Sign In

10 Reasons Why It's OK to Shop Online at Work

Published
By , dealnews Media Editor

You're going to shop at work. Your boss knows this. You know she knows this. She knows that you know that she knows this. But yet we still play that game. You know, the quick-minimize "I was just ... SPREADSHEET ... er, work!" panic when your boss comes through the door.

But at dealnews, we believe that sometimes it's actually OK to shop at work. And as it turns out, there are more legitimate reasons than you might think. There are, in fact, 10 of them! So the next time you're perusing the site for new shoes, extra storage, or hilarious USB-powered accessories, you can repeat these excuses to yourself and, if necessary, your boss should she catch you in the act.

Be warned, though! Some of these explanations can only be applied to very narrow circumstances, so choose wisely when you reach for one. We also wouldn't recommend saying all of these out loud, as some are really just meant to make you feel better about your dalliance.

1. You're Shopping Against the Clock
Some items, like those sold at Woot.com and other daily deal sites, have very strict expiration times. If you wait until you get home, where it's not against company policy to shop online, you could very easily miss an excellent deal.

2. It's Time to Get Yours
You've been passed over for a promotion so many times that the only way you'll make more money is to save more money. Though, maybe you've been passed over because of your at-work shopping habits? It's a real chicken and egg situation, isn't it?!

3. It's Required
Your job is to shop online. OK, this one applies mainly to the content team here at dealnews and probably the staff at Consumer Reports. We can't tell you how many times our boss has been like, "What are you doing, shopping online?!" and we're all, "But it's our job!" and he's all, "Well, carry on, then!" and we're all, "Raise?", and he's all, "Don't push it!"

4. It's Your Non-Smoker Smoke Break
You don't smoke, but those uppity smokers, protected by the government, can legally take smoke breaks without fear of repercussions (especially if their boss also smokes). Why shouldn't you have a 5-minute break every once and a while? And in addition to not getting cancer, you'll also get a nice set of tents, with free shipping, maybe! Of course, this is moot if you also smoke. Don't get greedy!

5. It's a Form of Brown Nosing
The only reason why you're shopping during work is because you're looking for a gift for your boss. Use this one only if she catches you browsing for a relatively cheap item, cause you're going to have to then buy it for her. "Wow! A new car! How generous of you!" *Gulp*

6. You Have a Documented Problem
You are a professional hoarder. We're not sure how you can be "professional" at it — do you get sponsored, or something? — but you have a problem, and your boss should respect that. Remind her that TLC could call at any minute, and she could soon be the boss of a famous celebrity; you can't buy that kind of publicity!

7. Work Qualifies as "Slumming It"
You're a trust-fun kiddie who, like, totally doesn't need this job, but "Dad says I have to learn responsibility. Whatever!" Dad is also your boss.

8. You're Looking to Give Your Condolences
You are in mourning and you're buying sympathy flowers / gifts for the deceased's loved ones. THIS FEATURE JUST GOT DARK!

9. You're a Captain of Industry
You're the boss. And not like in the way the Internet kids mean it when they describe how they did something mundane ("I ate that sammich LIKE A BOSS"), or the way Tony Danza is, or the way an 80s kid thinks of a BMX bike trick. No, you are really in charge of the company. Who's going to fire you? You?! No way, that guy's a total push-over who can't fire anyone, least of all yourself.

10. You Have a Seasonal Excuse
You work at H&R Block and it's not April. Seriously. What else are you doing when people aren't coming in for tax prep?

And there you have it! A handful of perfectly good reasons why you shouldn't be reprimanded for shopping while at work. Do you now feel the confidence to browse retail sites at your leisure? Excellent! You're in the right place.

Front page photo credit: Impact Lab
Photo credits top to bottom: Tick Tock Taxi, Denim Blog, Dr. Versus, and TChad


Jeff Somogyi is the dealnews Media Editor. His shopping habit is literal: He always looks like a nun when shopping online. See what he buys via Twitter or through his blog. You can also sign up for an email alert for all dealnews features.
Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
You might also like
Leave a comment! or Register