Fangirl Correspondent: Online Shopping

Some are addicted to it, others swear by it, while a few remain mildly opposed to the idea. Online shopping is fast becoming the go-to option for when you want new clothes, shoes, DVDs, technology, art work, homewares, or even a pizza. You might say that it’s only contributing to the idea that Gen Y is one of the laziest generations to exist, but personally I like to consider it a way of making life a much more efficient process. Through the click of a button, you can be welcomed into a whole new world of free shipping and end of season sales. Gone are the days where you actually have to get up and leave the house to buy a new outfit for that special occasion – now you can make a selection from the comfort of your couch, without even having to go through that sometimes awful process of trying things on. There’s something much more satisfying, for me, about shopping online than there is with shopping in person. Perhaps it’s the fact that I can purchase something and then completely forget about it, only to be pleasantly surprised when a package (or several) arrive in the mail a couple of weeks later (is it just me or is receiving mail one of the most exciting things ever?). It’s also a really fun thing to do when you may or may not be procrastinating from finishing that uni assignment. Find yourself something nice on ASOS and make a promise to yourself that you can buy it once the assignment is finished. It’s a productive motivation method, trust me. For uni students, online shopping can be a bit of a saviour. Whether it’s a student discount on sites like ASOS, or purchasing your textbooks at prices that don’t include the sacrifice of your first born child, or even finding unique, only-available-online things (like these skirts … I am so tempted, you have no idea), online shopping appeals to something at the core of the uni student psyche- being affordable (or dirt cheap, depending on what your standards of “affordable” are). Online shopping also provides opportunities for businesses to expand into the digital environment, and it also enables some traders that may otherwise have not been able to provide goods and services to start their businesses as online stores, with websites such as Etsy. Online shopping may be responsible for the dying retail trade, but I reckon it’s actually pretty innovative. Also, being in Australia may not be the best thing when it comes to shipping costs (free shipping is where it’s at, people!), but you do get that added benefit of end of season sales happening just before we’re about to start that particular season, so that’s nice. Reputations online are becoming as important as reputations in real life, so if you do your research well enough you should be able to find the thing you want at a reasonable price, from a website with a decent returns policy and a good service history. If a few people aren’t happy with their online shopping experience, you can assume that at some point they may very well take to the internet to complain about it. Seriously though, is there anything you can’t buy online? Books, clothes, concert tickets, pieces of toast that have been half-eaten by a member of One Direction … As for recommendations, I’m a fan of ASOS and the Book Depository. My friends on Twitter

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and Facebook also recommend Fishpond, NastyGal, Market HQ, Urban Outfitters and Ghanda, amongst many, many others. Do you have any favourite online stores? Or any online shopping horror stories? Hit me up in the comments and let me know! Kara Gibbons


Catalyst has been the student publication of RMIT University since 1944. We may be older than your parents but we’re still going strong!

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