours of the online shopping site may be different from your time zone, making it difficult for you to get in touch with a human when you need help.
9. SALES TAX:
Although an online shopping site may not charge you a sales tax during the purchase, you are legally obliged to pay taxes when you file annual taxes (assuming you live in a taxable state). Most people are able to get by, but in case of a scrutiny not paying sales tax on online purchases may become an issue.
10. A DULL SHOPPING EXPERIENCE:
I personally enjoy going to a mall or just the nearby bazaar and enjoy the ambiance and feel more social among other people. Online shopping can be boring for many and make you feel like a loner.
11. RESTOCKING FEE:
Most online stores have a restocking fee, specially on electronic items. Items that you buy in a store, can be opened within the store in front of an associate after purchase, and if there is an obvious defect you can return/exchange it without paying a restocking fee which is usually between 10 to 20 percent.
12. SPYWARE ON YOUR COMPUTER:
Having a virus or a spyware is not the sellers fault but there is a risk of your personal data / credit card information, to be stolen right from your own computer.
13. KNOWLEDGE OF OPERATING A COMPUTER:
Older people in particular are not comfortable operating computer and they will never purchase online because of the same reason.
14. DEAL HUNTING CAN BE FRUSTRATING:
It is common that the price of items are different on different sites. Some people find excitement in finding good deals online while others hate to check various sites to find the best price. Also online shopping can often become addictive.
15. ONLINE CONNECTIVITY ISSUES:
You add items in your online shopping cart, enter your credit card information and press "submit". What if the confirmation screen times out due to connectivity issues. You do not know if the order went through correctly or not. Many people refresh the screen and little do they know that it may cause double billing / double ordering.
16. YOU CANNOT BUY LOW PRICED OR PERISHABLE ITEMS ON THE WEB:
Small items like pencil, eraser, socks, water bottles etc.. are low priced items and shipping them will likely double the cost. You will always have to depend on regular stores for them. Similarly items like milk, fruits and vegetables are perishable items and cannot be ordered online.
17. YOU CANNOT BUY ITEMS THAT YOU NEED 'RIGHT NOW':
Disadvantage of online shopping includes inability of getting items in your possession quickly.
Most good internet sites have taken adequate measures to overcome most of these disadvantages. An intelligent online shopper knows a lot more than a novice. Both regular stores and online shopping have advantages and disadvantages of their own.
Article Source: http://www.saching.com
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