Online shopping is increasingly popular and ordering from a website can beat driving to a mall. Getting your package on your doorstep is easier than hauling it home from a store, particularly as many web retailers are offering free shipping. So what’s not to like?
Well, there are reasons to consider bricks-and-mortar stores over on-line shopping. The first is the task of returning an on-line item you’ve decided you don’t want. Shipping may be free, but remember, that’s only one way. Sending an item back is going to cost you. And, have you stood in a post office line, lately?
As writer Liz Weston points out, color, texture, and quality are hard to gauge on a computer. (“When It’s Better to Buy Off-line,” by Liz Weston, Money, November 2015, pg. 30) Home furnishings, particularly mattresses and wall coverings should be a touchy-feely experience.
Believe it or not, Weston says sales can be better at a bricks-and-mortar store because block buster prices are intended to get you into the store. Once you’re there, retailers know you’ll probably spend more. (Ibid. pg. 30) As for getting a better deal on line, Anthem Marketing Research reports, “Seven out of 10 products are priced about the same online as they are in the store.” (Ibid pg. 30)
A number of sites exist to help shoppers decide if going to the mall is worth the trek: PriceGrabber, NexTag, DealNews, FatWallet and NerdWallett. Chose you search site, then decide whether or not a trip to the mall makes dollars and cents.