Shopping: In-store vs Online

March 23, 2016

It will come as no surprise to regular readers of Almost Posh that I don't mind the odd poke around a bricks-and-mortar store or online retailer from time to time.

Some people don't like shopping. I respect that. I don't like netball but if you want to play it, then you go ahead, girl. Time on the whistle.

Perhaps you hate shops themselves and prefer to shop online from the comfort of your internet-connected device, double-screening while watching Geordie Shore in your pyjamas. Perhaps you are wary of putting your personal details online or afraid to buy without trying. Here I’ve presented some of the pros and cons of dealing with each.


  1. Trying things on. Until home technology moves to the point of creating a 3D full-body scan that models the exact fit of clothes, we are stuck with that element of risk when shopping online. Sure those multi-way mirrors might tell you more than you want to know about what you look like from the back but at least you KNOW.
  2. You can try on multiple sizes and items without penalty. Imagine having to pay a fee for each item you took into the fitting room?? Nope, as long as you abide by the "arbitrary number of items or less" rules for each store, you can try on the whole store if you want, five items at a time
  3. No shipping costs and free returns. Until Australia gets with the free delivery times, we're often stuck paying for our goods to be delivered so not doing so is a plus and the only cost of return is the effort involved.
  4. Instant gratification. You like it, you buy it, you have it then and there. No waiting. Particularly if you're cutting it fine for a special occasion.
  5. You can feel the fibre of the fabric. A big one for me. As a thrift-shopper like old mate below, you can also check for holes, stains or other imperfections that may not be evident in eBay photos.


  1. People. You're going to have to deal with them; on the roads, in the car park, getting through the shops, sales assistants that either ignore you or are relentlessly right up in your business, other shoppers . . . unless that's just me?
  2. Getting dressed. It's generally frowned upon for grown folks to be at the shops in their pyjamas / underwear although lord knows I've pretty much seen it all.
  3. Store opening hours. Sunday trading only became a reality in Adelaide about 10 years ago and we're still not quite at the level I'd like. If you are hankering for a browse at 11.30pm on a Tuesday, you're out of luck.
  4. Location. You're bound by what's on offer that you can easily get to in a day, really. If you live regionally as I did as a teenager in the 90s, you have to wait until the fortnightly grocery trip when Mum takes you over to Port Pirie where you will have the choice of either Kmart before it was cool or the really expensive surf shop, which was cool but - as the name suggests - really expensive. A trip to Adelaide meant you might be lucky enough to come home with a Sportsgirl logo tee or a pair of irregular jeans from the Levis factory.
  5. Incidental purchasing. Unless you're extremely disciplined, popping to the shops for one thing opens you up to a world of impulse buying, distractions and of course, snacks.


  1. Choice and selection. The world of online shopping is enormous and as long as you can receive deliveries where you are, you can access it all. Brands without shopfronts in Australia or even your city can still get their goods to you thanks to the Internet.
  2. Coupon codes. I will always do a quick search for a promo code or voucher. Going up to a shop counter and saying "Hi, just these thanks, oh and LB7jhgbW!" is only going to get you a side-eye at best or a trip to centre management at worst.
  3. Online only sales. These can be quite lucrative and an easy way to stock up on familiar favourites. Get on those email lists! Save shipping by doing combined orders with friends!
  4. Get consumables cheaper. For boring stuff you need to buy repeatedly, it's easy to find cheaper deals online for things like printer ink, batteries or even contact lenses.
  5. Deliveries! In this day and age where the only things that arrive in the mailbox are bills and catalogues, getting actual parcels is most exciting.
  1. Dodgy sites. We've all seen those posts about what was ordered vs what arrived. It pays to do a WHOLE lot of research before shopping from a new site. If it sounds ridic cheap, it’s probs too good to be true. Google and read the review sites!
  2. Financial Risks. Related largely to the above, although card details can be compromised from a variety of legit sources, including physical stores. Use PayPal to mitigate the risks and make yourself aware of their purchase protection policies.
  3. Sizing. You're taking a gamble on fit every time. Even if you're familiar with the brand, you just never know how the cut and fabric will sit on your own actual body. 
  4. Shipping and returns. Here in Australia, delivery almost always costs unless you hit a certain price point and that is galling, while free exchanges or returns are rare. International shipping from some sites can render any cost savings on the actual item pointless.
  5. It's almost too easy. Having access to so many stores that can offer you purchases with just a couple of clicks and you end up like . . .

You may also like to check out my top tips for shopping with kids and other hints on how to shop with success. I'm here for you, for realz. If you need enabling on a purchase, just send me the link and I'd be happy to tell you why you need it.

This post is brought to you by Coupon Codes Australia. For more information on collaborative posts, please see my PR and Media policy. All content authentic and produced by Almost Posh.

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