Right when you got into your work zone, you realize you are out of office supplies. You need more staples, pens, and printing papers. What do you do?
By Eric Hewitt
Option one: walk across the streets for 10 minutes and spend another quarter an hour shopping for the items. Option two: order everything you need at the comfort of your office computer.
Unless you are just looking for a reason to get out of the office, you will order office supplies online. Your nearest bookshop probably accepts office delivery when you order items online. So, why have it any other way? Besides, shopping for office supplies offers a lot of advantages. Here are some of them.
Let’s do the math. If your nearest retailer is 5-minutes away from your workplace, you can just walk. But you will also spend another 5-10 minutes shopping for the items. If the place is busy, you have to queue for about 5 minutes. After that you walk for 5 minutes back to your office. That’s already 20 minutes wasted.
If the distance is further from your place and you must drive, you could spend up to 45 minutes. Compare that with ordering online where you only need 5 minutes to order the items. Buying items physically could also mean getting distracted along the way. At the store, you are tempted to buy supplies you probably don’t need. Depending on how important your work is, saving time by shopping online can be the difference between closing a deal and getting fired.
Many online retailers offer shoppers reward gifts to attract them to shop for a second time. At some retailers, you get points each time you make a purchase. The points can later be redeemed into cash or discounts.
In almost every retailer nowadays, online shoppers get free shipping when they spend a certain amount. The amount could be set at $25, meaning if you purchase items worth $25 or more your items are delivered free of charge.
By contrast, when you purchase anything at a physical retailer, you have to carry it home. If the supplies you need are bulky office chairs, shipping costs can be high. Online retailers are able to offer free shipping because they have low overhead costs.
Another way shopping online can help you save money is by comparing prices. Best reviews guide does the work easier for you. If you need computers, visit a comparison platform and check the items’ different prices. You can view how much you save with either retailer and make a more informed decision.
Land-based office supply retailers are limited by storage space. They can only hold so much. With online retailers, space is not a problem. You can shop from a list of dozens of furniture, electronics and every day-use supplies.
Many online merchants collaborate with manufacturers and suppliers to avoid storing any items. They will list items on their websites. When you make a purchase, the retailer arranges for delivery from the suppliers. That’s how drop shipping works. And Amazon sells 50% of their items that way.
When you consider there are hundreds of retailers online, the only limitation will be your time. To avoid getting overwhelmed by the wide variety, make a list of the exact type of items you need. It will be easier to sort through online catalogs and make a final buying decision.
Avoid the Crowds
If you hate shopping in crowded malls like a lot of people do, shop online. Avoid the hassles of finding parking spots. There is no room for awkward looks from shoppers for no reason. You don’t get to queue or run with all sorts of people.
If it’s office supplies you need, the Internet is full of retailers that specialize in selling office supplies. With an Internet-connected laptop, you don’t need anyone else to shop. You can order items at the middle of the night or in a Sunday afternoon. Shopping online is that convenient.
Avoid Impulse Buying
Malls arrange items the way they do for a reason. They want customers to buy what they need and things they don’t necessarily need. Popularly known as impulse buying, most can’t help buying extra items at physical retailers.
Physical retailers hire professionals to help them design store layouts and shelve products in a way customers are enticed to spend more. With online shopping, impulse buying is not a thing. When buying supplies at specialized merchants, you are able to stick to your budget because you only view the items you need.
Of course, some people are still tempted to stretch their budgets while buying products online. But it’s easier to control online impulse buying versus when purchasing the same products at a physical retailer.
These days, malls are much safer than they were a few decades ago. You can shop using your credit cards and stick to the large retailers for safety reasons. But even then, your safety isn’t always guaranteed when you have to walk through crowded malls. Thieves target credit cards or your purchases, sometimes stealing from you right at the mall’s gates.
Buying online isn’t 100% safer either. But when security protocols are observed, it’s much safer than shopping at physical retailers. Experts advise that you shop at reputable online shops alone. Don’t give out your credit card number to anyone and make purchases on retailers that offer money-back guarantees.
If the supplies turn out to have defects, you can return them easily. You can also get warranties that last up to one year if the products in question are meant to last for years.
Not only is it worth it to shop for office supplies online but it’s better in every way than shopping at physical retailers. You save time and money. It’s more convenient and there is a much wider variety of supplies than when you depend on a single land-based retailer.
If you have security concerns about shopping online, stick to the large merchants. Thousands of people shop on Amazon and other well-known companies every day. If anything goes wrong with your order, they are ever willing to help you sort the issues.
Eric Hewitt is the author of Bestreviews.guide. He is a content writer for more than 5 years and has experience in SEO and social marketing. @BestReviewsGuid