Which is Cheaper? Buying In Store or Online?

By Suzanne MacNevin.

Unless you are super young and have parents who shop online constantly, chances are likely that you were raised with the mentality of going to shopping malls, department stores and to the "main street" of your local town to buy your choice of clothing, electronics, books, movies, etc.

But now we live in an era where people can download movies and music, where the old electronic devices you really need is a SmartPhone and a laptop (so you can go online anywhere!), but clothing...

Well, clothing is more tricky.

Mostly because a lot of people like to try the clothes on before the buy them. Especially bras. You have to make sure it fits after all.

Now generally speaking it is also cheaper to buy your clothes in a store too. Just because of the shipping costs associated with buying things online.

I recall one time I ordered 2 CDs and a t-shirt from Kinnie Starr (Canadian singer/songwriter), and yes, obviously there was going to be shipping costs. However what was interesting was when it arrived I discovered to my delight a handwritten note from Kinnie Starr thanking me for my purchase. I was tickled pink!

Which got me thinking... She must have got the order, shipped it herself (maybe even licked the stamp herself), and apparently thought I was such a big fan of hers that I deserved a handwritten note.

That or she just does that for all her fans who buy stuff off her website. I dunno. (Note: In writing this post I discovered she has ditched her old website in favour of a MySpace site.)

However... let me get back to my original point...

Which is cheaper?

Well, depending on the website, you can get free shipping. Take GandLCothing.com for example, they offer free shipping for orders over $99. And their selection and prices is pretty fair: Women's blue jeans for $26.99 and Men's blue jeans for $19.98.

Note #1. A lot of online stores also do free returns, so in case it doesn't fit... just return for a refund.

Note #2: I like comparing the prices of women's clothing vs men's. I've noticed that men's jeans / socks / etc are often cheaper... and seriously, what is the difference? It still fits me anyway.

Lets take belts for example. I can get a women's belt on GandLCothing.com are $13.50 on sale. The same website, a men's belt for $5.99 on sale.

And that is the other beauty of shopping online. Sometimes the website you are shopping from has things on sale. Unlike going to a shopping mall and if you're lucky your favourite store has a sale.

So what you do is you find a number of reasonably priced websites which sell the kind of fashion you like, you measure yourself super accurately, you bookmark the websites you find, and whenever you feel like shopping for clothes you go online and browse your favourite sites for sales. Waaaaaay cheaper.

And I will tell you what else... Unlike shopping in a mall your feet don't get tired and you don't get the sudden urge for fast food when passing by the food court. And on the way home your arms don't hurt from all the shopping bags.

So yeah, convenience!

Which means you can spend more time at the gym, more time getting swimming lessons from your hunky personal trainer, more time doing yoga, or more time watching Coronation Street or Dallas. Or read a book.

So the end result is more YOU time and less time spent in stores looking for stuff and not finding what you want.

Because here is the other thing I've learned. When shopping online I never buy stuff unless I seriously want it. Whereas when shopping in stores I sometimes buy on a whim. I see a shiny object and I have extra cash in my purse... voila, new shiny object! I have drawers full of them...

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