Items You Should Buy in the Physical Store Rather Than Online


Online shopping is usually viewed as the most convenient option. Simply select the products you want and have them delivered to your door, allowing you to avoid a trip to the store. However, there are some things that are often better shopped for in person. Here’s a look at six items you should buy in a physical store rather than online.

1. Shoes

In many cases, buying shoes is better done in a store than online. Even products from the same brand can fit surprisingly differently, so you can always rely on past experience with a shoe brand to determine whether one fits properly. Additionally, ill-fitting shoes can lead to a variety of issues, ranging from general foot discomfort to knee, hip, and back pain.

While most online stores that sell shoes do have generous return policies, going through the process means taking time out of your day. Boxing up the shoes and bringing them to a shipper isn’t convenient. Plus, you may need to wait for the return to process before you can get another size or receive a refund. As a result, your time is potentially better spent just shopping in a brick-and-mortar store.

2. Prescription Medication

There are many prescription drug delivery services that let you get your medication delivered directly to your door. However, there are risks with this approach.

During transit, you can’t guarantee what conditions the prescriptions are exposed to, such as whether there are incredibly high or low temperatures that may compromise the medication. Additionally, there’s always a chance a drug won’t arrive on time, which could be problematic if the delivery date isn’t ahead of when you run out of your current bottle.

While ordering non-temperature-sensitive medications that you don’t need daily could be fine, you’re better off getting critical prescriptions that are temperature sensitive in person. That ensures you have what you need and get it in good condition.

3. Televisions

Judging the quality of a television solely by shopping online is challenging. Generally, there’s no way to accurately assess the quality of the images or sound through your computer or smartphone. That’s because the images are impacted by the quality of your device. Plus, you can’t experience the sound directly through the television speakers if you’re shopping online.

There are also risks that come with shipping televisions. If one is dropped in transit, the damage may not get discovered until you unpackage the TV, leaving you to deal with a return process for a large item. Similarly, laying a television screen-side down can harm the screen, and there’s always a chance a shipper will do that at some point.

At a minimum, it’s best to figure out which television is the right one for you by heading to a physical store. Then, if you’re comfortable with the risks associated with shipping, you could order online if you prefer.

4. Produce

Produce is something that’s better purchased in person as people have unique preferences when it comes to what they want. If you allow a store employee or delivery worker to pick out your produce, they likely won’t check the condition beyond a quick glance or assess the ripeness level. For packaged produce, there’s also a chance they won’t look at the sell-by date either.

As a result, you may end up with produce that won’t last as long as you need it to or that otherwise meets your needs. By shopping in person, you get to pick out every piece, and that can lead to better results.

5. Meat

As with produce, store employees and delivery workers usually won’t carefully inspect any meat before they choose some for your order. That could mean sell-by dates that are about to pass or packages that are larger or smaller than you need. They may even overlook signs that there’s a quality issue, which isn’t ideal.

By shopping for meat in person, you’re in control. You can examine sell-by dates, get the right quantities, and otherwise ensure what you’re paying for is worth the cost.

6. Specific Cosmetics

If you’re buying specific cosmetics for the first time, you may want to head to a store. While eyeliners, nail polishes, and similar products aren’t as risky, getting the right match for foundations, concealers, and similar products where aligning them with your skin tone is critical isn’t easy if you’re shopping online.

You can’t use the product color you see on your screen and assume it matches what it looks like in real life, as screens can have slight color variations. As a result, unless you’re buying a product in a shade you’ve used before, it’s better to head to a store where you can make sure it’s a match before you make a purchase.

Do you know of any other items you should buy in the physical store rather than online? Have you purchased any of the products above online and want to tell others about the pros and cons you experienced? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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