Online Shop versus Physical Stores

price-tag-freeDo you believe that prices from an online shop offers you more control in your spending habits than the prices you pay for in the malls?

For a moment let’s be honest here we don’t want to buy anything less for our money, but we also can’t buy quality items without paying more. In the last few weeks of running my online shop I hit a slump where I felt so demotivated from advertising in my social media accounts because of the lack of conversion rates. I needed something to keep my spirits up by doing a little shopping therapy both online and from a physical store in Cebu city.

There were two things that I wanted to buy so badly for myself a 4 liter portable mini refrigerator and Etude hair bangs/fringe cutting tool kit. I know that both cost so much money if I buy from their physical store and verified distributor, but I did snoop around a little in face books business groups. Here’s what I learned after talking with several resellers and wholesalers. They could give me a much better rate than the one from the stores, but here’s the catch unless you’re a reseller yourself you can avail of a much better and cheaper price however you can’t buy only one you need to buy more! With no warranty or replacements!

Now that’s a huge risk and a bigger price to pay for an item you will personally use. And I only have a limited amount of cash to spend for myself especially when I’m just freelancing as a writer. However I still have the cash to pay for a one mini ref and one hair tool kit, so how did I manage to find the best deals online? Simple I went straight to a huge retailer website and used their search bar hoping to find a mini ref but lo and behold there it was! At a great price too!

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In my experience I was given ridiculous prices from online distributors and resellers which promised me that these were reseller prices due to limited supply and the high demand that forced them to hike their prices! I was thinking this is really dumb because I wasn’t just paying more I also had to pay for shipping expenses, with no guarantee that I will receive it in mint condition or at least a warranty for defects, and so I decided to leave the idea behind and pursued other interests for a while.

Then I found several people selling Etude House products. The biggest myth of whether a product is Class A or fake if you buy from small time businesses whether its offline or online is a lie. All items are made in china and most probably bought from Alibaba – one of the biggest B2B websites for suppliers, manufacturers, and distributor of buy and sell goods. Back on the Etude House product I snooped around again in face books business groups and in OLX. At that point I have more options as to where I could get the best rates to buy a single hair cutting tool kit, and it turns out I could get it 100 pesos but what stopped me from buying was the courier fees and the other charges that I had to pay when I’m sending money over remittance centers. It’s a hassle to walk out of the house then to the nearest mall to pay for that small amount and still cough up at least 300 pesos to secure my order.

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In your opinion what do you think should be considered as other charges when you shop online? I would love to read and hear your opinions about this. Also do you think it’s better to pay the expensive price for an item in store that you could get much cheaper from an online shop?

So when I decided to cancel the item I resigned to never buying one at the cheapest rate instead I went for the expensive one in the mall. It sounds ridiculous but I thought about the best way to spend my money that was more flexible to me. I didn’t feel like walking on foot to the nearest malls or remittance center just to secure my order, I also didn’t feel like paying for a hundred when I could get the same product for 500 as quickly as possible. The psychology behind this is I understood that I would be spending more money for a single item which offers me a better return policy and seven day warranty.

Instead of paying a hundred and saving more I would prefer getting the buck for my money by opting to buy the expensive one including buyer protection and a warranty.

I mentioned above that Class A products being fake is a lie right? Because the only difference when you’re paying for quality item is the assurance and safety that the company you invested the money has your back when the product that their manufacturers delivered failed. They could always exchange that for something better and new because you paid the right price.

When I finally bought the hair tools kit I realized in my excitement as I conversed with the sales lady (She was pregnant by the way.) The point of running a business is not about the competition or the prices you can offer to the people, it’s in knowing that you’re employees are dependent on you to manage them fairly to be able to help you run your work. If there’s a reason why a sales lady isn’t too happy and reluctant to entertain a customer  it’s probably because their bosses aren’t treating them well or their very underpaid.

I paid the right price for my etude and mini ref because I know my money is going to help people and the economy. However, in my opinion I do believe that I have more control on my spending habits when I decide to buy from face book resellers because I get them really cheap and in bulk, too. But I am also aware that I have to pay a few minimal charges such as courier and remittance rates to process my items which can be time and money consuming.

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