1. Money
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Is Shopping Online Really Cheaper?

The Answer is Often, Yes


Hand holding credit card and wallet by laptop
Johnnie Davis/ Moment/ Getty Images
Shopping online can save you money especially when you couple it with online savings codes, deals of the day, and free shipping offers.

Retailers do not always offer the same deals in the brick and mortar stores as they do at their online stores. The reason for this is the costs of running an establishment is considerably greater than an online store. Factors such as rent, electricity, payroll, fixtures, shrinkage loss, all contribute to the gross margin and overhead of doing business in a shopping center.

Retailers have discovered that they can meet the needs of their customers with less operational expenses, by having an online location and not a physical store. Good online retailers then pass that savings onto their customers by cutting the cost of the products.

The Advantages of Online Shopping

Online shopping is a great resource for finding products that are being liquidated. Housing this product in a central warehouse allows the retailer to sell products longer by letting them sit, unsold, without destroying their profit margin. This practice promotes big savings for customers who do not need to purchase the most current products.

Online merchant communication with shoppers is streamlined with automatic responses to questions and follow-up, often times with more professional and corporately trained employees than what is found in brick and mortar operations. Customer services are clearly stated on reputable sites to lessen any consumer confusion. Well-trained 'live' sales representatives are made available to those who have questions without waiting in long lines or searching the aisles with that feeling of 'does anyone work here'?

Price comparison sites such as PriceGrabber.com enable the consumer to shop smarter, through utilizing services that compare several retailers pricing of a specific product. The consumer not only gets competitive pricing information, but also product reviews and site reviews in order to help with their decision of what and where to buy online.

Many sites wave sales tax charges or shipping costs in order to entice the consumer to make an online purchase. In addition, reputable sites offer toll-free numbers to the consumer who would rather not post their personal information and credit card numbers online.

Online Promotional Calendars Stay with Tradition

Online stores stay on the same promotional calendar as the brick and mortar stores, offering great seasonal sales and discounts. The after Christmas sales equal that of local department stores. Late winter sales offer huge price cuts for the annual "white sales" events. Early spring is when the online outlets offer up to 75 percent off winter merchandise. Throughout the year, big sales events are held during holiday weekends like Fourth of July, Labor Day, and Memorial Day, just like the local stores.

More people then ever before are discovering that you really can save money by shopping on the Internet. The smarter retailers are responding with improved user-friendly sites, more direct promotional events and just some good old-fashioned customer service. Consumers seem to be returning to a more, back to the basics, concept in shopping - here is the product, here is what it costs you, and here are the advantages of shopping with us. Online stores are proving to be the best, at learning how to do that.

More: Save Money By Avoiding Hidden Costs and Fees

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.