Pros and Cons of Online Shopping

With increased use of Internet, more and more people are drawn towards online shopping. This means of buying products has gained immense popularity in today’s times. Earlier, Internet was only accessible to people of developed countries, but recent revolution has made it accessible to almost all parts of the world. With increased awareness, people now flock towards Internet for shopping. The concept of shopping goods through online services has been highly recognized and accepted, as it provides several benefits to the customer. However, every good aspect has a bad side to it and this is applicable to online shopping as well. The advantages and disadvantages of this kind of convenience shopping are listed below.

Advantages
The best part of online shopping is that you can shop from home. There is no need to go to the mall to purchase the item you need. You just need to order and it will be available right at your doorstep.
As you shop from the comfort of your home, you save on gas and time that would otherwise have been spent to reach to the nearest store and look for the desired product.
It is convenient and easy! You do not need any degree to learn online shopping. All you have got to do is, visit the website, search for your product and buy it. Your product is just a click away!
Shopping online gives you the privilege to shop whenever you want. The stores are never closed and you can do your shopping 24×7.
It provides variety to the buyer. You don’t need to jump from shop to shop to look for varieties of a product available in the market. The options available online are many and this is one of the best features of online shopping.
Shopping from malls and stores makes it difficult to compare between features and prices of products. Shopping through websites provides simplified comparison of products and helps in deciding which one should be purchased.
Many websites device special discount schemes from time to time to attract customers. You can always buy products under such schemes and save a lot of money.
It keeps annoying salesperson at bay. Aggressive salesmen often pressurize you to buy their products. This harassment can be simply escaped by shopping using the Internet.
Disadvantages
The first disadvantage is that there is a time lag between you making the payment and the delivery of the product.
You cannot try out the product before buying it. Many people like to try things out before making the payment. This feature remains missing when you buy a product online.
High shipping costs often add up to the total cost of the product. Companies usually set very high shipping costs, which add to the total expenditure. Also, if the product is shipped from another country, you are liable to pay extra taxes for it.
The payment mode may not be secure. With increased security issues, making online payment through debit or credit cards might be an insecure mode of transaction. It is therefore important to check whether the payment gateway is secured or not.
Possibility of product damage while shipping cannot be nullified. If the product received is damaged, it may again take several days for replacement or the company may not provide any replacement at all.
The ease of shopping can be extremely dangerous for shopaholics, as they may get provoked to buy many items at a time leading to unwanted expenditure.
The incidence of billing errors is high and if you encounter one, you will again have to follow a long procedure and wait for several days before the error gets resolved.
You need to have a debit or credit card to make a purchase. Very few websites give you the option of paying cash or check on delivery.
If you are trying this shopping method for the first time, I will advise you to get some tips for safe online shopping from your friends and relatives who have already tried it out, so that you do not make any mistakes. Also, weigh the pros and cons and decide for yourself whether you would like to go for it or not.

Tips for Smart Grocery Shopping

Unlike shopping for clothes or shoes, grocery shopping involves a little more planning and responsibility. After all, running a household isn’t a joke. Grocery shopping isn’t just one individual’s wish list, it requires keeping in mind the needs of everybody in the family. Whether it is a family of twelve, or a household of two, if this is strategically planned, it can work wonders. Here are a few ways to help you while you go shopping for groceries.

How To Shop Efficiently

Make a List
This is a must for all shoppers, irrespective of the fact whether you are a frugal shopper or a squanderer. List down everything you and other family members require. Don’t do this in a hurry. Start making a list a few days before you actually plan to make a trip to the local supermarket. This gives you enough time to check your refrigerator and storage containers in the kitchen. Check if other members want to add to the list.

Classify your List
Divide your list into broad sections: vegetables, dairy, spices, snacks, toiletries, etc. This will help you remember if there is something missing in the list, and help you pick up exactly what you need from a particular section in a store.

Ready-to-cook Meals
These are things you often forget in your shopping list, and then feel stressed out when you are in no mood to cook an elaborate meal. Ready-to-cook meals come handy occasionally. Stock them up.

Make a Budget
You definitely aren’t going to spend all your money on grocery. Plan how much of your earnings should be kept aside for the grocery. There are many products in the market to tempt you to spend more. Try not to overshoot your budget. Trust me, there are lots of things you can do with the saved money.

Take Somebody Along
Yes, you know your job well. But no harm requesting a family member to accompany you if the list is long. However, take someone who is not a wastrel. This way you can get some good advice and also get some help to move out of the store fast.

Make a Trip During Off-peak Hours
Not only will you get enough parking space if you go to the store when it is not crowded, but you will also be to finish your shopping faster. The long lines at the cash counters can be really frustrating. Avoid going on weekends or major holidays. Most stores also tend to finish their stock during peak hours, so you might miss out on something that you desperately need.

Check Out the Best Bargains
Read every offer carefully. Maybe you can get a good deal. Check out the pamphlets and banners displayed for the customers. Ask questions if you have doubts, but don’t get swayed by the offers. This is not the last time the store is offering a discount. You can come back later. Where is the bargain if you are buying things just for fun?

Start From the First Section
When you move systematically, you know exactly what you need. You can definitely browse around. But then look at your list. Is that mentioned on your list? Is that something you really need? Move fast if you don’t need it now.

Don’t Compromise on the Price and Brand
If you feel that the store you went shopping last week has a better range of tea bags, don’t buy them from this store. Mark it in your list, so you don’t forget to buy the tea bags from the other store. Also, if you feel apples at a particular supermarket are more expensive compared to another market your friends told you about, avoid buying them from here. Shop wisely.

Never Just Grab Items at Eye Level
Always look on the shelves above and below, probably that is where what you need exactly is. Stores often have wide-ranging brands and products in different quantities. Check out the right quantity pack. You don’t need to horde things in your kitchen.

Avoid Looking Back
Give a final glance to your list before you arrive at the cash counter. Once at the cash counter, don’t just keep going back to the shelves to grab things again and again. There are other people waiting in the line and their time needs to be respected.

Keep An Eye on the Cash Register
The person at the counter can make a mistake, so be careful of what he is billing you for. Make sure you remind him if there are any freebies on any products. Check if all the products you picked up have been carefully put in your bag.

Avoid Plastic Bags
Lead by example. Carry your own cloth bag as far as possible. Be sensitive to the environmental concerns.

If you follow these tips, you can have a pleasant shopping experience, where you will have gotten all you needed, and save a few bucks as well.