All my friends are doing it. Okay, most of them. But what if things go wrong? My parents will kill me. No, it’s nothing about an addiction (although it can be addictive); it’s about online shopping.
You must be familiar with the situation. You find the perfect coat, boots or iPhone cover… on TV or in a commercial. Then walking around and searching through shops you see nothing similar. You start saving images from the internet, hoping it’ll take you somewhere. Why is it not sold here? – you burst out.
This is when online shopping enters the picture. On most websites you only have one choice: PayPal.
If something, it is really easy to use, ad registration indeed takes only a couple of minutes. You sign up on either paypal.com, or you can do so right after you’ve signed up to eBay, if you want to do all these in one place. All new bank cards (Visa, Master Card and American Express) can be registered to PayPal, chances are, yours too.
PayPal puts special emphasis on itself being free. Nay, in the unlikely case of an error, your money will be returned. (eBay has a somewhat similar policy: if you don’t get the purchased item within a limited number of days – which is normally 15-30 working days – your money will be returned.) And they by no means take off money from your account without your permission.
The steps of the registration are the following:
- You set your country or region of residence and what language you wish to fill the registration form in. (There is not much freedom of choice; it is either English, Spanish, French or Chinese.)
- You provide data required. Very easy. Besides your name they’ll ask for your email address and your mailing address (this is needed for later shipping).
- After all these, you can top up your account. You have to transfer money to a central PayPal account, strictly in the currency of the region you’re staying in. You will not be charged any fees for this transfer. Money arrives usually in 1-2 working days, then you can start using it immediately.
On eBay, you will be required to confirm your data with a few clicks. Well done, now you have connected your PayPal account to the world’s greatest online market.
This really worth the effort in the long run, since on eBay and other web shops (like amazon.com) you can find items for under 1 USD/Euro(!). Typically characteristic to accessories that they can be ordered for tenth the price they are sold in stores.
And of course there has been a well profiting market built upon this difference in prices. There are a huge number of private sellers on Facebook and elsewhere, who order clothes/accessories from eBay to sell it for much more money, but still cheaper than in stores.
This way everyone seems to profit, but if you have a card which you can use for online shopping, don’t miss the opportunity to save money. Let alone free shipping above a certain price limit. (For example it is 100 pounds for Topshop specifically, but on eBay it depends on the seller.)
The drawback of online shopping is that you can’t try on the given item, and there is always the possibility that you won’t like it or the size won’t fit. However, in most cases you have the right to send it back within 14 working days and be given back your money. (Don’t order an item in whose description it is not mentioned.) As for clothes, there’s normally a really exhaustive description of sizes in both centimeters and inches.
You might have reservations first, but after a while you’ll realize you got to like it better than a pre-season shopping spree, and instead of stores you look for birthday presents online.
It really is addictive.