Category Archives: Shopping

Some Bright and Cheerful festivals of the world

All the greatest festivals of the world connote one big thing and that is “light”. Light that one has within the self has to be brought out to the surface so that all the evil dies. We light up countless candles and lights not only on Diwali but on all festivals because we should not live in darkness. Interestingly, you can now buy Diwali gifts online to get some nice candles and lights delivered to your homes.

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Now let’s take a look at some of the blazing festivals of the world.

The great November celebration of England–If you happen to be in England in the month of November, you would experience an Indian Diwali in the skies of England. On 5th November Guy Fawkes effigy is burned because of his failure in the Gunpowder Plot incident. After the burning of effigy, wide array of fireworks are witnessed. You would notice some of the best fireworks in the following places.

  • Tar Barrels, St. Mary – This is an ancient tradition where men, women and children run through the streets with barrels filled with tar on their heads. Sounds weird and interesting – huh!
  • You would notice 17 burning crosses and other fireworks if you are in Lewes, Sussex.
  • Themed fireworks and bonfire are held in the coast region between Whitby and Saltburn.

Amazing New Year’s Parties in Dubai – If you haven’t been in Dubai, you should plan a trip to Dubai for spending the New Year’s Eve and witness the blazing scene there. Every year this place breaks its own record of footfalls. People from many places gather here to see the madness of celebrating a new year. The notable places to visit here are as follows:

  • Downtown region of Dubai – You would witness the World’s most advanced pyrotechnics and LED-emitting technology. The Strobe-light effects, pour of stars, and volcanic waves of lights are common features here.
  • Palm Jumeriah – You have to book a yacht here to take the water transport and roam through the water bodies or Dubai creeks to see the blazing fireworks in action. It would be a lifetime experience and definitely you would remember the Diwali nights of India.
  • BurjKhalifa from various angles – If you can manage yourself a space in this tallest building of the world, you are at the best angle to witness the fireworks in motion. The height serves as a blessing here.

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Breath-taking National Day festival of Singapore – 9th August is the National Day of Singapore and it would give competition to our Diwali any day. The magnum opus light festival here on this day is something that would make you crazy as it is believed to be one of the most spectacular views of the world. You have to hop on to these following places.

  • Marina Bay Sands Waterfront Boardwalk – This is the heartland of National Day celebration and you just can’t afford to miss this location.
  • The Helix Bridge – This is a special location as it connects Marina Bay to Marina Centre and thus you get the best view of the fireworks.

Visit some of these places with your loved ones and this would be the best Diwali gift that you can shower on them.

 

10 Fashion Tips Every Woman Should Know

You do not need to hold a lifestyle content writing jobs or an entertainment content writing job to understand the inner world of fashion. All you need is to follow these 10 fashion tips and you are all set.

  1. Cater to the occasion

People do not expect you to wear something shiny to a funeral. At the same time, others would not want you to wear a melancholic dress to a wedding. This is why it is important to dress according to the occasion. Half your job is done if you get can this right.

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  1. Adapt to the changing trends

It needn’t only be lifestyle content writers or entertainment content writers who know so much about spaghetti straps, bishop sleeves and tulip skirts. You can too. All you need to do is be up to date about the recent change in trends and you can shop for them with ease.

  1. Summer? Keep it light

If it’s summer, then keep away from accessories. Dress in light colored clothes and avoid all kinds of embellishments on clothes. It is always suggested to wear loose clothes as they will not stick to you as you sweat during the summers.

  1. Look cool with sunglasses

Not all sunglasses will look good on every face. It is important to find the right type for your face shape. For instance, those with round faces will look better in sunglasses with angular designs. People with square shaped faces look better with round framed designs.

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  1. Choose the right colors

This applies to identifying the right colors that compliment your skin tone. For instance, if you have a cool color tone, then you should side towards colors like green, purple, magenta and if you have a warm color tone, then you should opt for colors like yellow, brown, maroon.

  1. Mix prints

Don’t worry. This looks better than it sounds. For starters, you can look for patterns that have a common color tone.

  1. Scarves

Do you know scarves are also called as magic scarves? Most of us tie our scarves only in one particular manner. There are numerous ways you can tie your scarf. You can turn them into a loop, a double loop, a vest and much more. You can even use them to make a boho headband.

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  1. Hair styles

They say that the right hairstyle has the power to transform the way you look. Why stick to the same old ordinary hairstyle when you can experiment? Be it short hair, medium length hair, or long hair – your hair is destined for so much more than that ponytail.

  1. Footwear

Do not stick to only flats. Sure, they are the most comfortable. But you can also find comfortable heels if you look for them. You can go for peep toes if you are wearing jeans or short dresses and pumps to match your formal attire. And don’t forget boots. A good pair of boots should always be a part of your closet.

  1. Handbags

 Not every bag go with every occasion. If you are headed for a party, it’s wise to carry a clutch. If you are going out casually with your friends, a cross body bag would be preferred.

Ladies! It’s time to get out there and flaunt your style.

The Pleasure Of Online Shopping

The Pleasure Of Online ShoppingOnline Shopping is today the most convenient and exciting way of shopping. It caters to every income group and therefore has a wide customer base. It allows customers to buy goods and services from sellers or merchants using the internet. Many people find this the most relaxed form of shopping, more so from the convenience of their home. It also has its advantages and disadvantages, that should be kept in mind to make shopping a pleasure.

Online Shopping lets you to shop from your home. You can relax before your computer or laptop and browse from various shopping portals. Some advantages include the following:

  • You do not need to get dressed and ready yourself and the family for driving down to the shopping mall. Neither do you need to walk from shop to shop exploring variety of products.
  • Facilitates ease of comparison of products and prices. Online business owners therefore, price their products competitively as pricing plays a major decisive factor for customer decisions. Reviews that are available online will also give you an insight on the products you want to buy.
  • You get a wide range of merchandise at these shopping sites, unlike the availability of certain brand or limited categories in physical stores.
  • You do not have to listen to unwanted sales talk. Usually the salesman at any store tries to push products where they generate more margins. They tend to influence the customer decisions. You may also end up buying things which was not in your buying list! Online shopping, will prevent you from impulsive shopping.
  • You can be away from the crowd and do not need to stand in queues at the cashiers counter.
  • Discuss with the family before finalising your product purchase. This kind of comfort zone works very well as likes and dislikes are sorted out within the family before a purchase order is placed.
  • No need to take urgent decisions. As online shopping works 24 x 7, there is no need to rush through your purchase, unlike in stores where they have fixed time of operations.
  • Purchasing certain items at stores can be embarrassing and create awkward situations in the presence of curious onlookers.
  • Easy payment modes. Some shopping sites offer free delivery and even payment on delivery. Information products like e-books can be downloaded on immediate payment.

Most shopping portals offer discounts, special offers, deals of the day, and even festive offers on various occasions. They also offer a replacement policy at no extra cost. A wide variety of products like apparels, jewelry, computers, electronic gadgets and accessories, health and beauty products, toys and several others are easily available for your shopping pleasure.

While on the subject, it must be kept in mind that there are some disadvantages when you are shopping online. They are, to mention a few:

  • The quality of the product cannot be judged merely on the basis of a single photograph, as they can be deceptive.
  • You have to wait for the delivery of your items which you could otherwise pick up from a store instantly.
  • Unreliable shopping sites can sell off inferior products, which you may not be able to replace.
  • There are no contact points where you can discuss or bargain further.
  • Risks involved in credit card/ debit card transactions.

In spite of these disadvantages, online shopping is becoming more and more popular as the advantages favour not only the busy executives but also the house wives and the young generation.

Consider shopping from well known e-retailers. If you carefully analyse and take care of the above, your Online Shopping will be an experience that you will enjoy.

Online Shopping Cash Back Offers

Online Shopping Cash Back OffersGlobally we are spending more and more money online than ever before and it’s accumulating at lightning speed. Once it was just CD’s and books as lots of people just wasn’t confident about shopping online and many were worried about the credit card details being safe.

Fast forward to today and almost everybody shops online in one degree or another purchasing items such as books, clothes, electrical goods, holidays and even high-priced items such as cars.

Retailers are always looking at ways to win the online shopping war offering various incentives and vouchers to encourage online shoppers to spend their hard-earned money with them instead of a competitor.

Something that is proving successful are online shopping cash back offers. This is where third-party companies agree to drive shoppers to the online retailer and receive a part of the consumers spend which can be anywhere from 5%-25% depending on the volume and item.

A percentage of this is then passed on to the consumer as a cash back reward or sometimes in the form of vouchers. This encourages the consumer to use the cash back company making it a win-win situation for everyone involved.

Many of the companies put together the online shopping cash back offers have different levels of membership which dictates the level of cash back you receive from your online shopping. It’s up to the consumer to decide whether paying for a premium membership is going to be worthwhile, i.e. do you purchase enough items online to make the membership fee viable.

As the industry is becoming more and more competitive cash back companies are offering other incentives for consumers to become members such as music downloads included in the membership which lets members download music and create playlists in the account. Some of them now inform you of the latest deals and vouchers as they are released which can result in further savings.

Another incentive the online shopping cash back companies are offering is a reward incentive program which pays referral payments to introduce new members. For every new member the existing member introduces they receive a small incentive payment and in some cases the new member receives the same payment.

A recent development is that high street banks and other organisations not associated with the online shopping industry (other than transactions) are now offering cash back at certain online stores. This suggests a very strong trend in the way we will continue to purchase our items and it does beg the question as online shopping and cash back companies gather in strength how safe are the brick and mortar shops we are used to seeing.

Will we ever get to a stage in society where most of the large retailers will sell their products online and have a few skeleton stores to act as a visual presence?

Many would doubt this but given the increased online spending it is certainly something to think about. Although this is the subject for another article as there are many points to look at and consider.

Although increased online spending does have a negative side in that it continues to make many retailers come to the decision to close some of their high street stores it does create a positive effect for consumers.

The many online shopping cash back companies are now battling with each other to offer the highest cash back along with other benefits such as vouchers and money off coupons, this can only be a good thing for the millions of online shoppers around the world. We are now in an era where we can now actually get paid to shop online, who knows what else is around the corner?

Make your online shopping pay. Carry on shopping at all your favourite online retailers, purchasing your favourite products but get money back on every purchase.

 

Online Shopping A Renaissance in the Modern Age

online shop in the Modern AgeWith a vast commercialization of the internet in recent decades, there has subsequently been a sudden rampant spike in E-Commerce, leading to most buyers relying on online shopping for products ranging from daily basic necessities to more costly items. The days are gone when shopping went into people’s planners as a day-long task, as it has become mere trivialized that can be completed at any time and any place. Innumerable online shopping stores have, in turn, risen to deal in a great variety of goods to meet the needs of the customers, turning online shopping from just a hassle-free way of buying goods and services to an industrial competition, farther providing customers with greater choices and better facilities.

Lower Prices

Besides appealing discount offers, to sustain a favorable buyer-seller relationship, online stores avail consumers of far lower prices of products compared to physical stores. This has been possible due to the sellers’ understanding that customer shop online mostly to find cheaper products, and thus, reducing their profit margins to attract more customers.

Ease and Comfort

An all-time available customer service support is provided by many websites to stay hip with the customers’ latest needs, to obtain feedback, and to respond to and aid in the customers’ complaints. All sorts of items are eased under the same websites, saving a considerable amount of buyers’ time in the modern busy lifestyle. To add to the comfort, the goods are shipped swiftly, with some websites even availing the shipping of products on the same day as the placement of orders, and availing free shipping if of large orders. Separate display windows for different products and offers, customized search and filter options and even the availability of comparable facility based on best deals are a few of the many more comforts of shopping online.

Variety of Products

With a great number of choices in terms of category, brands and prices, customers are attracted more and more towards online stores. The same website avails buyers of a great variety of goods saving the customers from the stress of finding the right physical stores for different items.

No False Enticement

The most assuring trait of most online shops are that instead of luring customers into buying unnecessary stuff, they provide customers with filters and sorting options to display just the items that they are looking for.

Secrecy of Information

It is often difficult to buy some particular products like lingerie in a physical store due to the starving people around, embarrassing customers without any logical reason. Shopping for such products online gives customers complete privacy about the products they buy. Also, the information about your method of payment is also kept secret to eliminate any types of cyber crime. Reliable refunds of returning goods at trusted websites keeps customers happy and satisfied.

Shopping online is a superb approach to discover deals without needing to leave your home. The wide choice of products and wide assortment of spots to find them effectively make this the most ideal platform to shop, particularly if you are constrained to when you can shop. Pretty much all that you would ever need to purchase is accessible online; from satchels to designer clothing, to toiletries, and pet supplies and even embellishments and repairing parts for your vehicle.

With the rapidly expanding use of smart phones by the world populace, online shopping has become incredulously convenient and can be made while people are on the go. This way, people not only can saves their valuable time but also get the desired products as and when they need them. What is more, most online shopping destinations have released their mobile phone applications through which they offer exclusive deals and offers to their customers. This takes online shopping excitement to the peak.

The above mentioned are just a few of the many benefits availed to customers through online shopping, shifting a greater crowd towards the web stores with passing time

5 Reasons Why Online Shopping Steals The Show

5 Reasons Why Online Shopping Steals The ShowThe most prominent and well accepted aspect of commercialization of the internet is the facility to shop online. The convenience and comfort offered by online shopping, along with several additional advantages not available in physical stores have made the online purchase of goods a preference between all. Discussed here in brief are a few of the merits of buying items from shopping websites.

Convenience and comfort

Instead of having to eke out dear time from busy schedules only to visit busy marketplaces and malls, waiting in line, not even sure that the desired products will be available, modern shoppers consider shopping a task that can be completed easily at any time, night or day, and from any place. The buyers can avoid the holiday rush by ordering their goods online comfortably seated at home. The only effort required of them is to log on to a shopping website and easily find items of their choice with the help of customized search and sorting modes.

Pleasant prices

It is popularly known that online shopping sites offer products at relatively lower prices than physical stores, primarily because of the fact that the retailer, understanding that customer prefer to shop online chiefly to spend less, significantly reduce the prices by lessening their own profit margins. Besides this, due to the continual competition between different web-stores, frequently updated discount offers and attractive deals keep coming up regularly to magnetize larger crowds.

Simple payment

The online stores offer a great number of choices in payment options, based on the customers’ individual convenience, including credit cards, cash-on-delivery and money transfer mobile apps. This facility to choose a suitable and reliable method of payment keeps customers satisfied. Even refunds in case of exchange or return are automatically credited to the respective mode of payment without any hassle.

Reliable shipping

Tie-ups of online stores with leading cargo companies assure buyers of swift and accountable delivery of products, some retailers even offering free shipping in case of large orders, and shipping on the same day as the placement of the order.

Knowing very well that you would look for a product online mainly to get your hands on the best online discounts, the online shopping websites avail the same items at far lower prices than the physical stores. To add to the convenience of customers, a variety of payment modes are available at websites including Credit Cards, Cash on Delivery and even PayPal, along with swift shipping, sometimes on the very same day, and even free shipping for large orders. There is no wonder that the number of online shoppers has increased to the present height.

Fabulous deals and discounts

In terms of deals and discounts, online shopping stores score very heavily over physical stores. Almost every day, new deals and discounts appear and many of people grab them on the spot. Almost all the online shopping destinations provide their regular customers with added advantages in terms of fabulous deals and discounts. Normally, the aware, customers always subscribe the newsletter of their preferred shopping destination and get instant information about daily offerings in their mailbox.

Overall, the comfort and convenience that online shopping has created in the life of people is something that not only has put the buyers at ease, but also sellers on the cutting edge. Now there is no need for sellers to establish the physical mega stores to sell their products, what they need to do is just establishing a tie-up with a leading online store and start selling their products.

Overall, online shopping has become a way of life for today’s busy generation because the joy of hovering in the markets to buy items has been overtaken by the will to finish quickly purchases like hanging task. So, people all over the world now prefers to buy a variety of items of all price ranges online.

Reasons of Attraction for Online Shopping

Reasons of Attraction for Online ShoppingIn the competitive world all of us are running to save our precious time. The mass number of people do prefer online as the source of purchase as it is too convenient. The act of buying products is referred the word shopping. Sometimes this is done for a pleasurable activity and sometimes to get fulfill for your basic requirements like, food and cloth. We can see the outcome of this explosion all around us. The majority of the consumers preferred to shop online.

An individual can purchase almost everything based upon their choice and needs. Just on a single click all your essentials get delivered at your doorstep. Shopping through online is such an user friendly that you need not require to stand in a long queue to make your payment. Most of the people love online shopping because it makes things much easier and smoother. The business organizations preferred this channel as a scope to access into a worldwide network. The demands are increasing day by day.

The three important factors for every commercial organizations are acquisition, retention and enhancement can easily maintain. It helps out to reduce the pressure, save your energy while buying, and you can easily check and compare the value with other. The shoppers can shop more frequently through online portals. One can get almost everything in one place at a cheaper cost. A consumer living in any country of the world can consume their deserving product. The customers are also accepting it as a channel to give a gift that would be of superior quality, and also reasonable in price. The buying and selling through online plays an important role in many people’s lives. Online shoppers can select any time of the day or night to shop in a free mind, even you can do it from home or from your workplace. A person just needs to log onto the Internet, visit the preferred website to shop online and select the items based on their desires and easily get the delivery at the mentioned time. They can purchase a variety of things from shopping online.

Online Shopping has a numerous advantage. It is the shopping destination of the internet users across the country. E-commerce provides a way out of smarter shopping. It is designed with the modern technology for the development of internet. Shopping online permitted you to buy things without distracting your daily schedule. The English entrepreneur Michael Aldrich invented online shopping in the year of 1979. It is a strategy used to learn more about the customers need in order to make a stronger relationship with them. It’s an option to create lifetime customers by delivering on promises consistently. The market has already created its impact and has proven its uniqueness on the eye of the customer.

Some exclusive features make it more popular like you can get free shipping delivery as well as cash on delivery. The expectations of all the customers are different according to each of their age, gender, experience and culture. You want to purchase an item that are not available in your hometown area you can easily order it through online shopping. Lots of people considered it as a perfect way of shopping for getting the attractive offers at discount rate. The goodwill of online shopping helps to enhance the business. Growth and development of the industry indicate the development of the economy. It is one of the easiest technique to focus on the customer needs so that it’s in a position to provide total customer satisfaction and build customer loyalty. It fulfills all of your needs for every occasion.

 

Safe Online Shopping

Safe Online ShoppingWhat is safe online shopping? The amount of money spent with online shops is increasing at an outstanding rate due to the convenience, choice and low prices that can be found. This is all great but how do you know that you are spending with a reputable website? It is important to understand what safe online shopping is, what to look for and what to avoid.

How is online shopping made safe? Safe online shops use technology that protects the personal information you provide when making a purchase online, your credit card details are ‘scrambled’ so that they cannot be captured by “identity thieves” who aim to capture credit card or bank account details in order buy goods or get loans in your name. Scrambling this personal information means that it cannot be read or captured by anyone else.

How can I tell if the online shop I am shopping on is safe? To ensure that the online shop where you are shopping is safe you should check for the following:

An unbroken key or closed lock in your browser window. Each of these icons show that the online shop is safe. If the key is broken or the lock open the online shop is not safe. Check that the online shop website address begins with “https” instead of “http” when you are providing personal information, such as credit card details. This shows that you are in a secure area of the online shop. If you see the words “Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)”, sometimes in a pop-up window, you know you are shopping at a secure and safe online shop.

How well do I know the brand of the online shop? Another thing to consider is how well you know the brand that runs the online shop? The chances are you will be more confident of shopping at Amazon than many other online brands because they are well established and have a reputation for good customer service.

How quickly will I get my goods? It is well worth delving into the online shop’s customer service section to find out when and how your goods will be delivered. Does the online shop allow you to specify delivery dates and times or an alternative delivery address.

Does the online shop offer me a contact number in case anything goes wrong? If anything does go wrong with your order it is good to have a direct customer service telephone number to call to express your concerns, if not, many online shops provide a customer service email with a guaranteed response time so you can air your queries about your order.

Does the online shop make all charges involved clear? During the sale the online shop should explicitly advise you of all charges involved in the purchase including delivery charges, taxation and minimum purchase limits. These charges will be outlined when you reach the shopping cart stage of the purchase where you can see the items you have purchased and all related charges. From the shopping cart (or basket) you will move to the checkout stage where you safely complete the transaction from a secure server. DO NOT enter you credit card details unless you are sure that the checkout is on a secure server – see How can I tell if the online shop I am shopping on is safe?

Shopping online is a convenient way to get access to a wide array of products from around the world and if all the points above are in place with the online shop you have chosen you can be confident that your purchase is being made safely and you can look forward to receiving your product.

Online Shopping Mall Offering the Best Prices Plus Rebates

Online Shopping Mall Offering the Best Prices Plus RebatesShopping online is an excellent way to find bargains without having to leave your home. The wide selection of products and wide variety of places to find them easily make this the best way to shop, especially if you are limited to when you can shop.

Just about everything you’d ever want to buy is available online; from handbags to designer jeans, to toiletries, and pet supplies and even accessories and repair parts for your car. But are you actually getting a better deal by shopping online? When does is make sense to buy online? What are the pros and cons of shopping online? When you factor in the costs of shipping and the inconvenience of not getting what you want when you want it, some people would rather just go to a store and buy what they need.

Clearly, there are times when shopping online may not be the best option. Consider though, that you have done some in-store shopping and you know exactly what you need but you feel that prices may better online. So where then is the best place to make true comparison-shopping. You could go directly to sites that specialize in what you are looking for or you could go to an online shopping mall and pick the category of what you are looking for and select the corresponding sites in that category.

Considering there are many online shopping malls, to choose so what criteria then do you choose an online shopping mall. There are many specialize in certain merchandise categories and there are some that offer a wide variety of stores. One of the best online all is a portal shopping mall. This online shopping mall offers over hundreds of stores in many categories. If you a looking for outdoor equipment or anything else.

Despite the fact that most of the aforementioned retails stores have an e-commerce site, most like the convenience of shopping these stores from within one location. An online shopping mall offers all that plus offers rebates for shopping with them. Often time shopping with them also allows for free shipping. There may be other online shopping malls, that offer the same products, but if you look closely, sometimes the products actually come from these major stores. Often times, by coming from these stores adds to the shipping and handling fees.

If you prefer shopping big name department stores to smaller specialty shops, an online shopping mall offers shopping through stores like Amazon, solar light store and Net Shops. If you had a tendency to shop those stores anyway, you may as well go through an online shopping mall and get cash back.

Online shopping, is the wave of the future. With an ever-increasing cost of gas and today’s hectic lifestyles, people just have less time to shop. Shopping online can be done 24 hours a day 7 days a week and now there are online shopping malls that offer rebates to shop and some merchants even offer free shipping. Why would anyone want to shop any other way?

The Pros and Cons of Online Shopping

The Pros and Cons of Online ShoppingOnline shopping is becoming more and more popular each year as people embrace the convenience, selection, and low prices available when shopping online. In this article I speak to some of the pros and cons of online shopping.

There is something to be said for walking into a physical store and being able to see, touch, and easily ask questions about a product. One could argue that brick and mortar shopping is a more engaging experience, often filled with background music of some sort, along with the sights and sounds of other customers and clerks available to provide assistance when needed. Different products can be compared side by side with very little effort. One benefit of brick and mortar shopping is its organization, which allows one to locate the right department and the right shelf pretty easily. Everything the store offers is made available via a layout of straight-forward, logical departments. Online sites provide an organizational layout and text search capability, but this different way of locating a product of interest is one online shopping difference that takes some getting used to. Other benefits of brick front shopping is being able to get out of the house, exercise a bit, breathe some outdoor air and avoid cabin fever (this type of activity was quite important in the winter when I lived in Chicago).

People that are cautious in nature might find certain features of online shopping a bit hard to get used to, such as getting acclimated to what would be the equivalent of searching for merchandise with tunnel blinders that only permit a very narrow view of what is directly ahead of one’s eyes. Brick and mortar stores are physically arranged to make it more probable that certain items will be seen more than others. Online stores also provide focus on certain products over others. Most websites contain product descriptions, but the descriptions can be either too general or too detailed, making it difficult to compare two or more products on their features. If the shopper has a question that is appropriate for a human being such as a clerk in a store, where does the online customer go to ask the question? There is something lost in not having an informed person available to provide an immediate answer. Many popular online shopping sites now provide customer reviews-independent reviews provided by customers that have bought each product. These reviews go a long way toward providing enough detailed information about a product so one can determine whether or not to purchase it.

In the USA online shopping malls and websites address the limitations found in the online shopping process by offering near enough to a no-questions-asked return policy to ensure the happiness of the online customer. Even so, one downside of online shopping is having to wait to obtain the product, depending on whatever mode of shipping is selected. If a product needs to be refunded or returned for whatever reason, there’s the inconvenience of returning the product. This often involves a phone call and trip to the local post office, after which one waits again to either receive a replacement or refund. Compare this to just running the item and receipt back to a local brick front store and having either a refund or an exchanged product in hand within a few minutes.

Let’s talk about security. In a physical store, cash can be used, and if a debit or credit card is used the shopper gets to see who processes his or her card. Also, one is usually not required to provide personal information such as a name and physical address. Not so with online shopping, as the item must be addressed and delivered to a person at an address. Cash cannot be used online, so what entity processes the card and captures the personal information over the web? And how well is the personal information protected? One way to greatly reduce risk when shopping online is to use virtual credit card numbers. These numbers are provided by credit card issuers such as Citi and Discover, and can be used only once, so even if the credit card information is captured by some other entity during the transaction, it cannot be used to complete a second purchase. I use virtual credit card numbers when I shop online, and I highly recommend this practice.

Let us look at the benefits of shopping online. If the four-wheeled vehicle in one’s driveway is expensive to gas up, then it’s an obvious plus to be able to shop the virtual market and save transportation costs. It is also a “greener” arrangement-computers emit little or no carbon even when powered. For those who find it tiring to deal with crowds, there are none in cyberspace, and no lines to wait in during checkout. The magical online domain has no weather to hinder one, either-all shopping is done within a sheltered environment, safe from inclement weather. And there’s no need to worry about keeping one’s children together and in sight when online shopping. But perhaps the best feature of all is the cost savings that can be realized online. Online items can more often that not be purchased and shipped for substantially less, because the price doesn’t include any overhead costs associated with having a physical brick and mortar store. In most cases there is also no sales tax either, unless the merchant maintains some type of physical presence in the state where the item is purchased. For example, Amazon.com only charges sales tax on orders that are shipped to Kansas, North Dakota, New York or Washington, and Overstock.com only charges sales tax on orders that are shipped to Utah. To sweeten the deal, many merchants offer special online coupons, coupon codes and promotional codes that provide additional discounts.

As an example of the money that can be saved when shopping online, I bought a “Cuisinart Prep 11 Plus” food processor and used the online comparison shopping engine at Shopzilla.com to find the best deal, which was at Etronics.com for $172 with no sales tax and free shipping. A local Sears store had it listed at $199.99 and would have charged about $16 in sales tax for a total of $216. In this particular case I saved $44 (20%) shopping online and using Shopzilla to put online stores in competition for my business. And it only took me about 10 minutes of effort. With the advent of cheaper computing and increasing levels of online competition, people are generally becoming used to accessing the world through the eyes of cyberspace. So it is the coming thing, and a tide that is not likely to be turned. We as a society have adapted to other significant changes over time, such as the advent and convenience of air travel, trains and automobiles over horses, and online shopping is yet another paradigm shift we will adapt to.

In summary, when looking at the pros and cons of online shopping, the pros outweigh the cons, especially for items that are widely available and for which the best price is being sought. Shoppers save time and money buying what they need online and virtual store owners can run their businesses on far less overhead. The fact that the pros outweigh the cons is evident when one looks at the sharp increases in online shopping that have occurred on a global basis over the past few years.