While arguably the greatest advantage of online shopping versus in-store shopping is the level of convenience it affords shoppers, they must be careful not to be taken in by scams, warns the Santa Rosa Press Gazette. Using trusted e-commerce sites gives consumers the freedom to shop whenever, as they are no longer restricted by a department store or other retail establishment closing at a certain time or a certain day of the week. Online shopping is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year.
Not every online retailer can be trusted. Because the Internet is largely unregulated, it is relatively easy for crooks to create sites that appear legitimate but are actually storefronts for scams, cautions the Attorney General of Texas, Ken Paxton. Bogus sites may ask for personally identifying information, such as a person's Social Security number.
Online shopping enables shoppers to avoid long lines and crowds, and easily search for and find what they are looking for. However, caution is needed because the items being purchased cannot be properly inspected. Pictures are limited in what they can show, so occasionally an item may appear one way online but in person it may appear differently ? the color may not be exact or the quality may be lower than expected, especially with off-brand merchandise.