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Online vs. Retail Stores: Where To Buy Your Hydroponic Supplies

How safe is it to shop for hydroponics growing equipment online? How safe is it to shop for hydroponics growing equipment online?


Starting a hydro garden can be costly, especially if you’re beginning from scratch. In this edition of Hot for Hydro, I’m going to share with you how to find the best deals when shopping for hydroponic supplies whether you’re browsing in the shops or surfing online.

Generally, online stores feature lower prices because they don’t have overhead costs like retail space and sales staff. Many hydro websites also offer discounts for large purchases, and many have weekly newsletters alerting growers to the best deals.

In order to compete with online sellers, shops are slashing prices all around. Paired with a coupon or in-store discount, prices might get as low as some online sellers. In addition, many retail outlets resell returned items for even lower prices. Just pay attention to whether the product you are purchasing is brand new or refurbished.

Research online sellers and always read buyer feedback before committing to a purchase on the web.

Shipping and taxes can also be a factor in deciding whether to purchase in person or online. Depending on where you live, you might not have to pay a sales tax for online purchases. Shipping is a different story. Some e-merchants don’t charge shipping, especially for larger purchases. But UPS ain’t cheap, which can drive the final cost of your purchase up to what you’d spend in a physical store.

Finally, consider customer service, warranties, and returns and exchanges. This is where I believe it is important to buy in store. While most online sellers do well servicing the customer, there’s also a negative stigma that is occasionally earned.

Research online sellers and always read buyer feedback before committing to a purchase on the web.

At times, some online shops charge customers restocking fees, or require that customers pay for shipping on repairs even if they’re under warranty. Make sure you always pay attention to online return policies.

With a receipt, you’ll find most retail stores easy to deal with when returning or exchanging products under warranty. The customer service department is usually motivated to keep your business, even if it means taking one on the chin every now and then. To be on the safe side, read their return/exchange policy before buying.

All in all, it’s really up to the grower to decide which route they are more comfortable with when purchasing hydroponic supplies. I recommend purchasing in store, especially if you’re a beginner grower. Not only will a store’s staff help you pick out the right product, but they come with the knowledge and experience that can help you with a more successful grow.

Until next time, grow big or go home!

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Deonna Marie is the hottest grow expert on the planet.
Last modified on Thursday, 25 April 2013 16:05

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