November 14, 2018

The Joys of Online Shopping, The Problems, and The Issues with In Store Shopping!

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I love online shopping and about 99% of my shopping is done online especially around the Holidays. Groceries, books, clothes, shoes, accessories, you name it, I shop it online. I think the selection in stores lately really blows hard! You can’t find nearly the stuff in stores that you can online. That’s a real shame because it not only forces malls and stores to close and people to lose their jobs but also, it sort of takes the spirit out of the Holiday season. I mean, do you remember the hustle and bustle in stores like ten plus years ago? The huge waiting in lines! I can’t say I miss any of that! But it felt more like Christmas when you found that perfect gift in the store and had to wait in line for 30 plus minutes to buy it for that special someone in your life.

Nowadays, it’s click, submit, stalk the mailman!

I love online shopping though! It’s faster, it’s easier, the selection is better, and I don’t have to deal with aggressive sales people. First off, I can’t checkout anywhere without being asked if I want to open a credit card account or donate to some charity. Here’s the thing, I do not have an issue with donating money to charity but that’s something I do personally as I’m selective about where I donate (I mean I had do some major research when donating to animal rescue here in California due to the fires before I gave away my cash! I’m just not trusting of some organizations). If I go to five different stores, I’ll have five different cash reps asking me to donate to five different charities. Suddenly, I feel guilty if I say no. Not to mention it can be expensive to donate to every single store upon check out plus I don’t know where exactly my donation is going to, will the charity even get it? And of course, if you go to TJ Maxx or Victoria’s Secret, Macy’s, Nordstrom, doesn’t matter which store you hit up you are almost always asked if you’d like to open a store credit card. Ugh…when did checking out at a store become such a marketing scheme? There’s also sometimes a big push to buy a tote bag or some other thing at check out. “Did you see our cute tote it’s only $10? Should I add it to your order?” I can’t go to Journey’s without them pushing no show socks on me….! “Do you need socks? How about laces? How about shoe cleaner?” I really feel like most people turn to online shopping just to avoid all this….! I know that’s one of my top reasons for avoiding stores. The sales techniques are just TOO aggressive and I’m a push over.

I do think sometimes stores have a major advantage though. There are some items I’ve seen online that I completely passed up because I felt like they looked cheap or the size looked too big or too small. Or any number of other reasons only to see that item in store and buy it because the visual just wasn’t that great online but was fabulous when I finally saw it or felt the fabric (if it was a clothes item). Even makeup is sometimes grossly wrong in promotional images and I’ll skip only to see it in store and think, “WOW! That’s beautiful! It didn’t look like that online!”

I think the thing I dislike the most about shopping shopping online is it can be hard sometimes hard to find what you’re looking for. You sometimes have to dig really deep or spend a lot more time browsing a website than you would a store to locate an item. Especially if the store’s website is difficult or clumsy to navigate. I know sometimes Sephora doesn’t always list their latest or newest items under the “new” section on their site. Sometimes you have to dig a little deeper and find gems that are hidden away!

I can spend HOURS on sites like Old Navy trying to sort through several hundred different sweatshirts. I’ll have like a hundred tabs open deciding on a simple hoodie! I feel like if I’m in store the selection isn’t always as vast so I can grab a quick hoodie and be happy with it. But online they’ll be five hundred to choose from and suddenly I’m either buying more than one (when one was all I needed) or I’m trying hard to figure out which shade I need or style…!

But sadly, stores also fail in this department in regards to selection. As sometimes I’ll see it online, decide I’ll head in store to buy it, only to be told they don’t have or “YES! Sure we have it, it’s over there!” and heading over there I realize every single one is a size extra extra extra small.

So, this is my drama with online and in-store shopping!

How do you feel about them?

Do share!

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About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • hollie

    I am SOOOO an online shopper!

    90% of the time I go into Ulta it’s just for “exploratory missions”.

    I feel like I get the best deals online, easier to make sure it’s charging me correctly/giving the right number of points, no credit card pitch, and MUCH more likely I’m not buying a returned product.

    It’s interesting you should mention Old Navy though because I am much more likely to run in and shop in store. The website is clunky, the million tabs, often the colors are off from real life, and the only real way to judge the quality (or lack thereof) is just to see it and touch it. Same with Target.

    • Isabella Muse

      I HATE OLD NAVY ONLINE SHOPPING! It’s too many choices! I do it because sometimes the stores only have like small and medium in stock and absolutely no other sizes available :-/ or least my stores are like that! OMG TARGET’S WEBSITE WHAT A NIGHTMARE! don’t get me started LOL!

      • Isabella

        I thought I was the outlier on Targets website, being an “olderperson” what a pos, they seriously need a do-over, but they must do a ton of business there so it won’t get done,

        • Isabella Muse

          It is so slow, so cumbersome, so disorganized! UGH and ugh! It never loads right!

  • Powell

    I know what you mean about sales people doing their marketing thing. But I have no problem w/the words “No thank you”.
    I love the shopping mall atmosphere, using your senses and just window shopping. The shopping mall experience has changed, that’s kind of sad.
    I do love shopping online too. Lol at you stalking the mailman.

  • Eraser

    I really miss our downtown department stores at Christmastime. The Federated /Macy’s behemoth ran them into the ground to sell the buildings, because to them the real estate was worth more than the business. Then Saks closed and now there’s nowhere to shop apart from a scattered few boutiques. No window decorations, no hustle and bustle, no pleasant shopping for just the right gift. I think it’s very sad and it didn’t have to be that way.

    I avoid the malls at this time because they are crazy – anyone predicting the demise of malls doesn’t live here because they’re always pretty busy. I also don’t have a lot of gifts to buy anymore so I do most of it among gift cards, local shops, and online.

    In a way, online shopping has been great for me because I can find so many things that the stores don’t carry but for me, there will never be a substitute for going to a real store, interacting with the clerks and getting a good look at the merchandise.

    • Isabella Muse

      wait, where do you live where malls are busy!? I want to come visit! I always find the mall an absolutely tomb. No one is every around…! It’s rather sad. SOMETIMES if you get lucky the weekend right before xmas is a little bit busy but mostly I can probably drive my car around from store to store inside a mall complex without hitting anyone lol! It’s kind of crazy how bad malls are doing! I, too, miss the hustle and bustle of the Holidays! It’s not like there’s a shortage of people in New York, it just doesn’t really feel like Christmas in some places!

      • Jartz

        I live in a populated suburb outside Denver. We have a local mall called Park Meadows that is constantly jamming. Even on Mondays! It is the go to place for shopping and dining and never seems to be a shortage of people shopping. The Apple store is always full. That being said 1/2 of what I buy is online. I too despise the credit card push, Banana Republic is notorious for aggressiveness in selling their card. Last time I was there I was approached and asked 4 times by 4 different sales people!

        • Isabella Muse

          I WISH! None of the malls around here are really busy anymore! Streets of manhattan are always bustling but malls, totally not. The Palisades Mall in Rockland County is like soooooo crazy slow! UGH! I know! VS is like that! Like eight people will ask you if you want a card! NO OK NO! lol!

          • Lisa Peraino

            Well you should travel to Paramus NJ!!! The Westfield Garden State Plaza is always mobbed and stores on the highway around it are usually pretty busy.

          • Isabella Muse

            Nope and nope lol! I avoid going across the pond during the Holidays! You guys are WAY to busy for me ;-D

          • OLIVIA

            Muse, you should come to the malls of NJ! All of Paramus is like locked up from now until January with the Garden State Plaza and Bergen Town Center totally and completely full up to the eyeballs. No shortage of mall shopping around here 🙂

          • Isabella Muse

            honestly, I avoid coming across the pond at all costs during the Holidays! The malls are indeed crazy on your side of the bridge! ;-D

        • TropicalChrome

          This is really funny because I also live near Park Meadows, and we were over there last Monday! We were going for an early supper, and the parking lot was SO full I had to drive around a bit to find a spot that wasn’t all the way out on the north forty. We did a little shopping after dinner and yes, people everywhere, and I noticed a lot of them were carrying shopping bags, so not only were they there, they were buying.

          I divide my shopping between in person and online and don’t really have an overall preference. Some things work better online, some (like clothing) are far better to buy in person. The one big difference I’ve noticed is that when I shop online, there is NO impulse buying. I don’t fall in love with a picture like I do with cute gewgaws in person!

      • Eraser

        Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – aside from the one which is really kind of far from the city, the others in the 4 suburban corners are always hopping. I live in the southwestern area and the mall I frequent is always busy – even in the late morning on a weekday, I’ll often have trouble finding a parking spot.

      • Eraser

        Pittsburgh, specifically the southwestern area. The closest mall and the one I frequent is South Hills Village. I think they’re all Simon malls. I do like to venture out to Ross Park, which is our “luxury” mall, because there’s a Nordstrom; however, it’s across town and I don’t get out there much. It’s always super busy.

  • Deb

    You pretty much nailed it Muse. I rarely enter a store these days for all of the reasons you mentioned. And I hate SAs hitting on me one after the other after the other. Looking at you Sephora. After the umpteenth hit I find it more and more difficult to remain polite. I know they are just doing their jobs and the company is the one that sets the policy. So it’s not really the SA, it’s the corporate entity. But it’s still irritating af.

    I pretty much live on online shopping. But it sure would be nice to go into a store to check out those items you want to touch and evaluate in person and not get hit on or be subjected to the aggressive marketing at checkout.

    • Isabella Muse

      it’s def their fault but it isn’t less annoying that’s for sure. I’m NEVER ever rude to any rep! and I’m very polite when I shrug them off because I totally get retailer isn’t easy. But it gets really hard to shop in stores when you’re bugged every five minutes with a “can I help you?” I really wannna reply with “Can I just have a minute to look and browse?” AGREED! I’d totally be happy to shop in stores if I can just browse at my pace!

  • Kish

    I’d rather shop online any day, especially around the holidays! I hate crowds. My local Ulta had a Tarte event that they invited me to on Saturday and there were almost too many people in the store for me to even breathe. And, since my part time job is a WalMart cashier, I have inside experience lol. People get so rude this time of year. I was told Saturday by an older gentleman that if I had studied harder in school I wouldn’t have to work there. Seriously. I was almost speechless. Even if that WERE true, you don’t say stuff like that. I told him I’m in my 19th year of federal service, but an illness required a part time job to pay my medical bills. He scuttered out. I hope a cart found its way into the side of his car. So, yes, I’m a big fan of online shopping. For everyone :p

      • Kish

        Right??!?! It’s going to take an extra dose of holiday cheer for me to make it through the next two months, I’m afraid lol. And, I never ask anyone to sign up for a credit card, even though I’m supposed to. In this day and age, if someone wants one, they can figure it out themselves and sign up at their own convenience. I try to be a good cashier lol.

  • Isabella

    I like to shop in the store when I can see it and is the color really the color etc and try on, but what grinds my gears is when they “we have it online” NSS if I wanted it online I would order there
    being asked to donate/sign up for a CC doesn’t bug me, it’s an easy “no thank you” at my age it’s easier to say no,

  • Sara

    I feel like the only time I go into stores anymore is to make returns! I’ll order whatever I’m interested in online, like from VS or Old Navy or Macys, decide what I want, and make one mall trip to return everything else. They must hate me when I show up, the revenue for the day goes down hundreds of $! The only store I seem to actually buy things at is Lush (we have a HUGE Lush store in Northern VA).

  • Anne

    Online all the way! There’s no IRL replacement for “sort from low to high.”
    Except for shoes because I always have to try those on. And I used to buy all my kids’ clothes online but now that they are old enough to have opinions, we need to go to the stores.

  • Susan K

    Agree with all you’ve said, on both sides of the coin. I do 90% of my shopping online. Except for groceries. Havent gotten there yet but I’m sure I will lol Target is literally 2 miles from my house and I love Target so I’m in there a good bit! I’ll make one “inspirational” trip to the mall over holidays but its more for fun and window shopping. Oh and once in a while the husband will make an unplanned stop at home depot after we’ve eaten out. Thats his “fun” place lol

  • Cindy

    I’m definitely an online shopper! But Muse, I don’t know what’s going on in Rockland County because in Nassau County at Roosevelt Field it’s ALWAYS busy on weekends and holidays, and once Thanksgiving hits it’s a MADHOUSE! I only go there between Thanksgiving & Xmas if I have to return something. With online shopping You don’t get followed or nagged by salespeople and you get better deals (freebies, EBates, etc.). For example, I was in Macy’s last week and tried on a hoodie and it wasn’t on sale so I didn’t bother. I looked it up on the website when I got home and it was HALF PRICE!! Insane how it wasn’t on sale in the store but online it was! There’s something to be said for being able to try on clothes in-store to prevent having to return things, but always check the price online before buying.

    • Isabella Muse

      Honestly, I rarely head up to Rockland county but when I do go it’s a tomb! But yes on Roosevelt Field, I went last year, first week of December, and it was crazy! OMG I KNOW! I see shit in stores and I’m like, nope, bet it is cheaper online and IT IS about 99% of the time LOL!

  • Frozendiva

    I don’t like the high pressure sales pitch from some in-person shopping. I don’t like it when the sales associate hits on me about things in the store when I have just walked in the door. I’m at the point where I say, thanks but I will find you if I need help. The high pressure of you need to buy X, and X, and Y – I came for X item and I will think about the others.

    I will visit some stores, including Old Navy, and find them crowded, and the stock has become a pile of mayhem. The staff is pretty good at keeping things organized but there are times when items are everywhere and I don’t have the time or energy to fish through piles of clothing. Not the store’s fault – people behave badly and throw things everywhere and it is a challenge to keep up.

    Some makeup counters have the hard sell. I have GWP stuff and gifts/purchases from other lines and those get used up first. Sorry.

    I do like the in-person shopping for some stuff so I can look at an item, check the fabric, see if it itches or I don’t like the feel of it. Things like electronics and such, not as much. Cosmetics? I like to see the colors in person and do a swatch test. I might go by the counter a few times and usually will buy a product after a couple of visits.

    Some grocery stores have charity drives at this time of year and I really don’t like being handed a list of stuff to buy – within 10 seconds of entering the store. If I wish to buy, I will do so privately and put my items in the box. Last year, I found it insulting and offensive and wanted to complain. I only have so many charity dollars each paycheque. The holiday season is very draining financially.

    I like the online shopping because I can choose what I want. Also easier to stick to a budget. I struggle with cosmetics and fragrance as the photos and descriptions are not always accurate. I am more likely to repurchase stuff online that I have already bought. For new products, it’s a crapshoot. I’ve done okay but I rely on beauty blogs for decent swatches. Clothing and shoes are tough. I like to know what the fabric feels like. Shoes – with a tough foot to fit, it’s almost a no-go. Some shoes that are on sale are not returnable. I can’t throw away a few hundred dollars on shoes that don’t fit so I shy away from online footwear shopping. I also am not home most days so shipping usually means having it directed elsewhere or sent to the post office for pickup. Too many porch parcel pirates here.

    • Isabella Muse

      I totally agree with a lot of what you said but also, I wanted to point out I, too, have been to grocery stores and even my local bank who have asked me for specific products as well. That isn’t too bad but last year, my bank handed me a list of items to buy for a toys for tots drive. I get it, they are doing a make a wish sort of drive however, I felt like some of the items were quite costly that they gave me on the list (example: an iphone!).

      • Frozendiva

        I would have said no thanks. Maybe if it had been presented as a wish list with a specific total funding amount requested – or a list of items needed for various age ranges and price ranges. Many charities suffer here at this time of year. People have only so much to donate. Sometimes it is just time. Expecting someone to buy an iPhone – maybe give me a month or two with no mortgage interest and I can help them out.

        • Isabella Muse

          It was a pretty big request I thought for toys for tots. I know I have a business account with them but I was still a little surprised they asked for such big ticket items!