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.
Shop around when shopping online. You may find that prices for certain items can vary greatly from store to store. To be sure you get the best deal, look at a few different stores to find out their prices, as well as shipping charge. This will allow you to get the best deal you can.
When you are shopping online, make sure that you are only shopping on secure websites. Look in the website URL and it should display “https” instead of the usual “http” at the beginning. Always have an up to date copy of anti-virus running on your computer as well. This will ensure that you have a safe online shopping experience.
Look for the right times to shop online. Often the stores that you frequent will have online sales that follow a time pattern. Many, for instance, schedule sales for the beginning of the month or at the end. If you see there’s a pattern, hold off on buying anything until the upcoming sales period begins.
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.
To protect yourself use a credit card when shopping online. The federal government has passed laws to protect consumers in the event of fraud. The amount the consumer is responsible for is a mere $50.00 as compared to debit cards where the entire balance can be withdrawn by internet hackers.
When shopping online, you need to be extra careful if you are using your cellphone to purchase online. Using a public Wi-Fi can leave your personal vulnerable to hackers. Try to only use your secured network when shopping online using a cellphone and never use a public Wi-Fi hot spot to shop.
Although it may seem tedious, make sure you read the contract and terms before you purchase at a website. These documents have valuable information on what you can and cannot do when you have an issue with the item that you bought. Read them thoroughly so that you do not have an unwelcome surprise when trying to return items.
When buying clothing or shoes online, always check on the site’s return policy. Since judging size can be difficult by sheer guesstimation alone, you want to make sure you can return or exchange the item if it doesn’t fit. Otherwise, use a tape-measure and chart to determine your exact size for the country of origin you are purchasing from.
Realize that restocking fees may apply if you must return an item. A restocking fee can be as much as one quarter of the price of the item. This fee may increase your overall price if you must return the item. Therefore, ensure that you order the correct size to avoid this additional fee.
Check out eBay. Still the best and most respected auction site out there, eBay offrs thousands of products of all kinds. Even if you want something high end, give eBay a shot before you go and pay full price unnecessarily. You might even want to browse, to see what products you like that you would not have thought to look for.
Look into online shopping clubs. Sites like ebates.com have some tremendous offers. You not only find out about sales going on at different sites, but they pay you a percentage of your purchase when you buy from those sites. It is a great way to get a bonus check every four months and get the things you need.
Remember to consider not only the item’s actual cost, but also how much will be charged for shipping. An item may cost a few dollars more at one site, but if they offer free shipping, it might end up being less expensive overall. If shipping prices aren’t listed up front, you can check on them by beginning the checkout process. The shipping cost will be shown before the order is complete.
If you’re new to Internet auctions, learn how disputes get solved before you buy anything. Sometimes the auction site itself works with users to resolve disputes. On the other hand, certain websites simply act as the middleman for the seller and buyer to communicate; therefore, they will not help resolve any disputes.
If you’re making a purchase from a small retailer, don’t be afraid for discounts. Many shop owners will be happy to shave a little money off the price, especially if it’s something they’ve been trying to sell for a long time. The worst that can happen is that you get told no.
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.