Moreover, it is also possible to conduct a product search online, research the product, locate the lowest price, and then look for it at the mall in person to examine it physically. If the product is cheaper online, the consumer can then make the purchase saving money and making no greater effort than just going to the mall to shop for the same item in the first place.
Another common objection to online shopping is that the buyer must rely on the trustworthiness of the seller. That is true but with a few basic precautions, the consumer can reduce any risk of fraud or dishonesty to an entirely acceptable level. First, consumers should always use a credit card because credit card companies protect their customers from fraud and will reverse charges incurred through any fraudulent transaction. Second, consumers should use the same search methods that they use to research products to determine the reputation of sellers. Generally, large, well-known retailers and other online merchants are safe shopping options.
Third, even with well-known retailers, it is important to determine the terms of the sale and the terms of returning items. Most online retailers have reasonable return policies. Furthermore, that consideration is equally true of shopping in malls.
Provided one takes reasonable precautions, shopping online is preferable to sopping in malls because it offers a wider range of products. It also allows the consumer to conduct more thorough research about products than shopping in malls, and it provides an opportunity to identify the cheapest price available for items that may be sold by only one vendor at the mall. In the Internet age, the only time that a mall might be preferable to shopping online is in the case of major sales or where the particular item at issue is much more difficult to evaluate remotely for fit, comfort, or other considerations that are important to the buyer..