Disadvantages of Online Shopping

12 December 2016

Disadvantages of Online Shopping. According to Wikipedia (2004), online shopping is the process consumers go through to pay for products or services over the internet. An online shop, Internet shop, web shop or online store evokes the physical similarity of buying products or services at a bricks-and-mortar retailer or in a shopping mall. Shopping through the internet might have advantages and disadvantages. So, disadvantages of online shopping are has dull shopping experience, risk of online fraud, requires high cost, and lack of quality examination.

Firstly, online shopping has lack of quality examination. According to Jessica (2009), there is lack of touch of merchandise because we are only able to see pictures of the items on the website. Besides, we are not able to try the merchandise on especially clothing. According to Watrous (2010), we cannot really know for sure the item that we are buying is really what we want to buy. Not like a regular store, we cannot see and feel firsthand what we are purchasing.

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In addition, when we shop from a regular shop, we can see, touch or even try the merchandise on especially clothing and at least visually examine that it looks okay. Not only that, we can talk to a sales person to illuminate doubts regarding an item. Other than that, online shopping requires us to just take the word of the description of the merchandise which is usually smartly crafted by online stores to make it sound appealing to people. Normally, the pictures of the items we see online are much better than once we have the items in front of us.

According to Norman (2008), we have to buy the item relying purely on a picture and description, we cannot feel or see exactly the item we want to buy. It can sometimes be quite hard to judge the size or quality of some items purely from a picture. Hence, it is better if we shop from a regular store, at least we are satisfying with ourselves to buy an item after do an examination on it. Therefore, there are enough evidences to prove that online shopping has lack of quality examination. Secondly, online shopping requires high cost. According to Norman (2008), online shopping requires to pay shipping costs.

Jessica (2009) states that only a few sites offer free shipping, some others will ship for free only if our total purchase price exceeds a certain amount. Besides, for some products, the shipping cost might be more expensive than the price of the purchased product. For example, to purchase a set of skin care from overseas, the cost of the shipping from overseas to Malaysia is much more expensive than the skin care itself. According to Norman (2008), this could take several weeks if we have purchased a product from overseas, and the costs of shipping may outweigh any savings we made on the purchase price.

Other than that, one other issue of online shopping is when we purchasing a wrong item by misinterpretation or misunderstanding, we have to pay the cost of shipping that item back if we want to return it. According to Jessica (2009), even if the seller agrees to take back the defective merchandise, we often have to pay the cost of shipping it back. Additionally, we have to call and convince the people regarding the reason of our return. Most online stores have a restocking fee, especially on electronic items.

According to Jessica (2009), items that we buy in a store, can be opened within the store in front of an associate after purchase, and if there is an apparent defect we can return or replace it without paying a restocking fee which is usually between 10 to 20 percent. Although an online shopping site may not charge us a sales tax during the purchase, we are legally indebted to pay taxes when we file annual taxes especially if we live in a taxable state. So, we can conclude that online shopping requires high cost. Thirdly, online shopping has risk of online fraud.

Online shopping buyers have more chances to encounter fraud because of disappearance of online shopping site, fraud of the actual price of item, and credit card fraud. According to Chits 3 (2007), the site of online shopping may shut down unexpectedly. Not only that, credit card fraud is commonly happen every time we use our credit card for an online purchase. According to Chits 3 (2007) again, it is because making payments online is not always safe. There may be sites which are not secure or do not encrypt our personal credit card data.

So, if a hacker breaks in their system, our personal data can be compromised. Other than that, Chits 3 (2007) states that some online shopping sites pretend selling items at a very cheap price and often us a low quality item which is not like our expectation regarding the item. In other cases, the online shopping site may be disappear unexpectedly which is leaving a lot of online shopping buyers who might have already paid for the item but did not receive anything. In addition, shopping online can also take us to phishing sites which want to defraud us.

Phishing is another danger, where consumers are fooled into thinking they are dealing with a reputable retailer, when they have actually been manipulated into feeding private information to a system operated by a malicious party. Therefore, we can conclude that online shopping has risk of online fraud. Finally, online shopping has dull shopping experience. There are differences between shopping in the mall with online shopping. According to Jessica (2009), we cannot feel the experience by socializing with people around us. In addition, online shopping makes us to have narrowed minded.

According to Jessica (2009) again, online shopping buyers do not enjoy the ambiance and feel more social when shopping over the internet. Online shopping can be boring for many and make us feel lonely. According to Watrous (2010), not all online shopping sites have succeeded in making their sites easy to use or reliable. It is because majority of regular stores have made it easy to find the style one is looking for, as well as the price range that is acceptable making the experience quick and efficient. The internet has made shopping an almost effortless task.

It is because experienced users focus more on the variables that directly influence the task, while beginner users are focusing more on understanding the information. In addition, according to Jinnie (2005), we cannot fully experience our goods through online. Online shoppers are not able to try or touch the item especially clothing that they want to buy rather than shopping in a regular store. Hence, online shopping has dull shopping experience. In conclusion, disadvantages of online shopping are has dull shopping experience, risk of online fraud, requires high cost, and lack of quality examination.

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