Is Online Shopping Better Than Actually Going to the Malls?

In the last few years, there has been a dramatic increase in online shopping. Despite difficult economic times, online shopping is thriving. There are a number of reasons why online shopping has become more popular than going to traditional ‘brick and mortar’ shopping malls.

Below are a number of reasons why online shopping is better than actually going to the malls:

1. Going to a traditional shopping mall requires getting ready, getting the proper clothing, doing your hair and make up, making sure you have your money, and getting in your vehicle and driving there. When you shop online, you just switch on the computer, connect to the internet, and start shopping. It is easy, convenient, and it does not matter what are wearing and what you look like.

2. Transportation can be a hassle when you shop at a traditional mall. You have to spend money on fuel, fight the traffic, locate a parking spot, and carry all your purchased items to the car. With online shopping, you don’t have to worry about transportation hassles and often your packages are delivered right to the door. If you don’t have a car, taking a bus can be a real hassle when going to a mall.

3. Shopping malls are well-known for the crowds. It can be frustrating trying to get the items you want to purchase. With online shopping, there are no pushy crowds and you can relax and enjoy your online shopping experience.

4. Shopping online is better for the environment. Most online retailers keep their items at a central distribution centre so there is less energy being used which is better for the planet. Retail stores have such energy consuming things as lights and heating and cooling units. As well, shipping from online stores is better on the environment. According to the Center for Energy and Climate Solutions, “shipping two 20 pound packages by overnight air – the most energy-intensive delivery mode – still uses 40 percent less fuel than driving 20 miles round-trip to the mall or store.”

5. Online shopping is a definite time saver. Most people shop on the weekends. Many shopping experiences at a traditional mall can take an entire day. Online shopping saves time so you can enjoy the rest of your weekend. Or, you may have the weekend free if you online shop during the weekday. You can shop any time of the day or night.

6. You can save a lot of money when you online shop. There are many deals on the internet just waiting to be scooped up. As well, most online shops offer free shipping on a certain amount purchased. You are also paying a cheaper price because online stores have less overhead.

7. Shopping online gives access to millions of different products. When you go to a shopping at a shopping mall, you only have access to what the stores have in stock so you end up going from store to store trying to find what you are looking for. Sometimes, it is not always available. When shopping online, you almost always find what you are looking for. You can also comparison shop to find the deals.

Online shopping is continuing to grow at astounding rates. With improvements in secure payment processing, the online shopping industry shows no signs of slowing down. More consumers are discovering that it is a great way to find exactly what you are looking for at a low price.

Socially Responsible Investing (SRI)

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Real Estate Investing: Apartments – How to Find a Good Property Manager

How do you find good property management? After all, you’ll pay if you don’t have a skillful, competent, honest property manager.How do you find good candidates for property management? The secret is referrals, lots of them. I speak with a lot of property owners about the possibility of my company buying their property, regardless of whether they are interested in selling. I ask them who currently manages their property and whether they are happy with them.I ask other property managers who manage other types of property – retail, for example – if they know of a good multifamily property manager. I ask everyone else I come across in related businesses, including attorneys and insurance agents. I like to get several referrals to the same property manager.Make sure your investment focus matches your property manager’s expertise. Don’t have a luxury class A property manager manage your working class C properties. Do your needs match the skills of the property manager? Do you need rehabilitation managed? Match the size of your properties with the size and capacity of your property manager. You don’t want to be your property manager’s smallest property. Calls get returned quickly when you are one of the largest customers.Interview your property manager, inspect one of the properties the manager currently manages and ask to see a rent-ready unit. Is their definition of rent-ready the same as yours? I remember one prospective property manager stepping over some trash on the ground outside a managed property. They just didn’t care. Find out who their favorite contractors are for plumbing, electrical, roofing, etc. What are the reputations of those contractors?Does the property manager know what’s going on in the rental market and how to react to it?Make sure your contact and discussions set the groundwork for a constructive business relationship. Make sure you are clear about your property manager’s repairs expense limit. Make sure you are on the same page about handling non-paying tenants and evictions.Monitor and verify. What do your monthly financials look like? Is it clear what your expenses are? How quickly are vacant units being made ready? How quickly are they being rented? How does the property look compared with similar properties in the area? When something doesn’t go as planned, what corrective action is being taken? One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Is that what your property manager is doing to rent your vacant units?In one market, I have a college student who takes pictures of potential property purchases. If I haven’t recently been by a property I own, I’ll have her go take pictures of it for me.
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