Other online shopping options


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Other online shopping options

A couple choose items on an online shopping website.

What's coming up

In this activity we'll look at how you can shop at online stores. These are places where you can buy, but not sell, and each is usually run by one retailer.

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You can buy clothes, books, tickets, groceries and more online.

What can I buy online?

You can buy almost anything online, mostly goods and but also some services. Some examples of what you can buy online include:

  • clothes
  • pharmacy items
  • movie tickets
  • flights
  • books
  • insurance
  • groceries, including fresh fruit and vegetables.

Is it a good idea to buy groceries online?

You can search for groceries online by category, aisle, and brand, and, if you set up an account with the grocery website, you can save frequently bought items to a list for future shops. Fresh fruit and vegetables, plus some deli items are selected for you by in-store staff members too.

If you're not happy with the quality when your order is delivered, you let the grocery store know and you will usually receive a credit for your next order.

However, do keep a check the terms and conditions of any online retailer, since they may change their terms from time to time.

Groceries can be ordered online for home delivery.
There can be savings when shopping online if you are flexible with delivery dates or have a Senior's Card.

Tips to save money with online groceries

While you can save time and hassle with home delivered groceries, there is usually a delivery fee. But fees vary according by day of week, and there's a Seniors Card holder discount at some stores. Some stores also offer free delivery if you spend over a certain amount, or you can avoid fees by ordering online and picking up the groceries yourself.

Online stores are in competition with each other for your business, so it pays to keep an eye on these and any other special offers that pop up from time to time.

What are the pros and cons of online shopping?

Let's look at the advantages and disadvantages for shopping online. First, the advantages include:

  • You can shop when it suits you, even when the shops are closed.
  • There's often a wider range of items to choose from.
  • You can take your time comparing prices between stores.
  • Items can be delivered direct to your door.
There are many advantages for shopping online.

What are the disadvantages?

Whilst shopping online can be very convenient and time-saving, there are some disadvantages to keep in mind, such as:

  • You can't try clothing or footwear on before you order them.
  • You can't touch or feel items before you buy them.
  • While many places allow returns, it can be inconvenient and time-consuming to organise this.
  • There may be fees associated with delivery or returns.
  • It may take days or longer for your purchase to arrive.
There are some disadvantages to shopping online that should be considered too.
When shopping online, it pays to use trusted websites and use methods of payment that give you the most protection, like PayPal.

Is online shopping safe?

Online shopping is safe when you buy from trusted websites, and especially Australian-based websites where Australian consumer protection laws can be enforced.

Many stores have payment systems, such as PayPal, that help protect transactions made online, and credit card companies also have rules designed to keep you safe. We will take a closer look at safety for online purchases in the upcoming How to pay online course.

An icon of a padlock

eSafety Tip

Remember, you should only ever use websites with secure connections, especially when buying goods online. Secure website connections protect your personal details from being stolen by encrypting the data sent to and from the site, and on most browsers, will have a padlock next to their web address in the address bar. The address of an encrypted website will also start with https:// rather than just http://.

Where can I learn more

To learn more about online shopping, including payment methods, delivery options and how to manage problems, we recommend you complete the upcoming How to pay online, How to buy online and How to sell online courses in this topic.

Two college mortarboards
A lady browses an online store from home, using her laptop computer.

Well done!

This is the end of the Other online shopping options activity.

Next up, if you have registered and are logged into the Be Connected website, you'll now be able to take a short quiz to finish the Buying and Selling online overview course. If you're not registered, you are now at the end of the course.