Buying Online or Offline is Often a Big Question?
Buying Online Products - Every day you'll see a news story about how badly the warehouse pickers at Amazon are treated and how low their pay is, in addition to all the packaging being added to landfills due to online shopping.
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At the same time, there are issues with shopping locally too such as having to drive to more than one store and still not finding what you want.
Let's look at the pros and cons of buying online.
- You Can Find What You Want Faster – There is no question that online shopping is quicker for most people than shopping in person. If you need to get your item but you don't know where to buy it locally, ordering it online is probably the best choice for you.
- It Takes More Energy to Get it To You – In some cases, shopping online can result in. longer or more complex shipping processes. For example, a couch must be shipped to the closest branch of the store to your location, and then shipping to your home must be arranged. Ordering it online isn't going to add much to the carbon footprint.
- Packaging is Often Unsustainable – When they ship some items, they use a lot of packaging. This is especially true with food orders and food kits. They often have dry ice, Styrofoam peanuts, and more paper than is really needed. When buying food, this is something very much in your control whereas when buying other things, it's going to have packaging locally or not.
- You Can Get Things You Can't Get Locally – There are many times you can't get what you want and need locally. This is very true if you don't live in a big city. For example, if you love Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute but you don't have a Trader Joe's store in your area or even your state. Ordering that item from a place like Amazon may be your best option.
- It's Easier to Compare Prices – Comparing prices online is a lot easier than comparing them offline. It's hard to remember when you're in one store how much it was at the other store. However, when you are looking at products online, that's easy.
- You Don't Have to Wait in Line – When shopping online there are no lines. Usually checking out is super simple especially if they take PayPal payments. Sometimes time is more important than anything when trying to be sustainable.
- It's Easier to Send Gifts Via Online Shopping – When you need to mail a gift you'll need to factor in packaging materials and shipping costs. Ordering online and having it drop shipped will make it easier for you, and it will not use more materials that fill the landfill as when you do it yourself.
- You Can Save Money – Sometimes when you buy online, you will save money due to being able to check prices and compare them. Many times, you can get free shipping too.
- You Can't Try It First – When you buy things online and you're not familiar with the brand you may end up sending it back. This can be difficult and costly. If you haven't seen the item in person, buying locally may be better.
- Shipping Costs Can Add Up – If you don't get free shipping, it can add up and be a huge expense that you don't need. When you see that shipping charge, let it remind you to compare to getting it locally.
When buying online, make each choice on an individual basis.
Sometimes buying online will be the best choice regarding sustainable shopping and due to the total price that you pay.