6 Savvy Online Shopping Tips You Wish You Knew Earlier

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There is no denying that the concept of online shopping has made it easier than ever for people to buy what they desire from anywhere, at any point in time. 

All those who prefer to shop from the comfort of their homes find that it is fast, easy, and convenient to browse through items peacefully instead of going to crowded stores and malls. 

While online shopping has its perks, there are ways to make sure you have a secure and successful experience. 

If you, like us, prefer getting goods delivered to your doorstep with a click of a button, here are some great tips for smart online shopping. 

1) Safety comes first

Shopping online means entering your personal and financial information on a website, running the risk of it being stolen in case your device is not properly protected against malicious software.

Since this can lead to dangerous consequences, you need to make sure that you are using a secure internet connection in the first place. Never make big purchases on a public network in case it has been compromised in any way. 

You should also ensure that your computer’s firewall is turned on and that you are logging on to a trusted eCommerce website that is encrypted. Look for the padlock symbol on the URL bar and next to your WiFi’s network name to make sure. 

It is always better to create unique passwords that cannot get hacked easily. 

If you follow these guidelines, rest assured that your online transactions will be taking place in a safe environment. 

2) Make Price Comparisons

A great thing about shopping online is having a large number of available resources, allowing you to do adequate research before making a purchase. 

Some eCommerce platforms allow multiple vendors to sell their items online. This sometimes leads to unfair price hacks in an attempt to make more profits. Usually, such items are typically being sold by other vendors as well. Our advice is that you carry out a thorough scan of the online marketplace to compare prices and get the best deal available. 

You should avoid alarmingly high prices, but you should also steer clear from discounts that are too good to be true because such low prices usually hint towards the inauthenticity of products being sold. 

There are also several price comparison apps and websites such as Google Shopping and Nextag that can help you bag the best deal from trusted retailers. 

3) Look out for Bargains and Coupons

Whether it is in-store or online, everyone loves a good bargain. When you are shopping online, make sure to look out for deals and discounts that could help you find some exceptional items at a lower cost. 

At certain times of the year, shops tend to offer a variety of discounts, especially in November or post-holiday season in January. Other than these two months, another great way to bag a good bargain is through coupons. Before buying an item, you can manually search for available coupon deals online, or you can be tech-savvy and download an extension such as Honey for your browser that automatically picks up on coupons for you. 

4) Explore Credit Account Catalogues

Online catalogues are a great way to shop for items such as electronics, furniture, and clothing. Other than the fact that they are convenient and efficient, another great feature is that they offer customers a credit plan. 

So, if you are looking for easy payment methods, you should explore online catalogues with credit accounts. 

They follow a buy now and pay later scheme where you can spread out your payment in easy installments. By using credit account catalogues you have the freedom to buy at ease without having to wait for your next paycheck or bonus. 

This comes particularly handy when buying expensive items such as electronics because they help relieve the financial burden of paying all at once. 

5) Carefully Study Return Policies

If your cart is filled and you are ready to hit the “Place Order” button, we suggest you pause and first take a minute to read the website’s refund and exchange policy. 

Websites that belong to retail giants like Amazon have undoubtedly the best return policies in place that are in line with their ambition to prioritize customer satisfaction. 

In case an online store does not have a friendly return policy, you could get stuck in a long battle of attempting to return items and get your money credited back on time. 

So be sure to review all aspects of a return policy carefully, some things to look out for include finding out if a store takes returns to begin with, what are the charges if there are any, how long does the process take, and do they give a cash refund or transfer in-store credits. 

This information is vital, especially if you are planning on making a costly purchase. 

6) Be Wary of Impulse Buying

When you replace the experience of physically handing over cash at a counter with entering your debit or credit card details, it is often easy to “forget” that you are spending your hard-earned money.

This is particularly relevant during sale season when advertisements such as “limited time offer” keep flashing on your screen, creating urgency around a product to convince consumers to buy now or regret later. This tactic usually ends with you buying things you do not necessarily need. 

Our advice would be to add items to your cart and let them sit there for a day or two, if you still feel a strong need to buy them then go ahead and make the purchase, otherwise once your impulses die down, you may decide against it. 

Taking your time to think about an item’s actual value in your life will help you not spend on things you cannot afford to buy or may not need to begin with. 

Parting Thoughts

Online shopping quite accurately brings the entire world a click away from you, which can be either good or bad, depending on how you go about it. 

If you keep the tips and tricks we shared above in mind, you can save good money while having a great shopping experience. 

What are your thoughts on online shopping? Do you follow specific steps before making a purchase? We would love to hear from you in the comment section below. 

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