written by: Lucinda Watrous•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 6/29/2011
Online shopping is something many people enjoy. Take a look at this to find out the benefits of online shopping before you purchase the next item from your favorite website.
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Quite simply, online shopping has many benefits. Nothing will completely replace the instant gratification of purchasing an item you have wanted a long time, but shopping online has many perks conventional shopping cannot offer consumers.
Convenient Comparison Shopping
Everyone knows it is a good idea to shop around for the best deal on many purchases. The more you shop around the better chance you have of being able to save the most money. Comparison shopping online may require a few more points, clicks, and typing but it will save you time, effort, wear and tear on your vehicle, and money in gas.
Easy to Use Discounts or Coupon Codes
Even though conventional stores offer coupons and run sales, online stores often use "promotional codes" or "coupon codes" to provide discounts on top of the sales they run. If you do not have a code, chances are you can use a coupon code site to find one to help you save a bit more money.
The Online Stores Never Close
While you may have to wait until the next business day for your order to process and ship, you never have to worry about the stores being closed. You can browse and place an order with anyone, any time. You will have to take business days into consideration along with shipping times, but you can shop whenever you want.
Many Stores Offer Site to Store Service
Many larger retailers such as Wal-Mart and Best Buy offer services allowing customers to purchase their orders online and pick them up in a local store. Wal-Mart offers a service called "Site to Store" that allows the orders to be shipped to their local store rather than their homes, for free. Best Buy will allow the customer to pick up their order at the store the same day, in most cases, provided their order is in stock at the local Best Buy. Other conventional stores have similar policies; you should be able to find out specific details when placing your order online.
Comparable Pricing to Brick and Mortar Stores, Even with Shipping Costs
Sometimes an online store will sell items at prices higher than conventional stores, though there are many online retailers that provide prices lower than their conventional competitors. Some people believe that factoring in shipping and wait time makes the price of the conventional store's product worth it. Depending on the item and its necessity, it may be better to go out to get it, but in many scenarios, a little bit of planning (to make sure you'll have the item when you need it) makes shopping online worth it because of shipping discounts and other promotions.
Save Even More...
If you feel as though online shopping hasn't saved you enough money, try using a service such as ebates. This website will provide tracking tickets so long as you visit your merchant from the ebates site that allows you to earn a percentage of your transaction back in cash, paid quarterly.
Use a service such a PayPal to keep your financial information secure as you shop online.