Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My take on online shopping

For Team Carnival's topic of the week, host Lelila asks what is my take on online shopping.

To tell you honestly, I only had one experience in online shopping, if shopping at Bidshot, an online auction community, counts. That was years ago when I bought my now husband a Gundam model kit that I couldn't find at Toy Kingdom. The transaction was COD (cash on delivery). I met the seller at Megamall and that's it. All in all, it was pleasant, but of course during the online and text transactions, there was apprehension on my part primarily because it was my first time to shop using the Internet and I had to put trust on the seller that he will deliver.

I guess he also had apprehensions whether or not I would fulfill my commitment as a buyer. Good thing we both were honest people that the transaction went smoothly. I even gave him a good rating after that.

One of the things I learned from online shopping is that it is full of risks, on both seller and buyer. Before I bought the item, I checked on the seller's reviews and ratings from other people. From there I discerned that he can be trusted because he did not have any negative reviews.

Sellers also are concerned whether or not they are servicing bogus buyers. Some online shops such as those in Multiply always post about bogus buyers and that other sellers should be careful when dealing with them.

Of course another risk is about payments. Though I haven't bought anything online using a credit card, I know that some issues crop up about it like extra charges or not being recorded by the credit card company or payment not being received by the seller.

I guess another risk is the delivery itself. I remember when I used to work for an online lingerie retailer, one of the things that my boss was concerned about was delivery. Aside from living up to the promise of taking (x) number of days for delivery, we knew that customers wanted their items in good shape when it arrives. I recall some reviews about our items that have gotten misshapen due to handling. So it's important that the company hires a trusted logistics company to make sure that the items are shipped on time and at the best conditions.

While online shopping has its risks, there are also its conveniences. In the US, a lot of people turn to online shopping because they have no time to go to the mall and they only get to know of the product via the Internet. Moreover, most of the items sold on online stores are the ones you rarely see in physical stores or malls, or probably are less expensive than in department stores.

Online shopping can be easy just as it can be risky. So before buying stuff online, do your research not only on the product's price but also on the sellers integrity. Just do that and everything will be smooth sailing.

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