9 Products I Prefer to Buy Online vs In Store

Over the last charlie_image20 years that the internet has been around (thanks Al Gore) everyones' purchasing methods have changed. Little did we know the invention of the internet would be such a UBER disruptive moment for so many industries. One of those platonic shifts is in how people purchase products.

In my own life, I've used the internet to primarily purchase only certain products now primarily from online retailers. In my own changing purchasing methods there has been certain products that I've exclusively switched to buying on the internet. Here are my top 9 products I prefer to buy online vs in-store:

9 items I prefer to buy online


I love being able to search for shoes on the internet and compare the lowest prices amongst thousands of online retailers. I usually stick with a standard set of running shoes and dress shoes, so as long as I know the product size & fit will be the same, then I can depend on the order. In addition, if I order from vendors that have 30-90 return policies, then I'm really not out much.

Toilet Paper

I love stacking up on toilet paper! I love stack up on it even more when it is on sale. Shopping around online gives you the best chance to comparison shop and apply coupons.

Paper Towels

I don't ask for a lot from my paper towels, so if I can pick these up at the same price per role without leaving the comforts of my home then that is a win-win for me.

Laundry Detergent

If you can score free shipping online, then purchasing laundry detergent online just might be the way to go!


When we had two boys back to back in 2008 and 2009 I knew I had to work extra hard to get my boys through diapers without depleting my bank account. I use to get boxes that were the size of a bathtubs full of diapers just to save a couple of cents per diaper by buying in bulk.

Read about how Ruser saved more money by opting for cloth diapers when his first child was born.


Comparison shopping is real important to me when I'm searching for electronics. I want to see what how fast the processor, how much RAM, how many GB/TBs, and whether it is a SSD or SATA disk. Then I can compare how much I get with each option. If I walk into a store I can only compare the different specs of the items the store stocks. With online vendors in the electronics category it makes it easier to compare comps and prices amongst a larger selection.


I'm a sucker for wanting to buy the same watch for the last 8 years. As you can probably tell I don't like a lot of change in my life! :) With that being the case, I have a harder and harder time finding my same watch in stores. That is why I prefer to go online every time I need to replace my watch!

Protein Bars

Seems odd, but often times I get my bars cheaper online, because I can order a larger quantity.

These are just a few product I prefer to buy online to get a little better deal on. What products do you prefer to buy online? What items are hardest for you to buy online? What things do you look for in purchasing from an online retailer?

Here's another take on the same subject we did back in 2013, “7 Items That are (Often) Cheaper to Buy Online Than In-store

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  1. Charlie – Which watch do you buy online?

    I’m just curious, as a bit of a ‘watch guy’

  2. I agree with your list except I don’t think I could order shoes online! My size varies too much by brand.

  3. I discovered slickdeals.net a few months back and it is addicting to find the deals! It made this Christmas shopping season so much more enjoyable and easy! It is funny you mention buying shoes online – I just bought my first-ever pair of boots through Amazon (a deal I found through slickdeals). I was a little nervous about getting shoes that way, but it really did work out. I think going forward shoes will be mostly online because of the deals. And as you said, as long as you do the same basic shoe, it should work. Most of our electronics are via online. I haven’t gotten into every-day items (papertowels, soap, etc.) but I can see the advantage, especially if we find a good deal.

    So handy to have the box waiting for you at home instead of trudging through the stores…

  4. Sandy – great question! I do use Amazon a lot. For diapers and other large quantity items I will use the subscribe and save too sweeten the deal even more (be sure to add more than 5 items to get an additional 20% off).

    However, like I said in the article, I’m a hawk on Slickdeals.net. They constantly have deals on the homepage and in the forums that you need to watch for to stockpile items on.

    Where do you primarily get your deals from?

  5. Hey Charlie,
    Where do you but these items online? Amazon? I’m primarily interested in toilet paper and diapers. I currently buy these items at Costco.

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