Autism and the Pros and Cons of Internet Shopping

You would think that internet shopping would be bliss for someone like me with high functioning autism (Asperger’s) but it has many difficulties. Don’t get me wrong I usually love the net for shopping as it certainly saves a lot of money and love the review system but there are some disadvantages.

As someone with high functioning autism, making a decision is very difficult. It doesn’t matter how important the decision is (for example small decisions such as what to eat for lunch or what clothes to wear that day to a bigger decision such as what career I want) it is always very difficult for me to make a decision.

With the internet the choice is often overwhelming. There is often too much choice. With this there is a lot of information to process (such as reviews – which could be genuine or false and product details). As I need to give myself the best chance of success when making a decision it can mean that I spend literally hours whenever I buy something (very small or very large) researching. In fact I would say that a massive portion of my free time (so much so it could be one of my special interests) is spent researching the things I want to buy, might buy in the future or would love to buy but could never afford it. It does mean that the majority of things that I buy turn out to be of good quality and value for money. It also means I usually make massive savings as I research websites or wait for days until I get the price I want to pay. But it certainly does take up too much of my time.

There is such a wealth of information out there now that it is hard not to use it. Websites like trip advisor for holidays, amazon (both uk and usa) and argos for product reviews and hundreds of other websites all with good information that I can use.

Even though there is a massive choice I usually don’t like buying from the internet due to having high functioning autism (asperger’s). I hate waiting for it to be delivered but refuse to pay extra to have it delivered sooner, I hate it when I have to answer the door when the parcel arrives and mostly I hate it when I am in the day the parcel is due to arrive and I am constantly waiting for it (checking windows and jumping up at any vehicle arriving at the house). So wherever possible I do all my research online and then try to buy from a shop. This works sometimes but there have been many occasions where I will find something on the internet but it is not available in a shop so have no choice but to buy online.

Click and collect still has issues as I am still waiting for the confirmation that I can pick something up and have to deal with customer service people when picking it up (if my wife does not do this for me) but it’s slightly better than home delivery.

I also have the obvious issues such as trying clothes and shoes on for size and to see if they look good on me. I hate ordering two products of different sizes and sending one back as I have to deal with people, such as post office staff, when sending items back which I will avoid at all costs. Then I have to wait again to see if the item has arrived so I can get a refund. Which makes general returns difficult for me when I do get something wrong. So where I can I will buy from a shop, second best is buying from a website where I can return products to a shop and perhaps the worst is buying of the net. If I had to return incorrect purchases to a shop myself then this might not be the case but I am fortunate enough that my wife will do this for me, although I know she does not like the inconvenience of doing so, so I try to keep this to a minimum.

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