In Sex and the City, Carrie Bradshaw exclaims, “No! Shopping is my cardio!” when introduced to the idea of shopping online. While she does make a point, many shopaholics like Ms. Bradshaw have given up their exercise routines for the comforts of shopping online. With online marketplaces like Amazon, shoppers can purchase almost anything with a click of the mouse so long as they have a bank account. Despite a couple of minor drawbacks, virtual shopping sprees come with endless benefits.
First of all, online marketplaces have no closing times. Because of this, there is no need to rush out of work to make it to a store before it closes. You can leisurely peruse your favorite store’s entire stock at 2 A.M. if you choose, and receive it within a business day if you select the appropriate shipping option. Online shopping also totally takes away the time and money it takes actually getting to a store. If your favorite store is a 40 minute drive, opting for their web-based marketplace instead can save you over an hour worth of driving, as well as the gas it would take to get there. You can then use the $10 you may have spent on gas to buy a new outfit or pair of shoes instead!
While a setback of online shopping is that you can’t actually try on merchandise before you buy it, most web catalogs provide several pictures of clothing, measurements, and sizing charts to help ensure that you choose the appropriate size. If your garment still doesn’t fit or look exactly as desired, many stores allow free returns and complete refunds. Simply send back the unwanted clothing and you’re not out any money. Some people also worry that shopping online costs more because each item comes with shipping charges. Although you should check each store’s individual shipping policy, most businesses will ship items for free if a certain threshold price is reached. Signing up for programs like Amazon Prime guarantees unlimited free two day shipping. If you frequently shop online, spending the $80 to enroll in the program can save you big on shipping and get your purchases to you ASAP. If you do not wish to spend that much money on the program, many items on Amazon qualify for the Super Saver program, which is free standard shipping.
Shopping online also gives you way more options than you would normally have. While many stores cater their stock to their specific area, shopping online allows you to select from almost all the items the company offers. This means that you can live in Ohio while shopping in New York, Milan, or London without ever leaving your couch. Some stores even have “web exclusives” that cannot be found in any brick and mortar shops. Shopping on eBay or Amazon also allows you to comparison shop without jumping from building to building. If you’re looking for a new bookcase, searching for it on Amazon will bring up results from tons of different sellers and you have the option of sorting them by relevance, price, and other characteristics. By selecting specific sizes, price ranges, or color, you can also weed out any items that you don’t want and target the exact items that you do.
Finally, shopping online can save you major money. Almost all merchants have a clearance section online that you can shop from. If you’re shopping on Amazon, you also have the option of buying used items in some categories. If you’re buying a book and decide to go with the used copy, you can often snag it for a few dollars or even cents. Some books cost as little as a penny! Even some new items are steeply discounted.
Next time you think about heading to the mall, consider hopping online instead. If you opt for a virtual shopping experience, you can choose the items you want while getting all your household chores done as well. If you’re worried about your cardio, hit the gym during the time.