NEW YORK (MainStreet) — There are two very good reasons why online retail sales consistently outgrow traditional every year: Shopping online is more convenient and typically much less expensive. For instance, consumer electronics from cameras to smartphones can usually be had for cheaper online, books used or new (or electronic) are usually priced more cheaply at Amazon than in a big bookstore and even shoes tend to be cheaper online now that most of the online shoe retailers offer free shipping.
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“Whether it’s a big online retailer or a smaller one, the reality is that most things are going to be a much better price online,” says Ken Wisnefski, founder of WebiMax, an online marketing firm.
Most, but not all.
The convenience of ordering a product online and shipping it to your home comes at a cost, though, because you’ll often have to pay shipping and handling fees that can wipe out any price advantage an online merchant might have. And while that’s somewhat offset by a lack of sales tax for online-only merchants, states are increasingly passing laws aimed at collecting sales tax from such retailers. And even aside from these ancillary costs, there are a few classes of products that can be found at a lower price in a physical store for several reasons. We spoke to shopping experts to find out which products you should drive to the store to buy.