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Buying software online

Updated on February 16, 2015

A look back at shopping for software

When it comes to purchasing goods these days, there’s a much bigger choice than what there previously was. In days gone by you’d have to physically get yourself out of the house and get to your nearest retail shop. This may not sound like a massive problem, but depending on how far you lived from the store and your methods of transport, it could be a right hassle to get what you wanted.

This was compounded further when you were looking for computer software. It’s still classed as a relatively expensive product range, and depending what you’re looking for, it may only be a specialist store that had the software that would suit your needs.

The advent of online shopping

Thankfully though, online shopping has resulted in people being able to buy pretty much whatever they want, at any time of the day without having to even venture out of their house. Whilst there has been the argument that online shopping has damaged local and specialist stores, the price comparison between both of them is huge. Also, when you’re shopping online, you’re able to fully evaluate what the best software is for your needs.

This isn’t something that necessarily happens in store since the staff are told to by and large sell the most expensive software. The problem with this is that you may be having a product pushed onto you that doesn’t fully meet your needs, as well as leaving you out of pocket as well.

Due to this, it’s always advisable that you buy your software online since you can shop around for the best deals as well as ensuring that you have total system compatibility with your own setup. Even better, you can head to the support forums for the software in question to ensure that any questions that you have can be answered before you purchase it.

With the shift to high speed internet in recent years as well, it’s made it possible to get your software pretty quickly as well. Even though online shopping meant you didn’t have to venture miles before you get your software, it did mean that unless you had it shipped to you over night, you’d still had to wait a few days before you could use the software.

However, since internet connections have improved in speed and stability over recent years, it means that you could have your software up and running within a few hours (depending on the file size of the program). Furthermore, due to the fact that there is no actual physical product involved, it also means that the product is a lot cheaper than disc based software.

The benefit of this is that since the software is stored on a server, the vendors can offer various software coupons as an incentive for more people to buy the product at a lower price. This isn’t something that can necessarily be done with boxed software since there are production costs involved with both the box and the disc itself, and offering a promotion is eating into the revenue that can be generated from the boxed product.

Things to look out for when buying software online

If you’re buying direct download software online, one of the first things you could check for is if the software is compatible with your system based on the system requirements listed in the product description. Also, it’s recommended that you buy from a reputable seller that has a good money back guarantee on software that doesn’t work as described.

This is actually something that varies from region to region since the EULA doesn’t always cover you for software that doesn’t work properly. However, in areas such as the EU, the EULA comes second place to European consumer law. The reason behind this is that the EULA is terms and conditions laid down by the software company, but it is not actually law. Moreover, to prevent any potential problems that you may face regarding your purchase on any online store, it’s always advisable that you use a credit card.

This is due to the fact that when you purchase anything on a credit card, you’re given consumer protection so that in the event that the seller refuses to help you with your issue, the credit card company can intervene to help bring about a resolution to the problem.


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