There are many advantages to shopping online, but probably the most notable one is convenience.

Considering that we are all so time-poor these days, the ability to shop online can make certain aspects of life so much easier. Whether it’s ordering the Pepperoni Passion from Dominos, picking up the latest album release from CDWOW or buying your sisters birthday present in the shape of a book from Amazon, this way of shopping is only going to become more common and much more integrated. With Internet TV, you will be buying direct from the advert that is being broadcast in front of you. Phones too will play a huge role in future online shopping as technology continues to converge. Buying concert tickets in the form of a text message sent to your mobile phone from Ticketmaster and other such organisations seems strange but it makes perfect sense. This solution which I’m sure will have it’s own teething process is a win-win as far as I am concerned. It’s birth and concept is based on beating the ticket touts but the fact that it is so environmentally friendly will probably please any doubters of its necessity.

So what are the advantages and disadvantages of shopping online?


  • Going out to Dundrum for the day can be a nightmare and often you may buy for the sake of buying and just regret it later! When the feet get tired so does the brain. Shopping online for the most part, is non-stressful.
  • Convenient, especially for senior citizens or disabled people.
  • Its 24 hours.
  • Price comparison; try browsing 20 shops at Dundrum in 30 minutes. A friend of mine built a new house, browsed all the major retail shops in Ireland for his furniture and bought most of it f online.
  • Seller does not have the overheads of a shop; wages, insurance, stock, etc and their price usually reflects this fact.
  • Companies such as offer free shipping if you order over a certain amount.
  • The Internet is especially helpful when you are looking for an item that is hard to find. This is why I love Ebay! (Ebay is also the place to find bargains).
  • If you are like me when it comes to Christmas shopping and tend to run around shopping centres at the last minute only to end up with vouchers, then the internet is also a great way to become efficient at these types of things


  • For most people the biggest disappointment of online shopping is that you don’t receive the product there and then. For some, using the computer is not exactly retail therapy.
  • The shipping costs. Very often the part you ordered can be less than the shipping costs or the these costs can outweigh the savings.
  • Relying on photograph and description. Unless you know exactly what you are looking for a small, often pixelated photograph and description don’t exactly inspire you to hand over the cash.
  • Returning faulty goods – you will have to repack it and pay to ship it back to the seller. It can literally take weeks to exchange a faulty product purchased online. My brother recently bought Season 2 of Lost over the internet. His excitement when it arrived at his door was quickly dashed when he learned that his DVD player would not play DVD’s with American Region codes.

Tips for Safe Online Shopping.

  • Use websites you know or ones which are recommended to you.
  • Get the Final price before you checkout. Make sure that taxes, shipping , insurance, etc have all been included before you commit to the purchase
  • Find out what their warranty & returns policies are. Read the small print!
  • Never send your credit card details in an email.
  • Look out for the security encryption on the webpage. Keep an eye out for the closed padlock symbol (see pic)..

Also, in the address bar you should see https:// instead of just http://

  • 6. Print off a copy of the transaction and keep a copy of any email confirmations they send you.