Convenient online shopping poses a serious debt risk

24/06/14 at 2:27pm

The online shopping market is on the rise in SA, but as an individual online shopper, it can come at a greater cost than anticipated.

Although the Broadband Commission revealed that in September 2013 slightly more than a quarter (25.5%) of South African households had internet access, if cellphones were included, online shopping accounted for 1.9% of SA's economy according to the Boston Consulting Group, and is expected to reach 2.5% by 2016.

Independent technology research and strategy organisation, World Wide Worx, further showed that the e-commerce market in SA is set for promising growth at a rate of 30% a year.

However, if new e-commerce consumers are not cautious when shopping online they may become victims of the potential downside of online retail - debt.

While online shopping has proven to be convenient and time saving for those who wish to shop via the internet, debt counsellor from DebtSafe, Wikus Olivier, warns of the potential effects it can have on those known to overspend on retail goods.

"Online shopping can be quick and convenient. This is positive thing should you perhaps not be able to leave the kids alone at home and need to buy some groceries. However, for retail therapy addicts this could be too easy and it leads to a lot of people getting into credit card debt with a click of a button," he said on Monday.

Mr Olivier reminds those who shop online to always consider the financial repercussions of online purchases.

"What is important to note is that just because it is easier to shop online it does not mean it will be easier to pay off the credit card debt. Whether you shop online or from the local supermarket, using your credit card and giving into impulse buying needs to be managed carefully."

Source: Fastmoving


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