School supplies: what are the advantages and disadvantages of online shopping?

School supplies: what are the advantages and disadvantages of online shopping?

We are on the eve of the start of a new school year and, since classes returned to their normal post-pandemic course, the traditional rush to buy school supplies mobilizes parents, students and teachers. And, with so many accumulated expenses from commemorative dates such as Christmas and New Year, in addition to taxes such as IPVA and IPTU, the question remains: is it worth making online purchases to save time and money?

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According to data from Procon-SP, in 2022 there was a cost increase of more than 15% in school items, compared to the previous year. And, this season, the Consumer Defense agency found a 519% variation in some items on the school supplies list. Using technology can help save money.

“The main tip for the consumer is to do a lot of research, as this type of product tends to have a lot of price variation”, recommends Rodrigo Garcia, executive director of Petina Soluções Digitais, who recommends purchasing products through marketplaces.

Check out some advantages pointed out by the expert:

Ease of price search

One of the biggest advantages of online shopping is being able to search without having to visit every physical store, which saves time and effort. With just one click, you can view a wide variety of options for the same product and compare prices.

“There are tools that facilitate the comparison of values. This search must be done with at least three other portals, so that it is possible to find a good deal,” says Garcia.

Escape from crowded stationery stores

January is the month when stores and stationery stores receive a greater flow of customers, and, with so many people looking for the same items, returning home with a complete list of materials can be a very stressful task.

”The main point of marketplaces is practicality. Not having to face queues and crowded stores contributes to the customer’s shopping experience, who can choose items calmly”, explains Garcia.

Differentiated cost-benefit

Marketplaces offer discount coupons and other advantages, based on the number of deals they carry out during the year; in addition to offering special promotions for the period. This can all reduce the total purchase price.

“Getting free shipping or a discount on the product you want is great, so I recommend negotiating online. In addition to not having to leave the house and spend money on transport, the customer can save time and save money in several ways”, advises the executive director.

Avoid unnecessary expenses

When shopping in physical stores, it is normal for children to want to participate in the moment, to choose the materials. The establishments always have several options for the same product, and this ends up generating a desire to buy what is more attractive in the eyes of children, and not what is more affordable.

“By shopping on marketplaces, you don’t spend on unnecessary things, you only buy what is really needed for the school year. It is possible to filter in the application itself for cheaper items that are indispensable”, he concludes.

Disadvantages of shopping for school supplies on e-commerce

However, there are also some disadvantages in buying school supplies online, which should be weighed when choosing to purchase via e-commerce.

Lack of testing and observation of the right product

This goes for everything we buy online: what we see in photos or illustrations on marketplaces does not always match the real product. Therefore, you must always be aware of the exact name, size, model and other information about the item you are buying.

You don’t have the product in your hands, like in the physical store, to test it and see if it’s what’s on the list of school supplies — “live” it’s also easier to choose a substitute or a more suitable product for each person . Therefore, be aware of the characteristics of each item before closing the purchase.

Delivery time

When you go to a physical store, you already leave with the bag with all the items you went to pick up. It is common to buy objects in different marketplaces on the web, and this can generate even more difference in delivery time.

It is important to observe whether the store has a ready-to-delivery service and the deadline for the order to arrive at your address, as well as whether there is the possibility of picking up the item at the counter of a physical unit. If the items can only be shipped within a few days, then you’ll want to make sure they don’t arrive after school starts.

Mistakes and Returns

As with everything we buy online, it is possible that there are mistakes and requests for returns, whether due to human errors, both by the user and by the retailers themselves, or by the system. Therefore, it is worth remembering that there is a possibility that this will happen and you will have to dedicate yourself a little to get what you initially asked for.

Scams and Frauds

Every period in which there is great movement in online commerce, the incidences of fraud and scams increase. We’ve already written an article just about this on FreeGameGuide, so it’s worth alerting consumers again about “unmissable promotions” and noting the details about the company and the page you’re visiting to make the purchase — it’s always worth searching the web if you really are authentic or of reliable origin.