Saavy Shopping: Is Online or In-Store Better for Your Bank Account?

Saavy Shopping: Is Online or In-Store Better for Your Bank Account?

Heather Gautschi

Heather GautschiSep 15, 20173 min read

When online shopping was first introduced, many consumers were wary. Entering private information into the ether seemed risky and a little scary. Nowadays, the percentage of Americans who shop predominantly online has skyrocketed. Online shopping is fast, easy to navigate, and you can do it in your pajamas if you want. Needless to say, the convenience factor is indisputable. But are you getting the better deal by making purchases with just one click? Follow our guide for when to shop online, and went to stay in your slippers with that mug of coffee.

Shipping Charges

Free shipping is becoming offered more widely, but there may still be certain cases wherein an online order comes with an extra shipping charge tacked on. In this case, find it online, and then find it in store and avoid that extra cost.

Always Compare the In-Store Price

Don't assume that just because you are shopping online, that you are getting the better end of the deal. You might be, but it's not guaranteed, and can vary from retailer to retailer. Do your research and check out the physical store location. You may find an even better deal onsite. Particularly if you are shopping for larger household items, it's always a good idea to visit the store to see what they might have to offer you.

That Cute Outfit

If you already know that the cute shirt you are eyeing online is a perfect fit because you've already tried it on, ordering online can be a great option. You'll save time and may end up with a better deal. On the other hand, if it's a designer you've never worn, you're likely better off heading to the store to try it on to avoid the hassle of returns.

Consider the Return Policy

Check out the reviews when ordering online when it comes to returns. If it looks like returns are anything but hassle free, save yourself the headache and head to the store. On the other hand, if returns are hailed as easy breezy by satisfied shoppers, you've got another reason to stay in your jammies.

Try it Out First

Some things you just need to see in person, and if you know this is the case, trust your gut. Things like electronic gadgets are a great example, since it can be tough to gage whether the item is going to be the right fit for your needs unless you can really test it out. You can always go for a combo of checking out the item in-store, doing some comparison shopping, and once your final decision is made, order from home.

With a little comparison on-line and in-store shopping and sleuthing, you can save yourself time and money. If you find a deal online and you are shopping in-store, be sure to mention the deal you have found. Many retailers will honor discounts that aren't publicized in-store. Now go get after those savings and be a savvy shopper!