Monday, May 20th, 2013

Temptalia Asks You


Do you prefer to shop in store or online? No matter your access, what would be your preference?

Temptalia's AnswerI actually like shopping online quite a bit, because there’s no pressure, you can partake in sales (so few are in-store!), read reviews while you’re shopping with ease, and if you need to, return without having to deal with any sales associate.

Do you have a question idea? Submit yours here.

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

Comments that include advertisements, self-promotion, insults, etc. may be in violation of our comment policy and subject to deletion. Please see our comment policy for more information.

60 thoughts on “Do you prefer to shop in store or online?

  1. Avatar of Amy xamyx

    Definitely in-store. I just feel more respected as a consumer when a brand/company make it possible for me to see the product for myself, so I can make an informed decision. I also like to have a product in my hands as soon as I part with my payment, and I tend to actually buy less impulsively. If I can’t find it in-store, I most likely won’t buy it.

  2. Safyre

    A would say it depends on what I’m buying/ a bit of both. For instance, if I’m buying clothes I’d really rather do it in person because I’m in the process of losing weight and have a real unconventional body shape so it’s imperative for me to try things on to see how/if they fit.
    Accessories could go either way.
    With makeup it’s a toss-up. I like to see it and play with it before I buy it because that really impacts how I feel about it. That said, the lighting in makeup stores could be disastrous and I like the fact that, when you order online, your things are shipped from a warehouse where most things lay vacuum sealed or… well… sealed. Chances are, ain’t nobody messing with your stuff. When you buy things from a store that don’t come sealed to begin with it’s always a toss-up whether someone’s had a play with the product before you get your fingers on it.

  3. I prefer to buy in store as i could see how the product feel and look like before i buy it. But nowadays i spent more buying online as i cant find the products that i want in my city.

    • genevea

      I agree, Nordstrom allows you to order on-line and pick up in the store the same day, but living in the Midwest there are a lot of items that are not in my local store.

  4. Definitely on-line. It has it’s drawbacks such as not being able to try things out in person, but I don’t deal well with pushy cosmetic sales associates…. and I have met very few that I wouldn’t group into that category. When I was younger, I was a total pushover. I’d often allow them to talk me into purchasing something that I really didn’t want. Now however, I feel I go to the other extreme sometimes…. I can be a bit impertinent just to get them to leave me alone. As yet, I haven’t found a way to get the results I want (to shop in peace), while still seaming obliging, so I try to avoid the in-store experience as much as possible.

  5. I really enjoy both. For non makeup items, I probably prefer online shopping though. For makeup shopping, I really like to gather info for products online. (reading reviews, comparing similar products etc.) Sometimes after doing my “research,” I’m ready to order. Although, more times than not, this “research” helps make my in store experience more targeted and informed. With makeup, I really like to touch and feel the product, especially if it’s something new to me. If repurchasing a product, online ordering is great!

  6. Hmmm well if I am going to purchase skin care, hair care and other beauty products, then it will be online :) But sometimes in stores (While doing makeup shopping because there is a risk of getting wrong shades)

  7. I much prefer to shop online, partly since as an introvert, it physically tires me out to interact with people, especially in person. Shopping for make-up is not a necessity for me, it’s something I do for fun first and foremost, and as such, I prefer to make myself feel as comfortable as possible while doing so.

  8. Stacey

    Store. Store. Store. I like to inspect the item before I buy. I like my makeup pristine…box included to be pristine when I get it even if I am going to “wear” that makeup. I only will buy online if and only store purchase is not possible or I am getting a replacement or it is on sale.

    Amazon may be an exception to books and other products….

    I am from the old era as I call it. I relish going to a store to buy a product. When I was a teenager, it was awe and excitement for me to sneak away from the watchful eyes of those who took care of me. I did not live far away from the department store or drugstores, within walking distance in the city. So I quickly ran to the store and back home with my purchase before someone would call the landline to check if I got home from school. The sales people did not bother me. To this day, 30 plus years later, I dont shop as much, but I do like getting a purchase from a store. Online shopping does not bring in the same kind of adrenaline.

  9. Avatar of Kat Kat

    I prefer to purchase online- its so much easier and hassle free, for me personally anyway. I live and work in the middle of nowhere, so getting to a decent make up counter is hard. returning is easy and most of the time free.

    If I am looking to buy something I have never tried before, and its super pricey, I will go in store to try it first.

  10. Codename Duchess

    For cosmetics? In store definitely. I tend to browse online, but buy in person. Going in person gives me the opportunity to try stuff out myself AND it saves me from worrying about heat sensitive makeup items (like lipstick!) sitting on my hot porch all day until I get home.

    I also worry about the effect online shopping has on the local economy. Yes, I know that when I shop at big chains most of the profits get taken out of my community anyway, but it’s worrying when you hear about brick and mortar retail establishments shutting down due to online competition. Physical stores employ more people than online businesses do, and I’d like those people to keep their jobs.

    Plus, I live a market where shops like Sephora are slow to arrive. If people like me don’t frequent them once they get here, they’ll be less likely to expand their selection in my store to include more brands. And similar businesses that I’d also really like to see come here won’t be so eager to set up shop if they see us as a weak retail market. I have a vested interest as a consumer in seeing my brick and mortal retailers thrive.

  11. Definitely in-store. This applies to clothing and shoes as much as to makeup. With makeup, I like to be able to see how the product really looks and, more importantly, looks on ME, how it applies, whether I have dupes (lately I’ve been taking along products I suspect might be dupes so I can try them side-by-side). I’ve avoided costly mistakes this way (costly not just for me but also for consumers in general, since returned makeup items are destroyed and the cost eventually passed on to all of us, unlike a sweater or dress, which can be returned to the shelves). And I have never understood how someone can buy shoes on-line (unless you’ve tried the exact shoe in-store). I wear a size 6 but in some shoes, a 5 1/2 is perfect; in others, I need a 6 1/2 or even a 7.

  12. when it comes to clothes it is in-store only but for cosmetics and accessories online shopping just widens the possibilities – I can order from anywhere across the globe. And using my credit card I don’t feel guilty about the amount I spend, handing out cash hurts if the bill is huge :)

  13. Avatar of Amelie Amy

    ONLINE, because i am from Argentina and here, the only brands are: MAC, Givenchy, Guerlain, Clinic, Estee Lauder, Dior, Lancome.
    I always buy by internet brands like benefit, too faced, armani, channel, fyrinnae, urban decay.
    Besides the prices are very low by internet. In Argentina cosmetics are very expensive

  14. Avatar of Kathryn KEG

    no question-online!…..I like to see, and experiment , with the products in the store, but then buy online. I don’t live super close to any big stores-so that factors into my decision as well.

  15. Yellowlantern

    I like to look at and test products in store to verify that the color and texture are what I want.

    When it comes to actually buying though I prefer to do that online since there is less chance that a product has been tampered with. Not an issue at a department store, but sometimes people have messed with the products at Sephora. And because there are more sales online than in store like you said.

  16. For busy people, like me, it is really convenient to shop online. There are a lot of affordable options and you can easily compare prices and quality of the products, which is really good. Shipping items today is not complicated compared before. It is very easy but it is also nice to shop in malls or stores if you have the time.

  17. Kristin

    For me, I prefer to shop online. Better selection, more privacy, and I can do it whenever, wherever.

  18. Carrie

    Depends.

    If it’s a product I already use, or a product I know I shouldn’t have any issues with then I’m perfectly happy buying online. But if it is something new to me, I really do prefer shopping online. I like swatching on my own skin, or holding that brush in my own hands. I hate having to do returns my mail because of how long your money gets tied up. I rather just buy something good in the first place :)

  19. Definitely on-line. I’m a big fan of wishlists as a way to cut down on impulse purchases. I save many items to a wishlist then revisit that list days, weeks, sometimes months later, gradually paring down the list bit by bit until I’ve isolated the products which are most important to me. I will also save items to a wishlist to take advantage of a sale, free shipping promos, etc.. In person, I tend to buy far more spontaneously. On-line, I have the luxury of pondering for awhile to see if that initial flush of excitement still holds after the fact.. LE products are really annoying in this respect…

    • I get really overwhelmed in person and end up buying nothing or more than I wanted (and stuff that was never on my list to begin with), LOL!

    • Avatar of KaseyCannuck KaseyCannuck

      I do the same thing!! My wishlist is more like my think-about-it list!!

  20. For cosmetics, I like trying things out in the store and then going home to see it in different lighting (swatches etc) and then I will buy online. I also rebuy cosmetics I’ve run out of online as well.
    I like the sales, codes and “online only” options that I can find online too.
    I buy makeup in store as well, so for me I do a bit of both.
    Otherwise, I am a HUGE online shopper and do a ton of shopping online, clothing, shoes, toys, household products, etc. (some flash sites, lol)

  21. Sara

    Ever since I found this blog, I’ve been buying more online since I can see reviews and swatches. It makes it less important to go to somewhere like Sephora to test it out. I still buy drugstore makeup in the store, but a lot of the brands only sold in a place like Sephora I’ve been getting online.

  22. It really depends on what I’m interested in. If I’m just looking and don’t have anything particular in mind, I prefer shopping in-store to see what strikes my fancy. if I haven’t tried a product before I’ll want to shop in-store to swatch it and test it, too. If I know exactly what I want, I’d rather shop online because there’s less chance of impulse buying. I also prefer to shop online if there’s a deal I can’t get in-store (and no, free shipping doesn’t count as a deal).

  23. Avatar of Christina Christina J.

    I prefer in-store by far. I don’t have the patience to wait for anything to come in the mail:) I also cannot buy makeup without swatching first to see if whatever looks okay on me. I will go so far as to not order something if it is only available on-line. I’m always amazed at how different swatches and clothing looks in person than on-line. The two times I bought jeans on-line, they didn’t fit right. When I bought a palette on-line and then went to the store, I saw that in-person, I would’ve prefered the other palette in the line. Also, The trouble of returning something if I don’t like it is a hassle.

  24. I usually do a mix. For some things I prefer to shop in stores, but for others I don’t mind shopping online.

  25. jkj

    Online when I already know exactly what I want, but in-store when I don’t or want to swatch things. :)

  26. Avatar of KaseyCannuck KaseyCannuck

    It depends on what I’m buying. If its a repurchase or the reviews are good then I’ll buy online. If it’s something I want to try before I buy like a new lipstick then I’ll go in person to swatch.

    I prefer in person for clothes and shoes because the sizing is different between brands.

    I find I do more online shopping than in stores lately and one of the reasons is the pushy salespeople. I don’t miss them one bit!! Another is product availability, such as buying from some indie brands that will likely never end up in a local store.

  27. Katie

    Sorry in advance for this LONG comment.

    Definitely prefer shopping online; however, as my trip to purchase a couple of Hourglass products yesterday proved, *sometimes* you have to try products on in person and get expert tips. I’d say, if you already know you want something and don’t require further convincing, buy online. Also, buying online gives you the chance to mull it over at your convenience.

    No offense to anyone, but I really hate dealing with sales assistants, especially regarding makeup. My skin is NC40 in the summer, NC35 in winter, but with the exception of MAC and Bobbi who do a wide range of shades, every time I go to a counter the MUAs automatically reach for the darkest shade in everything and I just have to nod and smile. They don’t address things like warmth/coolness and undertones, for instance: I have olive/yellow/golden undertones, and last time I was at Dior the MUA tried to sell me one of their clearly pink-toned BB creams because it was the *darkest* shade so it *must* suit me. It was like a MASK on my face, but she claimed it looked good. So my usual strategy is to swatch at the counter, make my mind up, and buy the product online. I know my skin and its needs better than anyone ;)

  28. Avatar of Barbie Barbie

    online! half of my makeup is from me buying it from the internet lol

  29. Avatar of Xero Xero

    In store almost 100% of the time, since I’m poor and shipping is stupidly expensive. What’s the point of buying a $5 product if I have to pay $5-8 in shipping? I would spend MORE money than I would spend on makeup regularly, AND have to wait for my product. The only time I’d really consider buying online is if there’s free shipping, and the item is at a price I can afford in the first place. However, I’ve bought lots of stuff from Fyrinnae…beautiful shadows at such a low price, and only $2 in shipping? I simply can’t complain.

  30. I definitely prefer shopping online for the exact same reasons you listed, Christine :). I used to think that I enjoyed going to Sephora or makeup counters, but I discovered really fast that I really don’t. I either get too overwhelmed by all the option and I end up not buying anything or I get put off by the SA… I love shopping online. The only downside is that I don’t get the immediate gratification :).

  31. genevea

    I like both. Clothes I like to try on in-store, but if I know their sizing system, have no issue ordering on-line. If it’s make-up I’ve worn previously I don’t mind ordering on-line, but it’s also an item I prefer to order in-store. I order on-line at least three times per month.

  32. Eileen

    I’ve been wearing makeup for over 55 years and so, of course, there was no such thing as on-line shopping when my purchasing habits were originally formed. Also, there was no such thing as returning a product. Once you bought it, you bought it! Even though times have changed how I shop significantly, when it comes to cosmetics, I still prefer to go to a counter to play and test products because I hate returning things. The exception is if I’m buying a product that I’ve already experienced, then I’ll often purchase on-line. As for skin care products, I use primarily “cosmeceuticals” which are more readily available and at better prices on-line. Apropos sales associates, I find the vast majority where I shop to be accommodating, friendly, helpful, and willing to leave you alone to test products when you tell them you’re “just looking”. In the case of SA’s who are too aggressive, I have no problem in being perfectly candid (but polite) with them: I don’t need or want their help while browsing. I’ll let them know if I have any questions or want help with a product. If they don’t get it and continue to interfere, I’ll tell them if they really need something to do, they can go call the store manager for me, otherwise they need to back off. The SA might get a bit huffy about it, but invariably complies. I’ve never left a counter because of the SA but I’ve had an SA leave the area because of me! LOL.

  33. Starfish

    I have an online shopping addiction, but I do love shopping in stores for products like concealer and foundation. Swatches online are often inaccurate so for face products I tend to purchase them in person. Online does have its advantages though-great sales!

  34. Avatar of Veronica Veronica

    I generally prefer to shop in person. While I’m no shopaholic, I’m somebody who enjoys the occasional shopping trip with a friend, walking around and perusing the wares. I will buy online, but nowhere near as often as I buy offline.

  35. VickyM

    Shopping in store, no contest, really. I have never bought anything online and don´t think I ever will if I can help it. It has happened many times to me, that I come across swatches of a lipstick or gloss I like and then go to the store to find out it´s a color that doesn´t suit me and end up buying something else that looks nice on me but I hadn´t seen before. Also to me the experience of going to the counter, buying something and then continuing with a movie, an ice cream, a meal or a fun day out, is something I love. Last but not least, in my country we can´t return makeup under any circumstances so buying from the internet sight unseen can be quite risky.

  36. Avatar of Quinctia Quinctia

    I do about half and half. I really enjoy shopping online, but I have so much nail polish, I’m better off seeing it in person before I decide. Only exception is if there’s a ridiculously good deal going on and/or it’s a Zoya promotion, because I have so much Zoya, I just feel obligated to make sure I don’t already own the shade I’m looking at before I buy it.

  37. Avatar of Cat Cat G

    In store for sure! I feel I can guarantee quality and that the product matches my expectations more in store, especially a place like Sephora where I can test products out. It also just makes the experience so much more enjoyable for me to be able to see what a brand has to offer in person. I understand why people shop online, but for makeup, I rarely do. I will always buy in store unless I have no choice.

  38. I love shopping online, no hassles, no lines. Whatgreatskin.com is awesome they are super fast and have great prices on the lines I love, Dermalogica and Bioelements!

  39. Sheena F

    A bit of both. For makeup, I like to browse in-stores and swatch the colors myself if I can’t find a “swatcher” online who somewhat matches my skintone. At least I can judge for myself if it will work for me or not. I then either buy the product either in-store or online. Sometimes if I’m shopping with someone, I usually buy it in-store. There’s always a little thrill involved in sharing your haul with a buddy right there.

    For other stuff like baby clothes or home items, I prefer to shop online because there seem to be more colors, styles or deals available online.

  40. Heather

    I also prefer online shopping. I love the free samples and the joy that comes with getting that package in the mail.

  41. I really prefer to buy in store. Mainly because it is usually such a hassle to have things shipped to my apartment and I don’t go home enough from school to pick it up there. Things from Sephora have to be signed for and they ALWAYS try to deliver it while I’m in class. So then I get that obnoxious little note and then the same thing happens the next day. If I do order online now, I have to wait until my order ships and call Sephora customer service to have them hold the package at the ups store so I can pick it up on my own time. With all that nonsense I just prefer to do my research online and go to the store, no matter where that is.

  42. Avatar of Carly carly

    online because i tend to buy more things and im spending my parents money anyway lol im only 14

  43. Avatar of Rebecca BeckBeck

    I prefer online only because it takes some stress out of it. It’s hard to browse or explore at a counter – I know most counter SAs have aggressive sales goals, so I don’t want to feel like I have to buy something I’m not entirely excited about to compensate them for their time helping me.

  44. Depends on what I am buying and if I know the company. If I have shopped for clothes at a particular store and their sizing is pretty consistent than I will buy online too when I don’t want to drive to the store. I hate returning products so I am very careful on what stores I will purchase online at. I would rather just buy it and keep it -lol.
    For makeup I like to go to the store or makeup counter and see the color in person and see if it works for me. I have learned how to say “no” to sales ladies at cosmetic counters. It took time but I know what I am after and I stick to that. However, if I saw a product in the store one time and knew I would like it but didn’t buy it at that time, I will buy it online whenever the opportunity strikes.

  45. Catherine

    I prefer to shop in store. I only buy after I have made a connection with a sales associate. I know they make commission in most cosmetics stores and I’d rather have at least some of my money go to someone I know.

  46. Avatar of Susan Susan Dowman Nevling

    I prefer shopping online except when I have to match foundation or just feel like getting new ideas.

  47. I subscribe to Amazon Prime. So the gross amount of my purchases are online from almonds and batteries to make up and clothes. If I want something I can not find or it is too expensive on Amazon, I branch out to other websites. Beauty.com has some good coupons and deliver fast. If it is something I need to how it looks on my skin (should have never bought that Dolce Vita blush!), I go to a Sephora. A good thing about living in Vegas is that because of the tourists our Sephoras need to restock fast!

  48. I prefer to shop online (I do a lot of blog research so I’m comfortable with that) and I think I get the most benefit from sales and freebies etc. by doing so, but occasionally I do enjoy venturing out to try a product before I buy it, get a perfume sample or two or snatch up a sale item that sold out online quickly but the store was kind enough to hold one back for me!! When I do go out I make a day of it since the mall is an hour away and go to several places and get a nice dinner out :)

  49. I prefer online at this point. Unless it’s something like foundation. Otherwise, when I have free time, I just would much prefer not to spend it shopping. Ordering online saves time

  50. I do both. I test, swatch and sample in store. And if I like it I buy it online…only because you can always find some sort of discount, promotion or gift with purchase online.
    I am a sale/discount queen. lol
    I only do this for things that I know I do not want to pay regular price for. If its a lipstick or something I will go ahead and purchase it in store.

  51. Brianna

    I agree 100% I hate having to return online stuff in store to save on return shipping. I always feel a little guilty for some reason.

  52. I’d say in store few years ago, but now, definitely online. Because we have information and reviews accessible & there are lack of product testers in store anyways + often they are really nasty and repelling. Secondly, in store, a product can get exposed to lighting at displays, but in online store I think they store it in warehouse. Though, probably not all… xD Also, yes, you can think and rethink the purchase as much as you like. I feel that assistants in shop often are pushing me into buying stuff I actually don’t need.

  53. Rebecca

    I like to “window-shop” in stores, then purchase online. Shopping in stores is great to test out products yourself and see which looks the associates have come up with and what products they pair together. Purchasing online is ideal for me for reasons that have been brought up by all you guys–no pressure, better deals, and less impulse-buying!

  54. I totally prefer to shop in store. I like being able to see the product/item in person and check out the quality. Sometimes when you’re shopping online things look pretty in the pictures, but nothing like it when you get them in person. I more or less window shop online.

  55. Avatar of Lorrie Lorrie

    Seeing that we just got the 1st Sephora in my state this month, and no Ulta’s I did a lot of makeup shopping online. I prefer to see, feel, and try the makeup before I buy it. Sometimes I’ll “research” the products that I think I want online and make a list so that I’m not going crazy in the store buying everything! I’ve already been to our Sephora store 3 times in the last 3 weeks!
    For clothes-I have to try everything on instore. Other things I shop for online, especially gifts and at Christmas!

  56. Nikki

    I prefer to shop online for the following reasons:

    1) Shopping online allows me to use the search filter to find exactly what products fit my needs.
    2) There are no sales associates pushing unwanted products in my face.
    3) I am usually able to find free shipping codes or coupon codes that allow me to save a little money or spend the same amount as I would if I purchased the product in store.
    4) I can look up swatches and do my research leisurely as I am shopping.
    5) The product is mailed right to me, so I don’t have to stray from from my busy daily schedule.