Online shopping can be a wonderful experience. It's quick, convenient and fun! Many fellow online shoppers would have to agree with the fact that online shopping though has its pros and cons: PROS:
Comparison shopping; Instead of bringing your physical self to each store to find the best deals, you can easily pull up a simple website (froogle.com, Yahoo! Shopping, Ebay etc.) and find the cheapest prices. These search engines will search all the online stores and list the prices from lowest to highest depending on your preference.
Coupons/Deals: Many online retailers will allow you to enter a PROMO Code during check out to bring the prices even lower or perhaps a free shipping code which saves you the gas money you were going to spend driving to an actual store. Promo Codes, ofcourse could be found on this wonderful website dealsplus.com! This saves you time from clipping actual coupons/expired coupons.
Quick/Fast/Convenient: Online shopping eliminates waiting on long lines at the store. This comes in handy especially around the Holiday Season. Shoppers don't want to wake up on Black Friday to wait on long lines which is why we now have the Cyber Monday tradition. Online shopping can be done in the convenience of your own home where you are your own cashier. Your receipt is emailed to you and there is no need to worry about losing your receipt as this can be easily printed from your email box.
24/7 Store Hours!: There is no need to worry about what time the stores will close because in the online shopping world, it's open 24/7! Whether it's 2AM in the morning or 2PM in the afternoon, it is available to us at all hours. There is no sign up on the door to say "closed for the holidays", if anything, online shopping welcomes you with inviting deals for all seasons.
Sharing with your Friends made simple: You may not have a virtual online buddy to keep you company, but online retailers allow the feature of emailing the deal, sharing thru facebook, twitter and among other social networking sites to your friends. To get your friend's opinion, it is as simple as a click of a button. If the item needs to be shipped to a friend, you can avoid a trip to the post office by asking your online retailer to mail it to the recipient.
Hard to tell the quality of the item: With the power of photoshop, retailers can make a picture look like it's worth millions. It's hard to tell the actual quality of the item as to the size, weight, color, material and etc. It could be that necklace you saw advertised with a huge looking stone, but when it comes in the mail, it is as light as a feather or the stone is not as shiny. It's a risk that people take when it comes to ordering something online.
Lost Shipments: It gets a little frustrating when you expect to receive your item you paid for to come on time but doesn't. Then you find yourself calling the retailer to resolve this issue in which they open an investigation with UPS, USPS, or FedEx. Sometimes, depending on the store policy, you can expect to receive a full refund for lost packages. Other sites like Ebay, it becomes an issue when the seller's tracking number is showing a "delivered" and you still received nothing. This leads to opening a case with Ebay as they will arbitrate to see who is at fault to render a decision on who should get their money back. It becomes a big hoopla many online shoppers don't want to encounter.
CreditCard/Personal Information is Stolen or Sold: As secure as the online retailers claim their websites to be, hackers still have a way of getting a hold of personal information belonging to buyers. As we check-out, we are asked to enter our credit card information. While many sites claim they are "VeriSign Secured" the risk of personal information getting leaked is still possible. Sometimes your personal info is sold to a 3rd party group where they will put you on a mailing list and begin to bombard you with unnecessary emails selling you items you did not sign up for.
Inconvenient Returns/Exchanges: Many online retailers will allow for store returns. For stores such as Amazon, Newegg, and TigerDirect, they have no physical store fronts. To process a return, buyers would have to shell out their own cash to send back the item. If you're lucky, some stores will issue a pre-paid shipping sticker. When returning, some retailers will require a RMA number in which you will have to contact them for to follow up with your refund.
Overall, the online shopping experience could both be good and bad. Depending on your preference, you may choose to opt out or opt in. For me, it's worth the risk. It's what life is made of: RISKS.