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Online Purchases and Shipping Costs - August 05, 2011

Online Purchases and Shipping Costs - August 05, 2011

Online Purchases and Shipping Costs
By Christian M Gillman

Buying products online can be a tricky business when it comes to comparing prices and quality of service between different vendors. There are different factors that come into play; things like shipping costs, customer service, and item quality. So when going about purchasing a product online; take the time to research your options and make a prepared choice.

Any examples used here will be from CCTV product purchases and item competition from surveillance equipment vendors and resellers; however these principles can be used and applied to most online retail stores.

Shipping Costs

Shipping can be the hidden cost that most people don't think about right away. Some sites will offer free shipping on items, but it is ground shipping which can sometimes take a week or so to get the item to you. Other company's will offer free shipping only when a purchase exceeds a certain dollar amount; and of course other sites won't offer free shipping at all, and it will calculated based upon weight and shipping method.

For the sites that don't offer free shipping; they will generally have the lower prices on comparable products so they look like a better buy, but really the end purchases will be higher as shipping is added on.

Customer Service

Some websites will have rock bottom prices on their products, but are you really getting a good deal? What if your item breaks or malfunctions? Will that company be around to help you troubleshoot and return your item if necessary?

A good way to judge this is through online reviews and more importantly by contacting the company beforehand to talk with someone and feel them out as to their capability and understanding towards what they are selling.

Item Quality

Is the site your purchasing from providing top quality merchandise, or is it a slew of Chinese knockoffs that will break shortly after purchase.

There is no easy way to determine this beyond receiving their product, but at that point it may be too late. A couple things you can do however is to Google the company and see if there are any reviews available. Also you can check to see if they have a physical location or a walk in store front. Even if it is not located anywhere near you; the presence of a physical location will help to legitimize the company and the quality of their products.

By doing a little research about a company you plan on purchasing from; you can help to make a better choice and quality purchase.

Christian M Gillman has worked in the surveillance industry for over 6 years. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter, learn more about surveillance, and find great products at

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