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Online prices dramatically differ from costly high street rates

18 September 2012 - 11:28 by Paul Tissington

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The idea that you can save money through safe shopping online is not an unusual one, but a new study, from the Centre for Economics and Business Research, has found that there can be quite a stark contrast between what you have to pay on the high street and what will be charged by e-commerce sites.

A number of popular products were put under the spotlight as part of the report, with major differences found.

A Blu-Ray copy of hit teen movie, High School Musical 3, for example, could be picked up for just £2.99 via e-commerce site, Zavvi, while it would cost someone shopping at Sainsbury's about £14, which is a 368 per cent increase, according to the Daily Mail.

This is a particularly dramatic example of the price difference between shopping on the high street and using safe shopping online, but on average, the difference between the cost of entertainment products was 124 per cent, with cheaper prices almost always offered via e-commerce.

Interestingly, it was found that prices at supermarkets have actually increased by 6.2 per cent over the past five years, while online, the bump has been a less significant three percent, which is not unexpected, given the rate of inflation.

It is worth remembering that there are many reasons for the lower costs offered to consumers via the internet, chief amongst which is the lack of a need to maintain a physical store, with sales staff and all the associated expenses, that high street retailers must invariably handle.

In addition, the e-commerce market is incredibly competitive, with retailers essentially having to fight off rivals on an international level, so it is in the interest of various sites to keep prices low, so that customers keep coming back.