Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Our City an Online Shopping Capital; Australia Post Has Named Toowoomba as the Second-Biggest Online Shopping Hub in the Nation. Reporter KATE DODD Gets the Low-Down on the Facts and Figures and Speaks to an Avid Online Shopper

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Our City an Online Shopping Capital; Australia Post Has Named Toowoomba as the Second-Biggest Online Shopping Hub in the Nation. Reporter KATE DODD Gets the Low-Down on the Facts and Figures and Speaks to an Avid Online Shopper

Article excerpt

THERE'S nothing like the feeling you get when you receive a package in the mail.

That's the view of Toowoomba online shopper Mel Blair.

"I like getting packages in the mail, it's like a gift from me to me," she said.

"Online shopping is easy and fast. I don't have to move from my bed or put on shoes.

"I don't like shopping in stores much because I can never find my size and I like to take my time when trying on clothes. Toowoomba does not have a lot of stores, so I source the online stores to get my clothes and accessories as there is a lot more range."

The 20-year-old University of Southern Queensland acting student was not surprised to hear that Australia Post had named Toowoomba as a hotspot for online shopping in its Inside Australia's Online Shopping eCommerce Industry Paper 2016.

"There is not a lot of range here. While there are a few great stores, there is not enough variety for everyone," she said.

"Brisbane is the closest place that offers a larger variety of shops, however it is too far away for just a shopping trip. Online shopping offers convenience and the option of shopping in your pjs. It is the best way to shop, in my opinion."

Miss Blair said she shopped online at least once a week and bought items such as clothes, shoes, make-up, accessories, clothes for her cat and groceries.

She said her favourite stores included Princess Polly, Glassons, Iconic, City Beach and eBay.

Her advice to potential online shoppers was to make sure the store offered PayPal as a payment option.

"PayPal is there to keep your money safe," she said.

"If the online store steals your money or doesn't send the correct item, with PayPal you have security in knowing you will get your money back."

Miss Blair said make sure you considered shipping time and costs, sizing guides ("sizing is hard, but it's a trial and error process"), where the store is located and make sure to read the return policy.

"Some won't return sale items, some will. …

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