It’s very easy to get excited about buying clothing online. After all, you no longer have to get in your car, go to the other side of town and struggle with the long lines and the crowds at a big department store sale. You can cut through all of that, and also, get some clear information about the clothing you would like to buy.
Please understand that thanks to the internet, if you are buying branded clothes, you can compare one store’s offering with the other stuff on sale at other stores. You can basically compare the same clothing product on sale at many different stores, and pick the winner.
How do you pick the winner? Usually, you pick based on price. Whichever store is offering the same item of clothing for the lowest price, and the cheapest and fastest shipping, is usually the winner in the eyes of most consumers.
That’s how it normally works, and there’s a lot to recommend buying clothing online. It’s quick, it’s easy, it’s convenient. You also don’t have to break a sweat. You can quickly research many different sources; it’s very hard to do that offline.
Unless you have all the time in the world, so you can zip through many different stores, different malls, and different outlets, it takes too much time, effort and focus. If you do this online, you’re only a few clicks away from the right provider.
Also, returns and refunds are so much easier online. Please understand that if you bought an item of clothing from a discount outlet store at the outskirts of town, you’re inconvenienced on so many levels, seriously.
First of all, you have to make the time to get there. If that isn’t bad enough, you also have to pay for your gas, and whatever car costs you may have to physically show up, and ask for a refund or store credit.
On top of that, that’s a lot of time that you could have been spending doing something else that might be putting more money in your pocket, or you could be spending time doing other things that are more worthwhile, like having a good time with your family.
Opportunity costs are real. While I’m not saying that returning stuff to online stores doesn’t involve any opportunity costs, the costs that you do suffer tend to be on the low side. It’s easy to resolve refund and return issues in a few hours.
For example, if that blouse you bought at an online clothing store simply isn’t working out for you, you can set up a return and then pass by a UPS store, or some sort of parcel store on your way to work. It is also quite easy to use a good clothes iron to eliminate any wrinkles. You don’t have to throw a left curve as far as your personal schedule goes.
Keep these advantages in mind. With that said, please understand that there are consequences to buying clothing online, since it is so quick, so convenient, and so easy, that there is a chance that you would start training yourself to buy impulsively.
I know that sounds crazy, because who would want to buy impulsively? Who would want to spend money they don’t have? Well, it happens all the time, because Americans’ credit card debts are in the trillions. That’s how collectively underwater we are as far as our consumer habits are concerned.
A lot of this can be traced to impulse-buying. If you’re completely honest with yourself, if you open your closet, and you look through all the stuff that you have in there, chances are most of that stuff you don’t really need. How do you know? Well, when was the last time you actually used or wore those items?
Chances are you probably have used them once and never again. You are hardly alone. So many Americans are in this predicament, and sadly, their monthly credit card bills just get bigger, and bigger, and the debt load just becomes more and more oppressive.
It sounds sad, it sounds pathetic, but that’s the cold, hard reality of buying clothing online. There are serious consequences to this, because if you’re not careful about how you buy items online, you basically end up training yourself to buy on impulse.
Maybe you had a fight with your boyfriend, girlfriend, wife, or husband, and you start searching for stuff online. Maybe you got obsessed about certain products being sold online. Perhaps you spend a considerable amount of your time on Instagram or Pinterest. These places are notorious for getting people excited about certain types of products.
You start obsessing about these things, and you can’t help but buy one item after another. It doesn’t really matter whether you’re buying succulent plants, or certain types of clothing or footwear, it all leads to the same place. It leads to you programming yourself to buy stuff to provide some sort of emotional comfort.
If this sounds familiar, it should, because people do this with eating. When people feel let down, or they don’t feel all that well, about how things are going in their lives, a lot of them raid the fridge. A lot of people take comfort from a nice serving of German chocolate cake, or a rocky road ice cream.
The problem is, whatever issues you may be running away from, are essentially shoved back in your face the next time you look in the mirror. You see yourself gaining weight, and you feel really crappy. You feel like you’re not in control of your world, so you raid the fridge again because you want to get that nice little emotional boost.
Do you see how this works? It’s called a negative feedback loop, and sadly, we do the same with shopping. There is such a thing as “shopping therapy” that people unconsciously or unwittingly engage in, and they’re really not doing themselves any big favors.
Their credit card bills get bigger and bigger at the end of the month, because hey, let’s face it, not everybody’s made out of money. It’s not like you have a multi-billionaire father, or you yourself are worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Most people have to work for their hard-earned dollars.
Do you see how this works? So understand that buying clothing online is not an unqualified blessing. It is a great thing; it can definitely be a force for good. Thankfully, for the vast majority of people, they know how to shop online responsibly.
Still. If you are completely honest and serious about the benefits and consequences of buying clothing online, please understand that this is a classic case of advantages and disadvantages. There’s no such thing as a perfect solution; there never was, there isn’t now, there probably will never be such a solution.
So please understand that with great power and convenience, also comes responsibility. At the end of the day, you have to be responsible for your buying choices, whether online or offline.