Online shopping vs. In-store shopping
So, today I'm breaking it down for you...I'm gonna give you the lowdown on online shopping vs in-store shopping. Plus I'm going to share my tips for both types, AND what stores I like to shop at, depending on what type of shopping you're doing! So stay with me, okay? It will totally be worth it! At the end, I'll reveal which one I prefer and feel like I couldn't live without. PS, as I'm writing this I'm not sure which one I'm choosing. Seriously. No idea. They're both awesome, in their own different ways! Which is why I decided to write this post in the first place! Ha! So...let's get started!
WHAT I like about online shopping:
- Convenience. There's really nothing better than shopping in your pajamas. On your couch. With a pint of ice cream. And a cup of coffee. Seriously. Am I right?! This is the obvious advantage to online shopping, in my opinion.
- Free shipping. Now...I'm sure you know not all stores have free online shipping, but my goal is to help you find the ones that do (more on this later.) Bonus if they have free shipping AND free returns. I will sometimes buy extra items if there is a "minimum" for free shipping just to meet that amount, and then return what I don't want at the store...to avoid paying shipping. Following me? Good. HATE paying shipping costs. So, kudos to those stores who always offer free shipping with no minimum...you have my business!
- Better selection online. No doubt online has a better selection (aka usually more sizes) than in stores. If I can't find my size in the store, and I absolutely have GOT to have something, I always turn to the trusty online option. Usually I can find it, unless the item is super popular, then I have to keep checking back until it's restocked. Super bummer. Hate it when this happens :(
- Better sales and deals. I think online has way better deals than in-store. Well, let's say planned sales that I KNOW is going to happen, so I can prepare. Maybe it's because my inbox is loaded with sales and deals happening all the time, which may be the case, but I usually seem to find better sales online. However, the best thing EVER is stumbling upon a great sale in-store. Can you say kid-on-Christmas-morning?! PS- my tip to finding deals in-store is to head straight back to the clearance and/or sale rack FIRST. Fight the urge to stop at those items at the front of the store, people! It's called marketing! Sometimes this is really hard to do, but just. keep. walking. You can always come back to them later. I've found shirts for $3, jeans for $10, the list goes on...
- Ability to compare prices. Online allows you to potentially compare prices of the same item to find the best deal, whereas in-store you don't have the option. To do this: just search the item name you're trying to find in your browser.
WHERE I like to shop online:
- Nordstrom (Free shipping and free returns)
- Nordstrom Rack (Free shipping and free returns. Returns only free through in-store only...otherwise you would have to pay a shipping fee to return by mail)
- ASOS (Free shipping and free returns)
- ShopBop (Free shipping and free returns)
- TopShop (Free shipping and free returns)
- Shein (Free shipping, but no free returns. In fact, I don't think you can return many items through this site, so be careful with sizing here!)
HOW to save money online:
- Sign up for Ebates. They literally send you a check for spending money. You get a certain percentage of cash back based on the amount you spend, depending on the store. Just make sure you head to the Ebates first and shop through there, so it links your purchases through Ebates. This is especially good with big purchases, and you can potentially get a lot of money back. Oh, and there's an app for that ;)
- Download app Retail Me Not for promo codes or sales. I NEVER buy anything in-store (and online, too) without heading to this app first. They have both in-store and online coupons, so you can use this for both!
- Sign up for newsletters, sale alerts directly through the online store that can be sent directly to your email. Don't forget to actually check your email to see which sales are going on!
- Shop around holidays. There are always sales going on days leading up to holidays, and especially on the holiday itself.
WHAT I like about in-store shopping:
- The experience. When I'm bored, I go shopping. While this can be an expensive habit, it's fun for me! Even if it's just browsing. I have always enjoyed it. I know people who get stressed out shopping, but not me. Usually there's good smells (ahem, food court), upbeat music, good sales, good coffee, people watching. What more could you need?
- I can touch, see, and try on my clothes. Sizing is a huuuuuuge advantage when shopping in-store vs. online. Probably the biggest advantage of in-store, in my opinion! Online is sort of a gamble, because you never quite know how something will fit. In-store, there is no question, because you try it on. Or, at least you should, if you're not! (Now...this is where online stores with free returns come in handy with online shopping. If it doesn't fit, just send back for free. Still have the hassle of mailing it back, but no money spent.)
- It's relaxing. For me. I love to browse, look, be inspired, create visions in my head. It's a relaxing experience for me....If I don't have my kids. Ha!
- It's a social experience. Theres something about people coming together to shop. Browsing, envisioning, maybe bouncing ideas off of one another. I admit to shopping for the social aspect. This would mostly apply to extroverts. So if that's you, shopping in-store may be appealing to you!
- I can take it home immediately. I don't have to wait for shipping. This comes in handy if you're needing something, like, now. Or very soon. In-store shopping is a good option if you tend to procrastinate, since you don't have the time to wait for items to ship.
- Clearance racks. I usually head straight to the clearance racks, as mentioned above, which are generally located in the back of the store. Here you can usually find some off-season items on sale, or anything that just didn't sell at regular price. But, there are always some good treasures awaiting! Usually sizes are limited, though, so...you've been warned. I always tend to have really good luck with clearance racks, and have found all sorts of good deals!
WHERE I like to shop in-store:
- Kohl's (Sign up for Kohl's credit card, if you can, to get the best discounts. Also spend money when they're offering Kohl's cash, so you can spend that later!)
- Marshall's (Literally, just good deals all around. Sadly, they do not have an online store. So, what you find is what you get. But I always find good stuff here! I've really been loving Marshall's lately!)
- Express (I actually like Express both online and in-store, but often times in-store they have awesome clearance bins where stuff is on major sale. You have to do a bit of digging during these times, but I always find lots of good things for cheap! Online they have flash sales, too, where everything goes 50% off during certain hours of the day, so sign up to get those alerts!)
- Old Navy (They almost always have sales going on in-store. I have the Gap/Old Navy credit card, so I get more deals through that as well. I love Old Navy. That's all.)
- H&M (They usually have some good sales going on over in the sale rack area, and everything at H&M is very affordable, even at regular price.)
- Forever21 (I have found some really good deals on the sale rack here, as well, but again, everything is reasonably priced as well.)
HOW to save money in-store:
- Go to the clearance or sale racks first, as mentioned above!
- Open up your app Retail Me Not when you're ready to check out.
- Possibly sign up for the store credit card or rewards points to get the best deals and "earn" points for purchases made.
- Again, shop around the holidays!
Sooo.....The winner for me? In-store! I am a very visual person, and prefer to see things in person. I want to feel it, touch it, heck, smell it if I need to, but most of all, try it on, and see how it fits. Although online shopping will very much be a part of my life, if I had to choose, I don't think I could give up the in-store shopping experience!
Which do you prefer? Online or in-store? Comment below!