From Princess to Pauper The reality of online shopping and it's dangers

Emma Coles

It's a cold winter's night with the new year of 2017 fast approaching. With less than six weeks to go, preparations for the biggest party of 2016 have already commenced, starting with finding the perfect outfit. With girls across the globe planning for the biggest night of the year, a perfect dress is on everyone's' minds.

Whilst online shopping can seem the most convenient way of purchase, for those who can't stand the brutal task of scavenging through over packed rails and poorly labelled displays, it does not always end how expected. To some, online retailers are a best friend, with many retailers being solely online based such as Boohoo.com, Very, and even ASOS yet to others it is a virtual nightmare.

An annual survey by analytics firm 'comScore' and 'UPS' found that consumers are now buying more things online than in stores.

The survey, now in its fifth year, polled more than 5,000 consumers who make at least two online purchases in a three-month period. According to results, shoppers now make 51% of their purchases online, compared to 48% in 2015 and 47% in 2014.

Whilst the demand for online commerce is shown to be growing,a question that needs to be asked is whether this is actually a reliable method of shopping. From stock control to deliveries, problems seem to arise across the board, so what is it that draws people to these sites? Caitlin, 18 shares her expectations and reality of online shopping.

Armed with a glass of bubbling Prosecco, a box of chocolates meant for Christmas day and her trusty debit card, Caitlin ventured into the world of online shopping. Little did she know that the hunt for what was meant to be a Cinderella ball gown would have a far from fairy tale ending.

"I didn’t start properly online shopping until I was 16 and had a job, when you have money coming in its hard not to spend it all online cos its just so easy to do."

"Loads of brands do flash sales and discount codes that you wouldn’t really find in shops unless you went to the sales which are always far too busy and they rarely have sizes or styles to suit me."

missguided cyber monday sale

With a busy schedule of work and college, there's little room for play which in these circumstances is in- store shopping.

"If I’m desperate to get something I’ll go in-store as its easier to know then and there what you’re buying and if it fits so you don’t have to mess around sending stuff back but I only really do that if I make last minute plans where ordering something would be too late."

order confirmation

A night off from the stresses of work or college is a rarity so it must be embraced and spent well on the couch tucking into a box of quality streets that have been poorly hidden in the cupboards for Christmas. With a tall glass of Morrison's finest Prosecco in one hand and a laptop keeping her thighs toasty from the cooler working overtime, Caitlin gives into the temptress that is the world of online shopping.

One of Caitlin's successful online purchases

With her fingers tingling as she enters her card details, Caitlin takes a sigh of relief and a swig of her bubbling drink knowing that in 3 - 5 standard working days her hard earned money will be presented to her in the form of a glamorous sequin gown.

"I ordered a dress early November to wear for new year as I saw it and knew it would be perfect for the event...

Being modeled by a petite blonde with legs that seem endless, the gold sequin shift dress seems the dress of dreams, perfect to bring in the new year in style. With shining sequins that could blind a person stood too close, everything appears perfect, all that's left to do is wait, and wait she shall.

The dress as pictured on the website

It is the fifth day of which the dress has been expected to arrive and still no sign, Caitlin eagerly awaits the text to say her delivery has arrived yet this day does not come for a further three weeks.

After what Caitlin describes to feel like "months of waiting" with "very little communication with customer services," the dress arrives.

"The dress was nothing like the picture showed...
Pictured (left): the dress as advertised, (right) the dress in person.

"After waiting for weeks for it to arrive and little communication from customer services as to where my delivery was, the dress was nothing like the picture showed

"I paid full price which I think was about £29 and then an extra £5 for standard delivery so the quality of the dress was shocking for the price it was advertised. I had just been casually looking online as It was the first night off work I’d had for a while so I thought I might just treat myself to something with NYE being the perfect reason for it."

Caitlin details how the disappointment has "made me lose faith in the company and because of the time between ordering and receiving it was so long It left me no time to return it so I'm stuck with a dress that I would struggle to even sell on."

Whilst online shopping can be a blessing, for some it's a nightmare.

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.