The 4 Pitfalls of On-line Shopping; Does it Make “Cents” for you?

get-attachment_opt-2Uh oh, here comes that UPS and FedEx truck. Again.  Do you even remember what you bought or when?  When we shop virtually, it’s often a spontaneous purchase.  Instant gratification, both visually and emotionally. It appeals to our senses that impact our impulse to shop. It’s the thrill of the hunt and the immediacy of the acquisition, that gives us a real charge.

But make no mistake about it, there are consequences to this convenience. The potential of over-acquiring may not be realized “in the moment.” Once it’s purchased, it’s easy to forget about the transaction altogether.  It’s on a cloud somewhere, right? This can be dangerously delusionary.

Pitfall #1.   It’s only when the shipments start arriving that you realize you must find proper homes for the new arrivals. Do you have the ample space?  Or, because it was an on-line purchase , there’s a good chance it’s either ill-fitting, or not the product you thought it to be. Or, you realize you already have something just like it. You might be asking yourself, ” what was I thinking?”  Oops, a change of heart.

Pitfall #2.  So now you have to fill out the return authorization forms and send it all back. Or perhaps, you want to exchange or request a new item and start the process all over again.  For some, this circuitous routine can be far too arduous a task that it never gets done at all. When unwanted packages of newly purchased items accumulate, it is senseless clutter. It provides value to no one. So if you are frequently disappointed with on-line purchases, stop making them.

Pitfall #3.  The reality is that on-line shopping is super easy peasy, isn’t it?  The Technology becomes the enabler. But in the interest of “buying better, not more,” maybe the question we should be really asking,” isn’t it a little bit too easy, and potentially very costly?”

It’s so difficult to resist the pull of a great bargain, or the tease of a simple “click.” But don’t be lured into the virtual trap, it can be very risky.

Before you type in your credit card info, know that you will be accountable for it.  Maybe not right in that instant, but eventually. Since you’re not signing a receipt, swiping a card, writing a check, or taking cash out of your wallet,  your brain may not be making the connection that real money has been exchanged. Do not be romanced by the pop-up ads on your computer and spend money you don’t have.

Pitfall#4. Unfortunately, only limited stores offer free shipping.  Shipping and handing fees are an added cost and can get prohibitively expensive.  Sometimes the shipping costs are more expensive than the item itself.  Somewhere in the self-talk, you would have to think about if this even makes any sense.

On-line shopping definitely has its pros and cons. Clearly, some of us are more successful with it than others. For the busy or working individual, this is a great option.  However, if you are not an educated consumer or you struggle with decision-making, this can cost you more time and money than it’s worth.

Retail shopping has its advantages too.  If we can inspect the quality, touch, or try something on, we can determine right there and then if it works for us. Think about it, it eliminates the guesswork and can potentially save us a lot of time. We still have the option of returning or exchanging, but we can avoid the shipping back and forth and delayed credit reimbursements.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter whether you’re an on-line junkie or an avid retail shopper, enjoy your shopping! Just be sure it makes both “sense” and “cents” to you! I wonder, what is your preferred style of shopping?

If you share yours…I promise to share mine 🙂




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