Benjamin Franklin said “If you can’t pay for a thing, don’t buy it. If you can’t get paid for it, don’t sell it. Do this, and you will have calm and drowsy nights, with all of the good business you have now and none of the bad. If you have time, don’t wait for time”.
Trading online can be both fun and a head ache. There are few basic differences between a brick and mortar (B&M) and online selling and buying which I will try to explain in the following:
PROS AND CONS OF BUYING ONLINE:
- As a customer, you have the flexibility of more choices and comparison of prices all on your screen.
- Saves time to actually travel to the shop and saves your fuel costs.
- You can order anything from any part of the world.
- Discount coupons works more efficiently online as compared to physically taking the coupon and waiting to get the amount debited to your account.
- No queuing.
- Shopping is often difficult with toddlers. You can easily get distracted. Online shopping gives you the opportunity to shop with a peace of mind, at your own pace, with a good look around on other websites.
- Grocery shopping is another benefitted area. If it’s bad weather outside or you may not want to carry your heavy bags from the shop to your and then from your car to your home or you are travelling and may not want to carry large bags of groceries with you, you can simply order online and your items would be delivered to your doorstep.
- You can allow your kids to use your credit card while you could be watching your favourite show without having you taking your kids to the shop for authorization.
- You can easily select gifts, get them packed and posted from your behalf without you doing everything!
- All this looks nice, only if your internet connection is running smooth. Slow internet makes shopping online more boring.
- There are high chances of the online sites to be unable to function properly than a store itself to close down.
- You definitely need to be able to use online money. You can’t pay cash while purchasing an online item.
- Billing errors are not so infrequent.
- You cannot have the feel of the product for e.g. the texture of the dress, the correct size for your shoulder bag, the feel of the high heels themselves.
- Some online stores have a bizarre returns policy which makes returning an item a hell lot difficult.
- With online shopping you don’t get the human dealing factor. It’s all machines!
- High shipping and postage could actually cost you an item more than if you bought it from a store.
- Your credit card might get insecure access.
PROS AND CONS OF SELLING ONLINE:
- Virtually, you can sell anything online. There are no charges or fee for it.
- Good pictures, comprehensive listing for the items, delivering the merchandize quickly are the requirements of world ‘s reputed eBay.com
- Don’t jump for big. If you are a new seller, its best for you to begin on a small scale with low –cost items and do mention the least price you are willing to accept.
- Be honest about your merchandize. If there is any fault in your product, please mention it clearly. Customers like honest sellers and it will build your reputation.
- Be careful with the scammers. They might send you an email imitating a customer and ask for your bank details. Reputed selling websites have dedicated staff to check for that.
- The availability of online access anytime of the day, sellers have a better chance to sell the product i.e. 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
- Your product could be seen online by the customers in any part of the world.
- Sellers do not need to own a commercial place to keep their products. They can do their business from home which might interfere the work and family time balance.
- The downside is that since customers are not physically present, this might be a little disturbing.
- No fixed hours of working
- You need to assure that your site is up and running all the time.
Hence, the above mentioned points may lead you to think that Okay so if I need to start selling online, I have got two options. Either to sell on established websites like Amazon.com, eBay.com or to have my own website. The advantages and disadvantages of having your own website are as under:
- There is no fee
- You can personally interact with your customers
- You can design all the framework applications as per your interest.
- You have to work long hours
- You will need to attract your viewers to view your website continuously.
- You cannot immediately start selling your product i.e. you need to built your site, then do its marketing etc.
Whether you are choosing online selling as your second job or your main source of income, it is imperative that you know your product inside out. Do good research about what you are going to sell? Who is going to buy it? And then start low aiming to gradually build you up.
If you decide to go for online market places like amazon.com and eBay.com , although they are fast, very easy to use and can immediately merchandize your products to hundreds and thousands of potential customers, they still have their disadvantages. For e.g., they might have high listing fee or they might have some rigid policies, very high competition among the sellers etc.
To conclude, buying and selling online has both advantages and disadvantages. We are humans and our priorities , likings and dislikings change throughout our lives. Online trading has actually open more commodities for both consumers and the sellers. So with a watchful eye, we can reap its maximum benefits whenever and however we like.