(This post is a modified version of a Multiply blog post I wrote on February 11th, 2008.)
One of my favourite hobbies is online shopping. When I was in the Philippines, it never really was a common thing for people to do there. It was kind of a rare as well to find shops where you could buy from online, or maybe I just wasn’t aware of which Filipino websites I could visit to buy stuff. [Update: I've found that there has been an increase of online sellers in the Philippines, some of which can be found selling items at Multiply.]
Anyway, even when I was still there, I actually used to visit eBay to find things/gadgets that I would like to buy. Unfortunately, I didn’t have that much money to buy the stuff I wanted, and I suppose it was much cheaper to buy them from the physical stores in the city where I lived than to buy all the way from the US or Canada. But still, I liked keeping track on eBay those items which I liked.
Cellphones were one of the things I usually kept track in my eBay list. I would compare the prices of the items on the site to what was sold in cellphone shops in my city, and sometimes I found that it actually was cheaper to buy from the site if you get to win the bidding right away at that low price.
Hmm, now I recall that I actually did try to bid on some items, but of course there would always be someone who would bid higher than me. Once other people would start bidding against me, then that was the time I would realize the items were now much more too expensive to buy.
Well now that I’m living in Canada, I’ve been so addicted to buying stuff from eBay. Contrary to what I used to think about stuff being sold on eBay, it’s not all “used” and “old” stuff that are up for auctions. There are actually a lot of NEW items being sold there at great deals!
The price for good quality stuff one could buy from this site is what has got me addicted to logging in to this site over and over again. I’ve bought so many things already from there, including my lovely satin pink Motorola V3 Razr phone, which I bought for only US$70!! Great deal, eh?
Aside from eBay, other sites I buy items from are Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle Outfitters, Suzy Shier, Aldo, Amazon, and Chapters. I believe there are other sites aside from these but I can’t quite recall them at the moment. [Update: Since quite a few months ago, I no longer shop at A&F and AE due to my change in preferences. I'm no longer a college kid after all.]
For those sites that sell clothes and shoes, I always go to their Clearance section because that is where I can buy a lot of nice items at a lesser price. For the sites that sell books, there’s always a section where you could choose if you want to buy a good used book at a much cheaper price.
Shopping online has its advantages as well as its disadvantages. One advantage is that you won’t tire yourself in going in and out of countless stores to find a nice top that you’re itching to buy. Instead of running around to each shop, online shopping allows you to just type in a search bar and then click and click until you find the top, skirt, jeans, pants, shoes, or whatever else you need (or want).
Another advantage is that you will have the ability to compare prices of certain similar items easily from different online stores, allowing you to decide more efficiently which item is the best one to buy at the best price.
On the other hand, one disadvantage of online shopping is not being able to try on the clothes or shoes if they fit perfectly. Well usually, if you know what your size is, the fit will most probably be all right, but unfortunately, there are those times that you just never know! If this is the case, better check with the seller first about returns and exchanges.
Another disadvantage is that once you buy an item online, you won’t have the satisfaction of getting it in your hands right away. You will have to wait a day or two, a week or two weeks, or even a month at times until the item you purchased gets delivered to you. If you cannot wait that long, always check with the seller when the estimated time of delivery of the product will be before making the purchase. So if you really really want the item in a rush, you can usually pay additional charges for faster shipping.
All in all, shopping online is a wonderful experience for me. If you do online shopping, too, just ensure that the site is a trusted merchant and be careful of how you make payment transactions (suggestion: use PayPal if possible).