The pros and cons of toy shopping online

March 7, 2015

When it comes to buying toys online, the inventory is larger and much more diverse and accessible. But before you click the "buy now" button, there are a few things you should know.

The pros and cons of toy shopping online

1. Benefits

Shopping for toys online can help you avoid shopping mayhem and crowded stores, and save you a lot of time and energy when you’re already very busy.

  • It also give you access to cool toys and products that are otherwise unavailable in your province, or even the country.
  • Not to mention the money you save on transit fees (fuel, parking, public transport) and the ability to shop in the peace and quiet of your own living room.

2. Disadvantages

Online shopping is a great resource but it’s not without some drawbacks.

  • Since many online stores are located outside the country, proceeds of your purchase won’t boost local merchants or the local economy.
  • Also, additional and unexpected charges may apply: shipping, customs and occasionally unfavourable exchange rates.
  • You're also dealing with the risks of cyber fraud, delivery delays or shipping errors. Not to mention the tangible: you can’t physically inspect the toy, so there’s a risk it may not be exactly what you imagined.
  • If not, you can return the goods (where possible), but additional costs and delays will likely ensue.

3. Helpful hints

When it comes to shopping online, you need to be responsible and take certain precautions to protect yourself from fraud or human error. The six basic rules to follow:

  • Make sure the website is secure (all addresses must begin with "https").
  • Read the return policy and check the warranty.
  • Avoid unknown companies and sites.
  • Make sure the company has a brick-and-mortar business address and a phone number to easily reach customer service.
  • Since open networks may not be secure, never shop online using public wi-fi or Internet to avoid exposing your credit card information.
  • Keep all your invoices and delivery documents, in case of the need to return an item.

Shopping online seems easy enough, so why not take advantage of the added convenience?

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