Millions of people every day shop online. You can join the millions of people, even though you might be reluctant to try. Once you get the hang of how easy it is, and how you can protect yourself, you might find you prefer shopping online than any other way. Here are some tips to get you going.
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.
Get familiar with the shipping facts of an online retailer. Their shipping policy should be outlined in a separate section to describe the average time you should get your items, geographic restrictions, shipping choices, possible shipping insurance, and what their shipping and handling fees are. Use all of this information to decide if these costs and options fit well for you, your budget, and your area before you place an order.
Sign up for your favorite online stores’ newsletters. Many times online stores will send out daily, weekly or monthly newsletters with special sales, discounts and deals. If you like to save money, you might be able to score some great deals on items you were going to purchase anyway.
Shopping online doesn’t always mean buying directly from the manufacturer. In fact, you can purchase from sites like Target, Walmart and Amazon which have everything you need under one roof. This can save you money on shipping costs as all items are coming from a single retailer, plus it makes shopping easy.
Try shopping with online retailers that offer some form of Live Chat or Live Help. This is a quicker way to receive answers than email or phone calls. Many times, you can ask for coupon codes for discounts or get special offers, such as free shipping. Some retailers are happy to do this if you order on the same day.
Most credit cards offer an identify-theft protection program. Therefore, when shopping online, only use your credit card to make purchases. If you ever have a charge show up that you are concerned about, your credit card company will look into the matter for you. Debit cards are much riskier and should be avoided.
Use price comparison websites like PriceGrabber.com to find the best deals online. They allow you to check out every online store which sells the item you are looking for, plus they include important information like shipping costs and availability. You also need to check out warranties and store ratings to choose the best option.
If you are considering a large purchase from an unfamiliar website, start with a “practice purchase.” If possible, find a low-cost item on the site to buy. Make sure that the transaction goes well and you are satisfied with their service and product. If they pass this test, you should feel comfortable making your larger purchase.
If you want to do some shopping online, check with your credit card company and see if they offer one-time use credit card numbers. These card numbers can only be used one time and protect your “real” credit card number from theft. This service is almost always free to account holders.
Even if you choose to buy from a brick and mortar store, take the time to shop online first so that you can see what is available and what prices are standard. You can also read buyer’s reviews that can help you determine exactly which items you may want to avoid. A little research can pay off in saving and satisfaction.
Never purchase something online from an online store that you have never heard of without verifying their reputation. Many people set up fronts online with the sole purpose of ripping off consumers. In order to protect yourself you should always look for reviews for the company before you decide to buy.
Always like or friend your favorite retailers on social networking sites. Big retailers frequently offer exclusive deals to their social network followers. As an added bonus, these deals will pop up in your feed, which means you’ll never miss them. You’ll be amazed at how good some of these exclusive offers are.
If given a choice to leave your information in an account, think carefully before you do. The inconvenience of having to type in numbers again means nothing if you have saved your identity and financial information. Most sites never have a problem, but it’s something that you definitely want to think about.
You might be hesitant to start shopping online, but there’s really no reason to be. This is something that more and more people are doing, with good reason. Make sure you try each of the tips to optimize your shopping experience. You may one day decide that you’re only going to shop this way!