The Wave of the Future
With gas prices higher than a year ago and most likely not going down, and peopleís schedules being busier than ever it is easy to see why on-line shopping is growing in popularity. Virtual Malls, or on-line shopping malls, offer you the same products as you get in the store, and in some cases even more than that same local store would carry. If they are out of stock you can place your order and they will ship it when it comes in or you can go to the next store and see if they have it. You arenít wasting time and gas on driving from store to store or making a second trip back only to find out they didnít come in or sold out again.
There are some issues that prevent people from shopping on-line, such as age/generation. Some older people just donít trust the system, which is understandable. Another issue is security. There is a concern about credit card information being stolen over the internet which puts you at risk for Identity Theft. This is a very reasonable concern to have but shopping in the stores does not eliminate this risk, in fact it may even increase the risk. If you use the credit card at the store it is still transmitted to the bank in a similar manner. Not only that but you have the cashier who can take your numbers from a copy of the receipt. There is usually a person in the cash office counting the money and receipts, so there is another exposure.
Another reason to not shop on-line is the possibility of shipping costs. While most retailers offer free shipping on some items, if not all, the shipping costs are no different than gas money doing the driving yourself. It may not seem the same because you are putting gas in your car anyway but think of how much more you may use if you need to drive any distance at all to get to the mall.
There are always going to be the people out there that are trying to save money and they think they can do it better on their own. You know the kind of person I am talking about, the person that will drive 10 miles out of his way to go to the cheaper gas station only to save $.02 a gallon. What that person doesnít realize is if he is charged shipping for an on-line purchase it will be offset by the lack of sales tax as most retailers donít charge sales tax on-line.
I am of the firm belief that your time is valuable. If you spend 4 hours, between commuting time and shopping time, at the mall and you could have gotten everything done in 2 hours on the internet, in the comfort of your own home, you are making out much better on-line. You also have the option of getting a better price on-line because there are 100 stores at the click of a button waiting to earn your sale. At the mall you get one or two stores selling the same product so your options are limited. If someone really wants to steal you credit card information they will find a way to do it, either by robbing you, breaking into your house, stealing your mail from the mailbox, or at the local store. Do not let that be the reason you go to the store.
The next time you have to do some shopping, and you have never tried the internet, give it a shot. I think you will convert once you see how easy it is.