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The Pros and Cons of Online Holiday Shopping


Online holiday shopping and working from home is a great match. You can take care of some of your shopping needs when you're taking a mental break from work, and it's the best option if you live in a remote area. It's not perfect though, and there are some disadvantages associated with shopping online that you need to be aware of.

Pros of Online Holiday Shopping

The main advantage of shopping online during the holidays is the time you'll save. Time is money in business, and it's important to find ways to manage your time efficiently, especially during the holidays when your business might pick up. There are also other benefits to shopping online, instead of traveling to brick and mortar stores to pick up the items you need. Some of the top benefits are:

  • Compare prices for items quickly
  • Convenient way to compare product features from different retailers and manufacturers
  • Find online coupons that may not be available in your local newspaper
  • Many online stores offer exclusive deals
  • Shipment arrives at your door, including heavy items
  • Easier and faster to find the products you need
  • Shop 24-7
  • No salesperson following you around or pressuring you to buy
  • Find unique gifts, decorative items and other products, including handmade ones

Many of these advantages may not be available to you if you live in a small town or in a large city that has limited inventory and retailers. There is no limit when you're shopping online. You can find bargains and buy from anyone you want, including local vendors. There's no rule against buying local and online. Some local business owners only have a web presence, and you can still keep dollars in your community by shopping online with them.

Cons of Online Holiday Shopping

The pros may outweigh the cons in most cases, but there are reasons to not shop online for your holiday needs. You might decide to shop for some things online, but not others because of the disadvantages. Some of the concerns that you might have are:

  • Shipping costs could result in spending more
  • Unlimited options can lead to overspending during the holidays and going into debt
  • No notice of items that are back ordered, which can mess up your gift giving
  • Inability to feel or examine products close up prior to purchase, and you may not have to time to return it
  • Getting your refund can be a hassle with some online companies
  • You might fall for online scams and get your personal identity stolen
  • Doesn't work for last minute holiday shopping
  • Shipment may arrive broken or damaged

These are legitimate concerns and risks that you have to take into account. The best way to overcome a lot of these is to only deal with reputable companies and do your holiday shopping early.

The holidays don't change from year to year. Try to make your list well in advance so that you can take advantage of online holiday shopping. Avoid promises of last minute shipment and delivery so that you won't get disappointed.

Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.

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