There are certain times of the year that shopping is just plain dreadful. The parking lots are full, the lines are long and the prices are through the roof. You can now shop from home using your computer and get better prices than you ever could if you went through the torture of going to the store.
Never try to shop directly from a link someone sent you in an email, unless it’s a widely known and respected site, like Amazon.com. Too many consumers get tricked into scams via hyperlinks in questionable emails. Visit the URL of the site mentioned in the mail, instead of clicking the link itself.
You should never, ever give out your personal social security number while shopping online. There is no website that needs this number for you to make a purchase. If a site asks for a social security number, then it’s a scam. Leave this site, and find one that has a better reputation.
Learn more about the payment methods offered by the online store you are interested in. Most stores give you the option to pay with a credit card or with PayPal. A credit card is a safe option only if the store has a secure server. If you do not see any information about safety, it is best to go through a different store.
If you’re concerned about whether a shopping site is legitimate or not, do some research about it. The internet can be a great way to find out about other people’s experiences with different sites. If the reviews of others seem promising, consider making a small first order. This can allow you to test out the customer service, shipping, and gain a feel for the company without risking a lot of money.
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 a company has a newsletter, sign up. Often, companies will give sneak peeks, special deals and coupon codes to people on their mailing list. However, be careful. You don’t want to sign up for every company’s newsletter or you’ll soon be buried under endless emails. Only sign up for a company’s newsletter if you really like their products and would use a coupon code.
Be wary of overdoing it. It is much easier to overspend when you are shopping online. You start to rationalize that you can spend more for those shoes because you saved money on gas and the food you would have gotten if you went to the mall, for instance. Give yourself a limit and stick to it.
It is best to shop online with a credit card. Most credit cards come with a protection plan in case your information is stolen. Your bank will probably give you your money if you purchased a bad product with a credit card while you will entirely depend on the seller to get your money back if you used a debit card.
Discount websites are the best places to get deals when shopping online. Websites like Overstock.com get their merchandise from manufacturers that were unable to sell their products at retail stores. This is how they are able to sell their products so cheaply. Try to make purchases through these sites before looking at “normal” sites.
If you shop with particular online dealers, try planning your purchases around the times when they offer free shipping, if they have it. Shipping is a major cost when it comes to online shopping, and sometimes that can make a cheaper order much more expensive. Getting free shipping on your items can save you a lot of money, which you can use for other items, so you should take advantage of it when it’s offered.
Do a quick web search for promo keys and discounts prior to making any online purchases. Often, there are discount keys out there that you may not be aware of! This could save you 10% to 20%, or offer you things like free shipping or a discount on a secondary item.
Sign up on online communities that focus on finding bargains online. Forum members post their best bargain finds and daily deals for other members to enjoy. This is a great way to stay posted on the bargains that pop up everyday. You just never know if something that you want goes on sale.
Shopping for wedding or baby gifts is much easier now that the recipients can register online and you can browse their selections, see what has already been purchased and pick out something that suits your budget and their needs. You can also choose to have the item delivered directly to them which saves time and money.
Read the reviews left by other customers. You will likely run into some sites that pay for their reviews, so pay attention to what you are reading not just the star ratings given. You will be able to learn a lot about the quality of the product as well as the site by reading the reviews.
Always use your common sense when shopping online. Ask yourself, do the prices seem way too low? Are there numerous spelling and grammar errors on the website? Does the company list a PO box instead of a physical address? These are all clues that you may not be dealing with the most reputable retailer. Use your common sense and don’t get scammed.
Online shopping has been around for years, but knowing how to shop in the wisest ways is imperative these days. You should have learned a lot about how to shop online and make it a positive experience. Learning more about online shopping can help you now and in the many months to come.