Pros and Cons of Online Shopping

Online shopping has been around for decades, but it hasn’t always been this easy. There are now websites to help you find the best deals and avoid scams, but there are still some things to keep in mind before making your first purchase online.


  • You can save money when you shop online. In addition to the fact that you won’t be taxed, many retailers offer coupons and special offers on their websites. If you sign up for email lists and receive discounts of 10% or more, it’s like getting a discount every time you go to Amazon!
  • Shopping from home is easier than going out into traffic and crowds, especially if you live in a metropolitan area with plenty of noise pollution and high crime rates. The best part about this convenience is that if it’s 5 pm on Friday night (and who says they won’t be home?) but your order doesn’t get delivered until Monday morning (because there’s an ice storm), no worries! You still have everything waiting at home when it’s time to leave for work or school again!
  • Online shopping ensures that there will be no impulsive purchases because everything is already accounted for in your budget plan before hitting “buy.” If we’ve learned anything from reality TV shows like “Hoarders” or “Extreme Couponing,” we know how dangerous impulse buying can be—it throws off our financial goals and makes us late on payments because all our money went toward buying things we didn’t really need in the first place!

Lower Prices

One of the best things about online shopping is the lower prices. You can find great deals on websites like Amazon, and you can also save money on shipping costs by buying things in bulk or getting them delivered to your home instead of paying for store pickup. Sales tax is another major cost savings when you order online, since many states don’t charge sales tax for out-of-state purchases.

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No Sales Tax

One of the biggest benefits to online shopping is that you don’t have to pay sales tax. Sales tax is a tax imposed by a state, province, or local government on the sale of certain goods and services. It’s often collected at the point of purchase, but it can also be collected by the seller at the time of sale.

Sales taxes are charged in all 50 states in America and vary from state-to-state based on what you’re buying and where you live. For example: if you buy an item priced at $50 in California with no sales tax included, that same item would cost $52.50 in Illinois (because there’s 7% sales tax). The reason for this discrepancy? California doesn’t charge any sales taxes while Illinois does—and unlike other states’ sales taxes which aren’t calculated until after you’ve made your purchase (similar to how hotels add on their service charges), Illinois calculates its additional money upfront during checkout!

Comparison Shopping

Comparison shopping is a great way to find the best deals on the things you want. It’s also important to know that not all stores are created equal, so it’s worth comparing prices at different stores and websites. Furthermore, just because something is cheaper on one website than another doesn’t mean you should buy it there—you should always compare prices over multiple days, models and sizes before making a purchase. With this information in mind, let’s get started!

Shopping from the Comfort of Your Home

  • You can shop from the comfort of your home, in your pajamas.
  • You can shop while you are at work.
  • If you’re traveling, it’s easy to get things delivered to wherever you are staying.

No Impulse Buys

Online shopping is good for research, but not for spur of the moment purchases.

While it’s easy to shop online and just add things to your cart as you go, that can make you spend more than you need to. You’ll want to stick with your list and not get distracted by other items on the screen. Since you can’t touch or feel the item before buying it, online shopping also means a lack of satisfaction in some ways—you don’t get that “I’m happy I found this” feeling when hunting through stores or markets with friends.

More Selection

Online shopping is awesome because it gives you access to more selection, greater variety and more options. You can find any product from any brand at almost any price point. And if you’re looking for something specific, chances are good that you’ll be able to find it online somewhere with just a few clicks of your mouse. Not only does this mean that you have an incredibly wide range of items from which to choose, but it also means that these products are accessible all over the world—which is especially helpful if you live in an area that doesn’t have many stores offering the same things as other parts of the country or world.

More selection is great news for people who love variety; however, there are definitely some downsides associated with this aspect of online shopping as well:


The most obvious con of online shopping is the shipping costs. This can be a real problem if you’re buying something small and lightweight, like a thermal coffee mug or some new underwear. Even if your order is free, it might take weeks to get here!

Another con is that you can’t return items easily. Some stores do have mailing addresses where you can send back things within 30 days, but sometimes they don’t—and even when they do have them, it’s often inconvenient to wait in line at the post office or pay for shipping costs yourself.

Finally there’s the risk of fraud: sometimes people will use stolen credit cards to buy things online so they don’t have to show their ID or go through security checks at retail stores (you know those long lines that make everyone hate Black Friday?). With mail-order purchases being sent without any direct interaction between buyer and seller (except maybe through email), this makes it easier for criminals who want expensive stuff for free!

No Instant Gratification


  • You can find deals on the internet that you won’t find in stores. Online shopping has a wider selection of products available than most brick and mortar shops.


  • If you don’t have any idea what kind of product to buy, it’s hard to know how much money to spend on something before buying it. The same goes for sizing—you aren’t able to try things on before making your purchase. The only way around this is by thoroughly researching products and brands beforehand.

Difficult to Return Items

There are several drawbacks to online shopping. The most obvious is that, while you can see the item and read reviews, you will not be able to try it on. This means that if an item does not fit or looks different than the model in the photo or video, you may find yourself returning items instead of keeping them. In order to return an item bought online, you must pay for shipping costs both ways—and this can add up quickly!

If there are any damage marks on your purchase or anything wrong with it at all when you receive it (even if they were described as “damaged”), then there’s no way around having to send it back again. Even if an item doesn’t look exactly like what was shown in the product description—say it has a small scratch or dent that wasn’t mentioned—you still might have difficulty getting your money back because sellers aren’t required by law to accept returns due only cosmetic issues rather than functionality problems with their products (such as electrical malfunctions). Unfortunately there’s little chance of getting all your hard earned cash back just because something about a deal seems too good

Shipping Costs and Delays

One of the most common complaints about online shopping is that you’re not able to get a good idea of how much shipping will cost. That’s because some retailers charge per-item, while others charge a flat rate for their products. And while some may offer free shipping on certain items or purchases over a certain amount, many people have found themselves surprised by unexpected costs or delays. If you’re planning to order multiple items from an online retailer, it’s best to add all of your chosen items together and see what total they come up with before placing your order—you may be able to save yourself some money if you wait until one item is on sale or discounting its price tag at checkout time!

Delays happen more often than we’d like them too: the product might not ship out until several days after we ordered it; the package might get lost in transit; we might not receive our purchase for weeks after ordering it (or never receive it at all). This can be especially frustrating when there are no guarantees about delivery times available from an e-commerce site—and even if there were such guarantees, these may still prove unreliable due to unforeseen circumstances beyond anyone’s control (such as weather conditions). However all hope is not lost when dealing with these kinds of issues; many merchants offer free returns and refunds for customers who experience problems with their purchased goods so long as those customers follow standard protocol when contacting customer service representatives

Risk of Fraud

If you’re like most people, the biggest reason why you should shop online is because it’s convenient and easy. But there are also other reasons that might make you hesitate before clicking “buy now.”

One risk is fraud—the possibility of getting ripped off by a scammer or encountering some kind of technical issue with your purchase. This can happen even when buying from legitimate online retailers: just look at how many companies have been hacked in recent years (Target, Home Depot). While the risks are lower when buying from an established company like Amazon or Walmart rather than a smaller business owner selling their products on Craigslist, they still exist no matter where you buy from.

Another risk is giving out personal information over the internet. Online shopping websites usually ask for your name, address, credit card number, email address and phone number before completing purchases—which makes them prime targets for hackers who want to steal this information and use it for fraudulent purposes such as identity theft or credit card fraud (when someone uses your credit card without permission). There have been cases where hackers were able to get into major e-commerce sites like Target through an outside vendor and access customer accounts through third parties like banks that store this sensitive data; these attacks resulted in millions of dollars in losses! So be careful about what kinds of info you provide while shopping online; keep bank account numbers private unless absolutely necessary; use unique passwords with each site so they don’t get stolen by others who might gain access through those accounts’ activity logs later on down the line…

You can get good deals and save on items you want or need, but there are pitfalls to keep in mind as well.

The pros to online shopping are pretty obvious, including:

  • You can get good deals and save on items you want or need.
  • It’s convenient, since you don’t have to drive anywhere to shop.
  • There’s a wide variety of products available, so chances are high that the item you want is available online.
  • Shopping online means no crowds, no lines and no parking hassles.

The cons of online shopping include:


Online shopping has many benefits, but it also comes with some downsides. You can avoid some of them by doing your research and being aware of what you’re buying. But no matter what, don’t let these risks scare you away from this convenient way to shop!