Sunday, December 18, 2011

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6 Reasons Why I Prefer Shopping Online

This year more than ever, I did the majority of my Holiday shopping online.  Although I still thoroughly enjoy shopping in stores, I only am able to do it when I have extra time to kill.  That is not a luxury I have had in . . . I actually cannot remember how long.

Of course, there are other reasons why I prefer to shop online.  For those of you who are wary about shopping in this manner, I have been doing so for close to a decade and have had very few problems.

Reasons why I like to shop online . . . 

1.  Online stores are open 24 hours a day.  I can shop when I have time, which is usually when the children go to bed and I have finished my work.  By this time, regular stores have long closed for the day.

2.  Shopping online saves time.  I can comparison shop between multiple retailers in just minutes without having to drive from one to another.  I also do not have to take the time to make myself presentable and drive to the store.  Nor do I have to wait in traffic on the road or long lines at the store.

3.  I can find coupon codes for almost any online retailer.  For example, if I want to purchase a new Tignanello leather bag, I can search for a Macy's promo code on and also check for a Bloomingdales coupon code.  Both retailers usually offer similar merchandise, so I can decide who to buy from based on my search results.  If I were shopping for Nike apparel for my son, then I would look for a Kohls coupon code.

4.  Many retailers offer free shipping.  Most retailers offer flat rate shipping and free standard shipping on orders that meet a minimum total.  A small handful of online retailers even offer free shipping on every order.

5.  Many retailers offer free returns.  Most retail websites, who also have store locations, accept free returns for online purchases in the stores.  Most shoe retailers and some clothing retailers who offer free shipping also give their customers free returns, as well.

6.  Product selection is usually much larger online.  Because multiple retailers usually sell the same product, you rarely need to settle for a product that is not exactly what you want.  For example, if you wanted an e-reader in red, but was only able to find a blue and a pink one locally, you would likely be able to find a red one being sold by at least one retailer online.

Even with all these great reasons to shop online, I do encourage you to always check each site's return policy, as they will vary from one website to the next.  Avoid websites that do not offer a money back guarantee and those that give you an unreasonably small window of time to return your purchased item.  If you are shopping from a small online business, you should also be sure that their credit card checkout system is a secure one or pay via a secure service like Paypal that offers buyer protection.

This year, I did about 85% of my holiday shopping online.  Next year, I predict it will increase to 90-95%.