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Buying online - why not

Updated on October 12, 2015

This hub grew out of purchases I make online.I began to ponder along the lines of online buying behaviour and reflecting on my own - this is the only reference I have but I would love to hear what others are doing in this respect.

Why purchase or not purchase online?

I for one do not find myself purchasing from a website unless I can verify with emails to and fro whether the site is legit.

A new shop is a different story and it is an interesting question, I think, to ask why.

Online shopping is fraught because website images and text are not believable artefacts in their own right. It used to be said SEEING is BELIEVING. Online shopping has taken away that assurance but the younger generation may have a different attitude - they seem to have got used to purchasing online going by the bookings a surf school I look after is getting.

I generally don't purchase online from a website I've visited for the first time.


sites which are obviously big established companies with a reputation like...




If I am looking for something which is more nichy I generally goto Ebay not Google.


I thought about this and realized one of the most important reasons I have no hesitation buying from Ebay is the 20,000 Paypal buyer guarantee.

Buying from a trusted source is every buyers intention but if you have no HANDLE on the seller besides a web address and pictures, you need some guarantee you will not be ripped off and that has happened to me (so once bitten twice shy!).

Emails back and forth can help establish the veracity or otherwise of a site you are purchasing from and PayPal allows you a refund in the event of a dispute arising over a purchase (please check PayPal for the latest on this!).

Breaking it down: When making a purchase -

I want to know I will get my item.

I want to know I will get what I paid for.

I want some kind of guarantee if I'm ripped off I will be compensated.

Ebay is one of the most searched sites on the planet and people go there not to collect info but to buy - pure and simple.

Contrast this with Google.

You might go to Google to research an item but do you purchase an item from a site served in the returned pages by Google?

I generally don't though I might find some interesting advertisers in the righthand column for items I am researching and over time I might find myself getting to know certain sites and then making purchases.

I have bought software this way and usually the site must have the PayPal option - not only credit card.

If Google returned sites with (say) a verifiable Google guarantee for purchases from such sites, I would have a lot more confidence buying from one.

This would be a good move for Google in my opinion. Ebay are totally transparent with seller ratings but no similar INHOUSE rating system exists with Google as far as I know - it would be great if it did (again, in my opinion).

I'm talking purely about buying online here - it is a totally different kettle of fish when it comes to other online activities I do.

I would love to hear what other hubbers think in terms of shopping online.


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    • profile image
      Author 5 years ago

      Thanks for the input TKI - you are very smart! Online sellers need to be verified not just fakely reviewed - Ebay have solved this extremely well in my opinion as with every purchase Ebay request a rating of the seller from the buyer. Ratings need to be done by purchasers whove done real transactions as you say and administered by a trusted source - I cannot see why Google could not perform this role. For example - a Google Shop or Biz Ratings for sellers - a coded link in an email perhaps that gives the buyer a chance to rate their experience sometime after the purchase is completed. Online stores could send an email a week or so later that asks the shopper if they got the goods and to rate the business via a link to Google Ratings. Good idea! Thanks TKI!

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 5 years ago

      Shopping online has its conveniences. I think your suggestion is a pretty good idea, but we would need to be assured that the ratings are truly done by purchasers, not by the companies or paid people to give false reviews. There are already companies who pay people to write reviews of products, that may not be true. So in order to rely on these ratings, we would need them verified in some way.

    • profile image
      Author 5 years ago

      PWAP - I think you've hit on something - rare Chinese musical instrument salespeople can be trusted! But in all seriousness - I think in general most netizens would be more likely to trust a niche website compared to (say) an online shop with lots of goods - its a good point you make Ta for dropping by!(I've lost the full stop on this keypad!)

    • princesswithapen profile image

      princesswithapen 5 years ago

      I have bought stuff online from a website I've stumbled upon via a google search query. It was a very niche product, actually a unique Chinese musical instrument which was supposed to be a gift for someone. I got it at a price lower than stuff advertised on the big shopping portals that you've mentioned in this hub. Delivery on time, product was as advertised and good customer service - no complains. Other than that, I have generally shopped on biggies like Amazon and eBay directly or via affiliate links.

      I like this post because we are all aware netizens and there is no better way to promote the concept of online shopping than penning down our own experiences in buying stuff online.


    • profile image
      Author 6 years ago

      Drbj, convenience is very convenient! I like it too. Offline for savings I gather means you save on shipping! Anyway, it's always good to see drbj drop by!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 6 years ago from south Florida

      To answer your online buying question, pd, I buy online for convenience either brand name items or from companies I know and trust. I buy offline for savings.