Since the introduction of the Internet, everything we do is connected to the Internet. Either we are paying bills, researching food recipes, selling or buying things; everything is online. Internet buys and sells become the norm in people’s lives. Chefs do online shopping for the ingredients of their restaurants; students purchase their textbooks online. Housewives rely on the internet to get their household supplies, everything revolves around the Internet, whether we like it or not. It is just not convenient, but online store prices are way cheaper compared to physical store prices. Everyone can get what they want with just one click of the button. No annoying salesperson is talking to you while you are shopping. Not only that, online marketing provides a venue for the exchange of services and goods.
Both buyers and sellers embraced online sales as a convenient and cheaper way to shop, but just like anything that has to do with the Internet, there are pros and cons when doing online shopping. You need to learn how to protect yourself when you are doing online shopping. The Internet is a double-bladed sword, if done right, it is highly beneficial, but if done wrong, it will be disastrous.
How Does Online Buying Work?
When you are doing shopping online, it is just like going out to your favorite shop or store. You can buy everything that is sold in the store, you can find in online shops, at the comfort of your home, and if you are lucky, you can access to reasonable offers or discounts. Some websites offer price cuts, gives discount cards and gives their customers enticing offers like free shipping for students who buy their textbook online or military discount coupons for retired or active members of the armed forces, or the dream cloud mattress coupon discount for housewives who are doing a bedroom renovation.
Finding products online
When you are doing online shopping, you start by searching for products on search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo. They will direct you to online stores that offer the product you are looking for. The good thing about online shopping is that you can compare products from different shops within minutes. Major retailers and company websites have pictures of their products posted on their site with a complete description, the specification of the product and the prices. They also have a page designated for their products that are on sale and discounts or products that customers can buy using coupon codes. Smaller companies use third-party websites like Amazon, eBay or Alibaba if they don’t have their website. It gives small businesses a platform to display their products and start their online store.
Buying and receiving
After you find the product that you want to buy, online sites usually have a checkout counter. On that page, you can see the shipping cost and the option on how you can pay for the product. You can expedite the shipping of your product by choosing an overnight shipping option. Depending on the shipping company that the seller is using and the destination, standard shipping usually takes 10 to 21 business days, expediting it will take 5 to 6 working days. When it comes to payment, there are also options. These include electronic check, Credit Card, Payment vendors, or sometimes, Cash-on-Delivery.
It is very convenient if you do your shopping in the comfort of your home. It is also cost-effective because you are not wasting money on gas, driving from store to store to look for the product that you want, it will save you money on parking fees, and of course, the prices of online products are much lower compared to products sold in department stores or mall shops.
Disadvantages of Online Shopping
Online shopping is not all sweet candies and butterflies, and there are also risks and drawbacks. When you pay for the product you buy online, you risk your digital information like name, address and most importantly, your bank information. Hackers can easily intercept this information and use it to their advantage.
(To know more about identity theft in online shopping, visit https://www.identityhawk.com/identity-theft-dangers-shopping-online)
You also risk dealing with a fraudulent seller or vendor. These people accept your payment, but don’t deliver your products. Some of them send you the wrong product or worse, defective items.
How to protect yourself while online shopping?
Overall, the advantages you get from doing online shopping will outweigh the disadvantages. But it is still essential to protect yourself because even if it is just a small disadvantage if it happens regularly, it will be a significant hardship. When shopping online, it is crucial to protect your information. Install antivirus and anti-phishing software on your computer. It will help protect you from malicious software or websites that are designed to look like legitimate sites, but in reality, it just wants to get your information, illegally. Always be wary of the vendors you are dealing with. Ask for more details like legal identifications. Avoid websites that ask for your social security number. And before doing transactions with them, always do your research. Read comments and reviews from past clients.