Craft Shopping on the Internet can be quite fun and often quite financially rewarding. You can look around many more sites quicker (and warmer) than you could shops and therefore compare a lot more prices. Internet companies (or companies with an internet site) also seem to have more special offers, often Internet only. This is probably due to the fact it is easier and cheaper to advertise a special offer on the Internet rather than off it for example on TV.
Most of the “issues” about shopping on the internet are to do with trust and safety however there are steps you can take to mitigate these.
Finding a Site / Product.
Shopping Comparison Sites.
These have become very popular over the last few years and they certainly do allow you to search through products quickly. The main drawbacks with these sites are they don’t seem to have may craft products on them and quite often you haven’t heard of the shops which come up. (although there are some quite well-known shops on them as well). A few popular sites are listed below –
Craft Shopping on the Internet: Google Product Search.
Whilst Google Product search can be good it does suffer from the same issues as the shopping comparison sites. A lack of Craft products and many shops / sites you haven’t heard of.
Craft Shopping on the Internet: Review Sites.
There are many sites which review other sites and / or individual products. The reviews are written by “customers” but herein lies one of the problems. We obviously have disgruntled customers and happy customers. We also have site owners trying to improve their own ratings and competitors trying to mark them down. Worth a look but take some of what you read with a pinch of salt.
This has to be, by far, the best way to find shops and products. Even if you aren’t a member of a Craft Forum you can still look and search through them. If you are member then you are even better off because in many forums you will be able to ask others for their ideas. Remember it will be down to a forums rules if you can do this or not. Normally if a forum is attached to a specific shop then you wont be allowed to mention other shops. There are a few exceptions where the forum is a community site and this will be allowed.
Please see our separate article with more advice of how to shop safely.
Craft Shopping on the Internet.
Authored By: Bob Prentice.