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.
When shopping for a product online, take the time to read reviews. Try finding the same product on different sites to read as many reviews as possible. Reading many reviews will help you get a more general idea of whether or not the product you are interested in meets high standards of quality.
A reputable online seller should have a history that is recorded with the Better Business Bureau. Check with the BBB before you part with your hard earned money to see if there have been any major or continual complaints lodged against them. You don’t want to be spending your money with a company that fails to deliver.
Don’t supply too much information. It should be no surprise that a shopping site will need your credit card information in order to bill you, and your address so that you can receive your items. However, use caution if more information is asked. No shopping site should ever need your social security number, and even your birth date may be too much information. Those pieces of information, combined with your credit card number can be used by an identity thief to wreak havoc.
Make sure that you check your credit card bill will a fine tooth comb if you make a lot of purchases online. Many people fail to do this and they end up paying hundreds of dollars a year on charges that they did not authorize. This is easier to do if you use just one card for online purchases.
If you make a purchase and you are directed to a confirmation page that fails to load, never hit the button that refreshes the page. if you do this, you run this risk of being billed multiple times. If you must confirm your purchase, contact the company or check your credit card statement.
Just as you would when shopping in person, be sure to comparison shop on the Internet before making a purchase. What you find on one website may be significantly cheaper on other website. There are even some websites, such as NexTag.com, that allow you to comparison shop right on their page.
In order to save on shipping fees, it is best to get everything you need in one order. If you do not do it this way, you will have to pay a separate shipping fee for each order you make. This will end up costing you a fortune in the long run.
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.
A lot of sites specialize in comparison shopping. These sites do not directly sell products but provide shoppers with a detailed list of different stores offering an item as well as the prices. You should use this tool to do some comparison shopping before deciding where to purchase the product you need.
Keep your boxes for what you buy online for 30 days after purchasing any item. This includes the shipping boxes they came in. If something goes wrong in the initial purchase period (for most items 14 to 30 days), you may need to ship the item back in its original packaging. It’s nice then too to have the original shipping box as well since you know it will fit.
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.
The cost of gas can greatly add to the cost of shopping, especially when you have to visit different stores in different areas. You can save money on gas and time wasted in traffic and shop online. You may think that you may spend more on shipping but many sites offer free shipping and if you buy multiple items, the savings add up quickly.
Make sure that you only provide the bare necessities when shopping online. Usually all that is required is your name, address and credit card number. Occasionally there will be additional areas for you to add personal information and phone numbers. If these areas are not required, do not fill them out. They can sell this information to marketing companies and you will be inundated with spam mail and marketing phone calls.
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.
Consider joining up with online forums concerning shopping in order to get extra savings. In this manner, you can receive alerts from others who seek the same sorts of bargains you do. This is great for finding deals you may have missed, so joining some forums is a good way to get many benefits.
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.