Shopping online from the convenience of your own home is one of the miracles bestowed upon us by the internet. We can easily buy anything from our weekly groceries to our automobiles with just the click of a mouse. However, with the ease of online shopping come some risks–identity theft, false advertising, and scams to name a few. Keep reading to learn how to reap the rewards of online shopping while protecting yourself and scoring great deals.
Sign up for the website’s newsletter if they have one. Many times stores will give you a discount or some type of deal when you sign up for their newsletter. Find out if there is a deal associated with signing up for the newsletter at any store you want to shop at.
Never give out your Social Security number to an online merchant. This number is not required for placing orders online. Giving an online store your Social Security number can help them use your personal and private information to steal your identity. To prevent that, if you go on an online store site and see that as a requirement, do not buy anything from them and shop somewhere else.
If you want to buy books online, you’ll get a better deal if you get them used. Depending on the condition you get them in, you may just end up paying a few cents plus shipping. Make sure you read through the description of the book to see if there are any damages you should be aware of.
If you shop frequently at a certain website or online store, it may be worth it to sign up for their email updates which usually have special offers and sales. This can translate into savings for you as you may get a discount on the item or even free shipping, which can add up to bigger savings if you buy from the site often.
If you have questions while shopping, look for a live chat function on the online store. Many big brands (and even some boutique stores) now have this functionality. You can chat immediately with a customer service representative to fix any issues or answer any questions before you purchase. That can give you a lot of peace of mind.
Check out the address bar of your browser before you enter your credit card number into a Web form. Look at the URL and ensure that it contains “HTTPS” which means that your information is encrypted. If you do not see those letters, you are exposing yourself to potential fraud if you continue entering your information.
When shopping online, always stop to read product reviews. Other customer’s reviews are one of your biggest assets. They will tell you whether clothing sizes run small or large, if there are any common issues with a product, or if it isn’t quite what the website describes. Taking these reviews into account could save you some big headaches later on.
Check the details on the product’s page carefully. Use the product specifications, especially size and color, to make sure you will receive what you expect. You have to understand that the picture you see might not match the product you want to purchase.
Look for coupon codes when you have to buy something online. A lot of the time when you’re checking out you will see a box that says something about entering a code. As soon as you see that box search online for the site’s name plus coupon codes. It’s a good idea because you’ll be able to get a better price on your order usually.
Remember that when you are shopping online, there could be significant costs associated with shipping your item. Always take these costs into account when you are looking for your best price. One website may have a high price, but includes free shipping. The same item on another site may be priced lower, but by the time the shipping costs are added, it is more expensive than the first site.
Before you begin your shopping, check out some coupon sites to see if they have any coupons for the items that you may need. These sites offer coupons from both retailers and manufacturers; you can save a lot of money with them. What you must remember is to visit the site for the coupon before you make the purchase.
If you are unsure whether or not you can trust an online vendor, look up their reviews online first. Many times, customers will post reviews about their shopping experience, both good and bad. One or two bad reviews should not put you off, but many bad reviews should set off warning signals.
Choose passwords with a high degree of security. Avoid simple words or easily guessed phrases. It is easy for people to get into your shopping account and take your credit card info. Do not leave yourself vulnerable to criminals. Your password should be random, consisting of numbers, letters, and symbols.
Watch out for online retailer discounts that have short expiration dates. Too many online shoppers fall for the urgency of a good discount without really thinking it through. If the discount is for items that you need, it may be a good idea to use it. However, if the discount only applies to things that you wouldn’t buy otherwise, it’s not a good deal. Keep in mind that you could also find a better deal elsewhere, so think about it and do your research before you buy.
When shopping online, don’t forget to take shipping costs into consideration. Many online stores offer sales, good deals or discounts, and then charge large amounts for shipping, which can ruin a great deal. Instead, shop around for low shipping costs, as well as good retail prices. You can often find stores that offer half-price shipping, or even free shipping.
As you are well aware, shopping online from your home computer or mobile device is highly convenient. You don’t have the hassle of dealing with traffic or lines at the store. However, certain risks come with online shopping. You now know how to avoid these risks and fully enjoy the online shopping experience.