TRADERS are unperturbed about the growing trend of online shopping among Ipoh folk.
Most business owners revealed to The Star that business remained unaffected by the proliferation of shops on the Internet.
Branded Collection House supervisor Angel Leong, 24, said people still preferred to buy designer bags, shoes and clothes from their stores, despite being more expensive than online stores.
“Although pricier than online stores, here, our customers can see and feel the actual products, and are assured that they are genuine.
“Personally, I would prefer to buy from a seller whom I can locate if anything goes wrong,” said Leong, adding that the majority of customers at Branded Collection House were regulars.
Relating her personal experience, Leong said she had once parted with her money, thinking that the branded handbag she was buying from an online shop was genuine.
“The handbag was an imitation and looked nothing like what I saw on the website.
“I swore never to buy anything online after that.
“I think many people have had the same experience, or are afraid of getting themselves into such situation, and so they avoid online shops altogether,” she said.
Boutique owner Chairmaine Low said websites selling clothes did not pose a threat to her business.
“I have not really seen much effect on our business.
“Of course, there are people who actually buy clothes online, but I think there are more negative than positive experiences.
“The feedback I have gotten from my customers is that the quality, sizing, cutting and colour are not exactly what the websites claim to be.
“So, they end up buying only once and even then, they would not pick an item that costs more than RM100,” said the owner of Scents Couture.
Echoing similar sentiments, Colourful Kids owner Chong Ying Fun, who sells children’s clothes, said good quality material and comfort were of utmost importance to parents.
“The material used to make clothing sold online, is usually inferior.
“Hence, parents prefer to see and feel the actual thing before they are assured that it is good enough for their children to wear.
“I think simple things such as alteration services and an exchange policy, which online shops do not provide, are also becoming deciding factors for consumers,” she added.
David Ong, owner of the Country Farm Organic outlet in Ipoh Garden South, said online shopping had not caught on with the older generation in Ipoh.
“Many of those who shop online are young people, people who are Internet-savvy, whereas the older generation is usually afraid that the products might reach them tainted.
“Although online shopping has become a way of life for people who live overseas, people here remain sceptical about it,” he said.