A new survey has claimed 25% of Australian respondents would be supportive of a “try-on” charge in clothing shops, which would be refunded at the point of sale.


The reason? To help the brick and mortar retail industry recoup costs following the boom in online shopping, according to Canstar Blue manager Rebecca Logan.


Logan said the notion of a refundable fitting fee at retailers had attracted debate, and added “At the moment 'try-on' charges are mostly confined to specialist retailers who supply items such as wedding dresses, ski suits and cameras.”


However Christopher Zinn from Choice was sceptical of the survey result, and said “The idea of paying a fee which you would forfeit if you didn't buy the thing would be right up there with the most unpalatable of ideas.”


“Retailers worth their salt know full well if you start charging people the equivalent of admission to try on products it's going to turn people away,” Zinn said, adding that installing a ‘try-on’ fee would make it even more difficult for shops to compete with internet shopping.


The comments have added to the ongoing debate about where Australians should shop to get the best deals. Your Money Magazine investigated the drawcards of internet shopping.

1. Save on petrol and travel time

With the holiday season upon us, a ‘5 minute trip to the local shops’ can easily turn into 15 minutes spent looking for a park alone. Shopping from home means no time getting ready, driving, parking and walking around browsing.


2. Easier to keep track of your purchases and receipts.

You won’t have to worry about misplacing receipts ever again when you shop online. Since everything is done electronically, all records of your transactions are emailed to your inbox.


3. Easier to find and compare the best deals.

Comparison shopping no longer means driving from store to store or examining the catalogues. Comparing prices is literally just a click away. Also, quite often retailers will offer exclusive online sales, so it can be much better value to shop online.


4. No lines or crowds.

Shopping centres and retail stores can be chaotic, especially during big sales or a holiday season. Shopping from home, whilst sitting on the couch, suddenly seems extremely attractive.


5. Find items you might not see in stores.

Since brick and mortar stores are limited on space, merchants usually don’t carry all of the items they sell in store. Online, you can find their entire inventory, along with many choices of colors, styles, and even explore customisation options.


6. The Internet never closes.

You can shop anytime online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Online shopping is perfect for night owls or anyone who is too busy to get to the shops before closing.


7. Go shopping in Paris, Milan, London and New York.

Geography? Pfft. When you shop online, you can browse through shops around the corner, or around the world.


8. Cut out the middle man.

If you order gifts online, you can have them delivered directly to your recipient, meaning no more post office queues, and a faster delivery. Many stores even offer customized cards and gift wrapping to go along with your present.