Ellis and Elliott

Leeanna Ellis and Elizabeth Elliott

Get your credit cards ready.

Malls and other shopping venues are reopening and sale prices are on their way. Or sit in front of your computer screen with a cup of coffee and add to that virtual cart.

Which way of shopping do you prefer? Have you always preferred wandering the aisles, finding bargains and relishing the full bags of goods you bring home?

Or do you think online shopping is the best where one can shop in your pajamas and not worry about fixing your hair and looking presentable?

Managing Editor Leeanna Ellis and Assistant Editor Elizabeth Elliott debate.

Ellis: I'd rather shop in stores

In the last two months, I've done more online shopping than I have in the last two years.

As malls and stores closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, I found myself searching the websites of the stores I frequent to add to my wardrobe. But I'd much rather shop in person than from behind my computer screen. I need an actual cart, not a virtual one.

I know there are people that swear by online shopping. My own mother subscribes to one of those monthly clothing subscription boxes. But I need to see the clothes, to try them on and see how they fit.

In the last two months, I've ordered several new shirts and a pair of capri pants for spring and summer. I feel I've been lucky so far in that the clothes have fit and I actually liked them. It's hard to get a feel for what a shirt will look like as you peruse the online store. I've been burned a couple of times shopping online with wrong sizes or styles that just didn't work.

I also refuse to buy shoes online. They have to be tried on. How else will I know I like them and they fit?

Shopping in the store is more than just wanting to make sure you've got the right fit. Shopping is like a game. It's the hunt to find that perfect outfit. Will you find what you are looking for or will you leave the store empty handed?

It can also be relaxing. There have been plenty of Saturdays I've spent with my mother-in-law just walking through the mall, never buying a thing, but enjoying the time just the same. You can't get that from a computer.

Elliott: Nothing beats online shopping

It didn't take a pandemic quarantine to remind me how amazing online shopping can be. I already did some, but I find the selection of products is so much better when you have the option to shop online. It's amazing how much you can compare prices on items you need and find so many products you shouldn't even think about needing.

Shopping online can give a sense that one is supporting more businesses than are available in your area, especially if you live in a small town where items aren't as easily accessible in the local market. 

Shop locally, if you are able, but also consider small businesses that sell online. They might even be run by local people. 

Sites like Amazon and Etsy can connect you to good quality and unique items. 

I tend to look first at Amazon and use it as a shopping list. Then, I can go to other websites or type in the item in Google and see if a better deal is available from a smaller store. 

I've been trying to consider product reviews in what I follow through with purchasing online. You can't find those product reviews in stores. No one has a sign in their store that says, "Buy Me" with a side sign that says "One star. Buy something else." 

Shopping online means not having to compete in stores for bargains. Remember the days of rain checks and having to rush to stores early enough to get a hard-to-find sale item? By online shopping, if one doesn't find it as advertised there is bound to be another option for the same price or even greater. 

Besides, there's plenty of online coupons for use. 

One just has to be careful about having packages shipped or finding a safe place to have them shipped to. I have had a few packages come up missing if I send them to my house. But there are ways to get around that if having them mailed to your office or use an Amazon locker of some sort. 

Click. Shop. Buy.

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