Online Isn’t Always Cheaper

Some products that are cheaper when purchased offline

We understand if you do a majority of your shopping online, but there are times when you could be making a mistake. Some items, believe it or not, are still cheaper when purchased in brick-and-mortar stores. Here are some things you should consider purchasing in person, just like the old days.

  • Toys. If you’re little one is after the hottest new toy, try finding it offline. According to a report from USA Today, over the past five years, offline prices on toys have declined by 34 percent. Meanwhile, online prices on toys have dropped by 25 percent. The demise of Toys-R-Us played a major role in this trend. When the store discounted toys in a (ultimately) failed attempt to save itself, other stores were pressured to do the same. Another reason why toys are cheaper in stores is due to the cost of shipping. Online companies must find boxes to fit many different sizes of toys, therefore their shipping costs prevent them from dropping prices.
  • Perishable foods. Just like toys, the shipping costs of perishable goods — like milk and produce — keeps online prices higher than offline prices. Online prices for groceries are up by 3.4 percent over the past five years, compared to a 2.8 increase offline. It’s smart to buy perishable goods in person because you can ensure you’re getting a fresh product, and now you know you’re also saving some cash.
  • Non-prescription drugs. The next time you need over-the-counter medicine, head to the nearest drug store. Store prices have fallen 2 percent since 2014, while online prices have actually increased by 1.7 percent. One reason online prices are higher? People like the convenience factor. Just remember, before having your doc phone in a prescription, shop around. Over-the-counter drug prices can vary widely by location.
  • Chris O'Shea

    Chris O'Shea