I am officially back to regular programming…at least for now. :)
Remember my worries about wondering what to do after deciding to become a stay-at-home mom? The Great One above heard me (or He probably reads my blog too) and outpouring of blessings came over to us. I have never been busier at home, picking up the Little Jedi from school, organizing stuff at home (more on these on succeeding posts) and baking (on this too!).
It has even come to the point where my plan to do some Christmas shopping has taken a back seat. Imagine that? Shopping? At the back seat?! I have done some shopping for friends and relatives during the annual Ayala Alabang Bazaar, but then realized I still have people on my list that I need to have gifts for and not to mention something for me and my hubby as well. I realized that have the pleasantly familiar feeling of cramming for Christmas gifts sans the corporate life to blame.
This is the first time and the first year I have tried doing online shopping. Honestly, online shopping intimidated me just like anything that has to do with technology. Yes, I may be a nerd but I am not a techie person. My initial reason for resorting to online shopping is the fact that shopping in malls is too inconvenient for me now. Whilst I haven’t bought a lot through this medium yet, I realized how convenient it is to make purchases from online stores and sellers. You literally click and pay! My apologies if I sound prehistoric but this is the first time for me shop online. My husband is a fan and now I understand why.
It is convenient.
Have you seen, or worse, have experienced the pandemonium of traffic in Metro Manila these days? Mike tells me about it when he gets home. My sister tells me of a two to three-hour waiting time for shuttle vans every day. Noli de Castro tell me about it during the nightly news, and Ted Failon shares his commentary about the traffic getting worse and worse as Christmas draws in closer in the morning. When I was still working, I would let the traffic pass by staying in the malls and doing my rush shopping until 11 PM. Although the traffic is still bad during this hour, at least I have done something “productive” by marking items off my list. Online shopping is just so convenient. I open the browser, choose a site, pick an item, pay, and wait for the delivery one or two days after. No traffic, no hassle.
It’s a great shopping option for busy or pregnant women.
Little Peanut turned 31 weeks this week and I AM HUGE. Not to mention my swelling feet and heavy belly. Have you seen the movie Big Hero 6? If you have, then you know Baymax. If you haven’t, look it up. Baymax looks like this:
…and yep, that’s how I look and feel right now.
That’s the reason why going to the malls is not the most efficient way to do shopping for me right now. I still like going to malls but I need to sit and rest every thirty minutes. That means I will spend hours looking for a few items to buy unless I can find everything in one store. I realized that online shopping offers you that. You either find a shop that sells everything you need or you can open different tabs and browse several stores at a time. It’s like teleporting from one store to another. Lol.
Some of the best bargains are sold online.
I am actually surprised that there are a lot of bargain items selling online. I know because I have compared it to same or similar items from physical stores. One of things that I do when I am doing mall shopping is before I make a purchase I go check out different store to compare prices and options. My hubby hates that and even if I want to do it now, I don’t think my aching pelvis and feet will agree. Since I can open different online stores at a time, I can also compare prices easier so I get the best deals. I have checked out Zalora Philippines for nice ballet flats and I have found some that are on sale, reasonable priced, and some that I am willing to shell out a little bit more because I lurve the design! Find different styles of ballet flats at http://www.zalora.com.ph/women/shoes/flats/ballet.
A lot of unique items are sold online.
One of the first items I bought online are cookie cutters. Do you know how difficult it is to look for cookie cutters in stores? I am not talking about the common shapes of cookie cutters. I am talking about unique shapes that are usually bought in the US like poodles or football helmets or Star Wars themed cookie cutters. I was actually able to buy some of the cutters that I have been looking for online. There are already sellers and resellers of not just cookie cutters but baking tools in general. Bake Et Al and Happy Cakerista are two online stores that sell and deliver baking tools.
I also found specialty stores online. Right now I am looking at some maternity, nursing and post-partum apparel. I am happy to share that I have found them through Elin.PH and Urban Essentials. Elin offers maternity and nursing wear. They recently released mother-daughter apparel. Since I am having a baby boy again, I’m thinking of giving these sets to friends with daughters. I hope Elin will also release a mom-son set. :)
I get to talk to the sellers/entrepreneurs themselves.
I never liked it when I inquire a sales person about a product only to get an “I don’t know” for an answer. No offense to the sales people but during my training days, one important discipline I shared with my sales trainees is to know the products and services that they offer. That’s one of the key factors to a successful sale. What I like about online sellers is that a lot of them spend time talking to their customers, explaining the product/service, process of payment, options, availability of products and even ask for suggestions. I am highly satisfied if my inquiries are answered and clarified.
I honestly didn’t buy a lot from the Ayala Alabang Bazaar but I took home a LOT of calling cards. I have started visiting the sellers’ online shops and asked about their products. I have already made a list of what I will be buying from them that is just not just for gifts or for the holiday season but even after Christmas. One of the online seller that I have reached out to is Craft Carrot. They sell crafting tools and even post crafting workshops on their Facebook page.
Online buying has its pros and cons. I have mentioned the pros, now I’ll mention some of the things that I felt cannot be replaced by the experience of going to a physical store.
Some items don’t fit.
Some items like shoes or clothes cannot be fitted. If you are the type of person who has a unique body type or shoe size, buying from online stores may not be the best option for you. The clothes may not fit you perfectly the way you imagined it. Look for online shops that provide size reference like Elin.Ph.
Some items doesn’t meet your expectations
It is best to reach out to the sellers and clarify the item’s specifications before deciding to purchase them. Sizes and other specifications may be different from what you expect. This is the reason why going to bazaars where online sellers participate is also a good idea if you have the time. You can check out the actual item if you are not sure on how they look. You could do it the other way around too. If you have seen an item in a store, you may want to check out the internet if there are online sellers/shops that sell them at a bargain price.
There will be fraud sellers online
I have read a lot of articles featuring fraud online sellers. Just be extra cautious. If you can get feedback from other buyers, that would be great too. I also ask for referral from friends or family who have experienced buying products and items from online shops. It is also a good idea to shop from well-known online stores like Zalora Philippines. They guarantee delivery of products once purchase is made by the buyers. This way, you know you will receive the item that you bought from them.
I will still like the thrill of going to malls and doing my shopping on foot but now I have new respect for online stores and online shopping. I apologize to all online buyers thinking they are just too lazy to go to malls and buy the items that they need not knowing the many benefits and huge convenience online shopping is giving them. So if you are like me, who can’t go out and buy gifts for friends and for myself, you have a few more days left to do some online shopping.
Happy Holidays and happy shopping!