3 Reasons to Stop Shopping Online for Good

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KEY POINTS

  • With the convenience of shopping from your home 24/7, emotional shopping and impulse purchases can quickly lead you into debt.
  • Credit card scams are becoming increasingly sophisticated, increasing the risk of identity theft and fraud when shopping online.
  • It is crucial to be mindful of your purchases, set a budget, and shop from reputable retailers; however, the best option may be to quit online shopping until you get your personal finances in order.

Online shopping has become more and more popular in recent years, and it's easy to see why. It's convenient, quick, and often offers a wider range of products than traditional brick-and-mortar stores. While online shopping is convenient, there are also reasons why you may want to reconsider it. If you are addicted to online shopping and are constantly in debt, it may be time to give your credit cards a rest until you get your personal finances in order.

Growth of online shopping

E-commerce exploded due to the pandemic and the trend is expected to continue. In 2021, it accounted for $5.2 trillion U.S. dollars worldwide, making up nearly 19% of all retail sales. By 2026, online shopping is expected to make up close to a quarter of total global retail sales, reaching $8.1 trillion dollars, a growth of 56%.

The biggest advantage of online shopping is its convenience. You can shop from the comfort of your own home, without having to worry about parking, standing in line, or carrying heavy bags. You can also shop at any time of the day or night, and since online retailers are available 24/7, you don't have to worry about store closing times.

Another advantage of online shopping is the vast selection of products available. You can buy items from all over the world, and you are not limited to the stock of a single store. Additionally, you can compare prices and features of products from multiple retailers, which is easier than physically visiting different stores. But these advantages come with some downsides. Here are three reasons why you should stop shopping online.

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1. Online shopping can be addictive

The ease of shopping online can lead to impulsiveness and addictive behavior. Shopping is meant to be a utility, not a hobby. It's easy to spend hours browsing online stores looking for the best deals or just refreshing the page to see if a product has gone on sale. These habits can quickly become addictive, leading to a negative impact on your mental health and checking account.

Why is it so addictive? Shopping is often seen as a form of therapy, where it makes us feel good about ourselves. Buying that item can provide a quick mood boost by releasing dopamine in our brains. This makes us feel pleasure and happiness. Plus, we imagine a better future by buying new things, even if it's just a temporary sense of security. Unfortunately, this only provides a short-term boost and those good feelings quickly fade away.

That is why we quickly move on to the next item we want to buy. Before you know it, you're left with a purchase that you don't really need and a huge dent in your savings account. The short-term boost can result in long-term debt, which can be disastrous for your finances.

2. You can get further into debt

One of the main drawbacks of online shopping is its potential to put you into debt quickly. The convenience of online shopping can sometimes make you overspend, as it's easy to add items to your cart without realizing how much you're spending. One-click purchase options and product suggestions, as well as social media influencers, can cause you to make impulse buys, quickly increasing your totals.

With credit card interest rates at an all-time high, this can add to your debt. If you can't pay off your card each month, then this will cause debt to pile up fast, leading to a vicious cycle of borrowing money and struggling to pay it back.

3. There is a higher chance of identity theft

Online shopping is convenient, but it comes with a risk of identity theft and fraud. When you shop online, you are sharing your personal and financial information with unknown parties. Cybercriminals can access your credit card information, steal your identity, and leave you with significant financial losses.

If you shop from unreliable websites or use public wifi, hackers can intrude your account and steal your personal information. Sometimes, you might end up purchasing counterfeit products or fall for attractive but fraudulent schemes that can cost you a lot of money.

What you should do instead

Online shopping can be a convenient and enjoyable experience, but it also has some risks. It is important to be mindful of your purchases and make sure they align with your values and needs. It is important to set a budget for yourself and stick to it; otherwise, you might find yourself with a hefty credit card bill.

Emotional spending and impulsive purchases become easier to succumb to when you're shopping online. If it is an addiction that is difficult to break, then stopping online shopping may be the best option. You can take better control of your spending habits by also setting limits on your online shopping. Consider deleting saved payment information from online retailers and only shopping with a predetermined list of items. By taking these simple steps, you can avoid the pitfalls of emotional spending and start working towards a healthier financial future.

While there are certainly advantages and perks to shopping online, there are also compelling reasons to consider breaking the habit altogether. Remember, just because something can be bought online doesn't mean it should be.

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