|Disadvantages of Online Shopping|
- Hands-On Inspection: One thing that online stores can’t replace is the experience of actually seeing and touching the item you are considering buying. For example, clothes shopping can be very tricky online, since you can’t try on the clothes before you buy. There may also be small details that you decide you don’t like in a product that isn’t noticeable until you have it in your hand.
- Shipping: Some major online retailers now offer free shipping for their products, but many require you to meet a minimum order cost to qualify or only offer this incentive at certain times of the year. In general, you should expect to pay an additional shipping cost on top of the price of the items that you order. For larger items, like furniture, this can really add up! Additionally, if you decide that you don’t like a product, you will have to pack it back up and take it to the post office to return it. Again, some retailers will offer free returns, but some do require you to pay for return postage. In that case, even if you’ve decided against keeping an item, you’ve still had to pay several dollars for the shipping!
- Wait Time: Waiting for your item to arrive is another downside of online shopping. One of the great pleasures of shopping at a store is the instant gratification—you see something you like, you pay for it, and then you get to take it home and use it right away! In the case of online shopping, you may have to wait for days or even weeks for the item to arrive at your door. Especially if you are in a time crunch, then you may want to consider purchasing your item at a local retailer.
- Privacy: When you shop online, you waive certain privacy rights to the online retailer. Online stores can track your purchases over time to give you more suggestions of things you might like to buy, send you e-mails with sale information, and, occasionally, sell your contact information to other companies. These days, many brick-and-mortar stores do the same thing, tracking your information through your credit card (Target is a notable example). However, it is much trickier for traditional stores to do this, as you may sometimes pay in cash or refuse to provide your e-mail address at checkout. In contrast, by purchasing something in an online store, you sign away certain privacy rights—this is why it is always a good idea to read the Terms of Service.
- Increasing the number of Frauds and Fake products.: One of the biggest drawbacks of online shopping is that you can’t actually see or touch the product. You can only guess about the originality of the product. The problem becomes worse when you receive a fake product, and you need to return or exchange it. The complete process of returning back products brought via online shopping is still a long process and requires a lot of patience.
- Risk of identity theft: Most of the e-commerce websites are very well technically sound but, when it comes to the web, nothing is safe. There are chances that you brought a thing using Ask me Bazaar coupons, and when the page redirected to the payment gateway, a hacker copied your data and used it for his own interests. The cases of identity theft are not so common but, still exists.
- Lack of interaction: In the case of offline shopping, sales assistants shower personal attention on customers and give complete details on the product. If you have any queries, you can ask right there. But, this does not happen in the case of online shopping. All you can do is see the picture and read the description. Some portals allow shoppers to check customer reviews.
- Returning the product: There is an option to return the product if you do not like it. But again, it is a big headache. The return policy differs from one company to another. In case of some online shopping portals, customers have to bear the cost of returning the product. If you return the product, you will not be paid shipping charges which you had paid earlier. If you are shopping for cosmetics like lipstick, they can’t be returned.