The Disdvantages 0f Online Buying

Online shopping has undoubtedly made life easier for people with their choice of products being advertised across various sites. Social media sites are also increasingly used by retailers to reach
11 Aug 2018 11:00
The Disdvantages 0f Online Buying
Joel Abraham

Online shopping has undoubtedly made life easier for people with their choice of products being advertised across various sites.

Social media sites are also increasingly used by retailers to reach out to their customers.

However, it is the responsibility of the con­sumers to ensure they have taken all neces­sary precautions before confirming a pur­chase online.

Often consumers are lured by the attractive flash advertisements online and do not think well before finalising their purchase.

They tend to believe in what is shown to them and only face issues when the item does not appear to be what was shown or receive something similar but not exactly what was ordered.

In this article we take a look at the disadvan­tages of online shopping and why consumers need to be more vigilant.

You can’t try things on

Online buying means selecting things of your choices based on measurements and de­scriptions provided online specially when it comes to clothing.

When buying clothing you will not be able to feel the material, try it on or see how it’s made.

Unless you are familiar with the brand of clothing offered, online buying can make you end up with a very bad experience.

Despite majority clothing websites giving detailed measurements, fabric information and easy return policies, it is still the buy­ers responsibility to select the correct size(s) and fabric(s) before making their purchase as sometimes restocking and shipping costs are charged on return.

You can’t always talk to someone immedi­ately

If you have questions based on what you are looking at online, you might have to wait cou­ple of hours before you have your questions answered.

The timeline is the biggest contributing fac­tor in this matter particularly when it’s a ques­tion of international purchase from countries such as India, China, Japan or even the United States of America.

This situation is being improved as many sites have added instant chat to address the concerns of the consumers but the delay still remains to some extent.

Arrival of Product

While online shopping is relatively easy, wait­ing for the product to arrive takes a lot of time.

When purchasing online not only the time of the purchasing country but also the distance and the shipment of product plays an impor­tant role.

While it may be easier to purchase from lo­cal online shops or those on social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, etc. purchasing from a different continent takes longer to ar­rive within the country.

At times the shipment may take over a month to be delivered to the destination.

Online Fraud

Online shoppers do not always know if a site is a legitimate retail store and if it is safe to shop from.

Even while shopping from online shops ad­vertising on social media, there is a high risk ofonline fraud.

The Fijian Competition and Consumer Com­mission (FCCC) has come across innumerable cases where a handful of unscrupulous trad­ers operating online accept payment from consumers but fail to provide them with the products ordered.

They tend to frustrate consumers to extreme levels after which they approach FCCC to lodge their complaint.

What can FCCC do?

FCCC being a consumer protection agency can investigate matters where consumers are being affected and/or are likely to be affected in the future.

Over the years FCCC has received com­plaints relating to online buying and is likely to receive more in the future as the industry evolves.

All legitimate cases with evidences provided that are lodged with FCCC will be investigated.

FCCC advice

Before proceeding to purchase an item on­line, make sure you have done a background check on the seller.

Always consult others before buying to en­sure that the seller is genuine and you will receive your products as per order and always ensure that evidences of transaction are kept as and when it occurs and how it occurs either electronically via debit card, PayPal, credit card, visa card, etc. or manually through bank deposits.

FCCC encourages consumers to step forward and lodge complaints if they have been misled or cheated whilst shopping online.


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