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Online Shoppers Avoid High Street Tax

21 April 2010 - 09:12 by Simon Crisp

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Are high street shoppers getting a raw deal and not even realising it? According to new research from shopping comparison site, PriceRunner, they may well be.

The site had a good look at the typical cost of a 'shopping basket', which in this case, contained items such as a television and an iPod, both purchased online and compared these with the prices offered by a range of high street stores, to figure out which basket would cost a shopper more on average. And it turns out that those who do their safe shopping online are getting the better deal, with those shoppers who hit high street stores paying a whopping 70 per cent more for goods bought in-store.

The shopping basket itself used in the research would cost £2,252 were you to buy all the items included on the high street. But meanwhile, for those doing some safe shopping online, the researchers found that the same shopping basket would set you back £1,785, assuming that the consumer was shopping around for the best prices online and not simply buying the first product they saw.

In addition, PriceRunner believes that some 95 per cent of goods are cheaper online than in-store. Specific products highlighted in the study included Nike Air Zoom trainers, which can be found online for £49.98 but would probably set you back £85.79 in a high street shop, whilst a DKNY Ladies Watch would cost £42.99 online compared with £68.21 when buying in-store.

PriceRunner is so confident of the findings of its study that it has declared the high costs of bricks-and-mortar stores to be a "high street robbery" and suggests that the mark-up on high street goods when compared to their online counterparts - which is 31.79 per cent according to the study - is essentially a high street tax.