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Online shopping is a growing trend; it allows you to purchase almost everything from the comfort of your own home. There are different ways of shopping online, you can purchase things new or purchase form a auction like for example. The good sold over the Internet are identical to those sold in shops and you still have all your rights when purchasing items online. One of the main advantages of purchasing things online to is that everything is cheeping then purchasing from a store, this is because a company run on the internet doesnít have to pay overheads on the store or even on warehouses. It is possible for a company, run off the Internet, not to have warehouse and have items sent from the manufacturer straight to you, hence that company is then just a go between. This means that Internet companies would have high profit margins because they do not have many overheads.

Paying for items on the Internet can be done if different ways, for example you can purchase things on a credit or debit cards, by PayPal (or similar) or you can pay by personal cheque. Purchasing goods on your credit or debit card is identical to buying goods in a normal shop, you choose your item then you go to the checkout and pay, you type your card number into the computer and it will contact the bank/creditor and will clear the goods and transfer the money. PayPal is a concept, which was designed for you on the Internet, the easiest way of describing it, is itís like an online bank account. You pay money into it, and then when you want to buy something you can transfer that money from your PayPal to a company or from PayPal to PayPal.  In many ways it is similar using a debit card but it is all online. Or you can pay by traditional cheque in some online stores; you find the items you wish to purchase and you when you go to the check out you say you are paying with cheque, you then send them the cheque the nonce it had cleared then they send you the items you wanted. This method of buying things with personal cheque is quite slow because you have to wait for the postal service. Paying my PayPal or by credit or debit card the money is transferred almost instantly and the good normally arrive within a week.

Many people use the Internet today for shopping, as it is quicker and generally cheaper then going out to the shop. Shopping on the Internet is becoming more and more popular for those who are have busy lifestyle and donít have time to go out and shop, or for those who donít have the facilities to go shopping. With shopping on online you can shop whenever you want to, so if your work hours arenít suitable for you to go shopping you could purchase your shopping online and then have it delivered when you are free. There are many super markets, which offer service similar to this; these include Tesco and Simsburyís.

 You can shop online for different things so you could purchase special hobbyist things or you can do your normal weekly shop online. It is possible if you are doing your food shopping online that you have you food deliver weekly at the same time and you have the same delivered. So there are people who rely on online shopping a lot. But there are also some people, who will only ever purchase a few items online.

The normal opening hours for a is between nine and five (about), with the internet it is possible to shop at what ever time you want, so you could shop at one oíclock in the morning, you order most likely wouldnít be processed until the following day but you can do it. So with Internet shopping allowing people to shop at whatever time suites them, people can be more flexible.

On the Internet you will find a store that sells everything you could ever want, you can do you weekly shopping online or you can purchase specialist hobby goods. The list of things you can purchase online is end less. You can purchase computer online, sort out loans, get mortgages online, you could almost sort your entire life own online.

There are very few things, which you canít buy online, however if you look hard enough you will be able to purchase most things. 

Below is a list of things that you canít purchase online:


  • Animal
  • Prescription drugs (legally in the UK)
  • Explosives
  • Firearms


There are also some more that can be added to this list.


There are many advantages and disadvantages of buy things online. To begin, the disadvantages, because you are buying something off the Internet you havenít actually seen it before you buy it. The major disadvantage that is the main problem with online shopping is the possibility of fraud or people stealing you identity. When you are online and buying goods you have to enter either a credit/debit card number or a PayPal number, if these numbers get into the wrong hands people can charge up massive accounts on your card and you will have to pay for it. The thought of this has put many people off online shopping. Also with online shopping you loose the personal touch, many people donít doing online shopping because they donít like working at a computer and would rather talk to a sales man face to face. This is understandable if someone is purchasing good that is extremely expensive or customised to you.

There are also many advantages to shopping online, it is quicker and generally it is cheaper, there is a wider range of goods available. You arenít limited on choice, because you can shop around the world from the comfort of your home.

There are many reasons why people donít shop online, the main problems which people are afraid of is the idea of fraud, some one stealing you card number and spending you money online. However this is not the case as most online stores now use 128 bit encryption on, which means it would take years for some one to crack the encryption and get at your details. There are other reasons why people donít shop online which is nothing to do with the online part of it, some people still do not have access to computer and others do not have the skills to use the computer do to online shopping.


Depending on the site you use the process with alter slightly although the general idea is the same. For most sites you have to register, so after you have registered, you can start shopping online. You simply go onto the site, look around find what you want and add it to your basket or cart (depending on he site). There site have an easy method finding the products you want and on most sites there is a search facility. When you find the product you want to purchase you can view all the details about it and most of the time you can also read reviews about the product, which have been written by other customers. The sites also normally have a FAQ section which is frequently asked questions, so all those questions you would normally ask the sales assistant you can now find on the FAQ database. You can also normally view the availability of the product, once you have added it to your basket and have finished shopping you click on the ďcheckoutĒ button and then its time to pay for your basket. When you click on the checkout button you are normally prompted to login, after logging in you are asked for a series of information about your chosen method of paying, you name and the deliver address. Once you have entered all the details it asks you for it asks you to check and confirm your order. Then once it as been confirmed you normally get he option to print the invoice. And then once the order has been processed it will be dispatched to you, this process normally take about a day, so you normally have your good with you within a week.  The customer service is exactly the same as if you had brought it from a shop, you can still return the items and you can sill get after sales support you just e-mail them, instead of visiting your local shop. If you have problems and need to return the product then the company will normally arrange everything for it to be collected and also it is not charged to you and the company incur the fees for this.

There are many companies, which were traditionally high street shops that have also now moved on to the Internet. However there are also traders which are primarily on the Internet and do not operate from stores, example of this type of trading is ebuyer and these companies operate only off the Internet and from nowhere else. Some of the most well talked about services are:



Ebuyer and dabs are both retailers who only operate on the Internet, and both sell electrical goods.

On Tescoís website you can do your normally weekly shopping, as if you were walking around the shop.

Play is also a company, which only operates of the Internet; this store sells music and DVD any type of digital media and other forms of multimedia. Play also sells gadgets and other novelty items.

Ebay is a slightly different type of online store. Ebay is actually and online auction house. People who have registered with ebay can sell items that they no longer want to anyone and it is sold to the highest bidder with a percentage of the money going back to ebay. This is an extremely popular way of individual selling things online. However ebay can also be used by companies to sell their items, however instead of registering a user they register a company and they then use ebayís servers to host there online site off, and again they will be either a set fee or a percentage of profits back to ebay.