Online Shopping Costs More Than Just Shipping Prices
If you’re going to be shopping online, you have to know all the costs—and in this modern world, they’re more than just shipping prices. Every business in the world is out to increase its profits, and those on the Internet are no exception. The benefits of online shopping are clear: accessibility, saved time, and the comfort of a home delivery. Those factors will continue to drive web-based sales; it’s a field that won’t ever go away, but there’s a dangerous element to it too. Before people shift to fulfill all of their purchases through online vendors, they need to consider a few warnings about some online shopping.
A lot of reliable, dependable online retailers exist, but others, specifically the ones that seem to offer the best, most unbelievable deals, can lure customers in and then charge them exorbitant hidden fees and shipping prices. That old grandfather saying about avoiding things that seem too good to be true isn’t always advisable: sales, promotions, and other legitimate offers exist online and in stores all the time. That said, the Internet does have an easier way to get around good business practices.
The legal requirements of fines, subscriptions, and other methods that gouge a customer in extra money are only that the information is written, somewhere, on a website. In stores, you can speak to a sales representative and know exactly what you’re getting yourself into: product warrantees, the return policy, and what long-term financial commitment you might be getting yourself into. Online, there is only one excessively long page with tiny font that explains all the details. Since you have to click “I agree to the terms and conditions” before making any purchase, every company is liberated from a breach in contract—and the less reputable online companies actually try to make unreasonable contracts, knowing their customers will never read them.
Consider this: a woman, recently divorced, found a heating serving dish online for half the price of those offered in any store. The shipping prices were a little higher than most but still didn’t double the cost of the dish. She bought it, only realizing after submitting the order that it only requested her billing address—which was still her ex-husband’s home. The dish was going to be shipped there, so she tried to cancel the order, and then revise it, but in doing so she accidentally ordered a second dish for her new address. A package arrived at both her apartment and former house, and because the website clearly wrote among its 25 minutely written terms and conditions that no returns were possible, the woman had to keep both.
That happened, and it’s going to keep happening, and in all likelihood, the serving dishes in such scenarios would also be of an inferior quality. The central issue is this: online integrity is a lot easier to fake. In a lot of cases, online shopping is a great, reliable service, but you need to know about its hidden costs—which can include a lot more than the simple factor of shipping prices.