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Shopping Online is Cheaper

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Transport costs are definitely on the rise, but how important is your time to you? Doing it yourself may not necessarily be cheaper. Below I’ll break down the costs of doing your shopping offline and the true cost (and saving) of online shopping.

For this example we’re going to need to assume a few things about the average shopper. These are as follows, and are taken from the AA’s website.

Variable Value
Car’s Engine Size 1301 – 1500cc
Petrol cost per litre [17.04.2013] R13.20 (Unleaded 95)
Running costs link

  • Petrol Factor at current price
  • Service and repair costs
  • Tyre costs
(cents/km) incl vat7.2420.1913.58
Monthly salary (at a standard 40 hour week) R15,000 per month or R93.75 per hour net
Shopping centre location in KM’s (round trip) 10kms (20kms round trip)

So now that we have all the major variables in place we can start to add up the time based and ancillary costs that accumulate along the way. Below is a small handful of the most likely costs experienced on a shopping trip.

Time based costs

  • Driving to the shops – 15 mins
  • Finding a parking and walking to the entrance – 8 mins
  • Walking to the store – 10 mins
  • Browsing the store – 10-20 mins (but let’s call it 15 mins)
  • Selecting the item, waiting in line and paying at the till – 10 mins (assuming all their systems are running fine and no staff or stock shortages)

Total time: 58 minutes (which we’ll round up to 60 mins)

Ancillary costs

  • Parking ticket – R5
  • ATM Fees (when paying cash) – R3
  • Knick-knacks at the till – R20 (these are those silly little mints in a tin, quirky pen, chocolate gold coins and other non-essential items)
  • Car guard tip – R5 (not everyone tips all the time but we all do once and a while)

Total cost: R33

So if we start to tot it all up we can get a clearer picture of what the full cost of the trip would amount to.

Subtotals are as follows:

  1. Car costs – R25.87 (petrol and service costs @ 10 km each way, 20km round trip)
  2. Time costs – R93.75 p/h @ 1 hour = R93.75
  3. Ancillary costs – R33

Grand total: R152.62

So when you take everything into account your time and costs come in at R152.62 for an hour’s shopping. Which is quite astonishing I’m sure you’ll agree? This means that if you’re doing your online shopping at Mantality.co.za you would be saving yourself a massive R102.62 for getting the same product delivered to your office or home, as we charge only R50 for delivery – plus we’re open 24 hours a day, and you can order from the comfort of your own home or workplace.

Online shopping is smarter shopping!

Infographic from Kalahari.com blog

Infographic from Kalahari.com blog

Shopping online is cheaper

8.5 Save money

Don't be tempted to look at purely just the product costs and forget about all the ancillary costs like: petrol, wear-and-tear on your car, parking tickets, carguard tips, ATM fees etc etc and most importantly the monetary value of your time to drive out to the shops and back. But if by some chance the above doesn't affect you, then it would make sense to do it yourself.

  • Convenience 9
  • Saving 8
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About Author

Lover of gadgets, men's culture, cool stuff, Earl Grey tea and all things manly. An optimist in his prime. When he's not keeping the wheels turning at Mantality HQ you'll find him trawling the web, and visiting trade shows to find the newest and coolest gadgets. During his down time he's usually with his 2 dogs, on the golf course, cycling or basking in the literary company of Oscar Wilde, Bret Easton Ellis or Martin Amis whilst drinking espresso strong enough to strip paint.

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