It is no wonder that online shopping has skyrocketed in recent years. The ease of online searching from the comfort of your home is alluring. Add to that, the simplicity of not having to fight traffic or crowds and having the items shipped to your doorstep, and you’ve got a fail-proof idea. Although online shopping is easy and popular, there are many things you should know about it before clicking “buy.” Read on.
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.
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.
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 shop frequently at a certain website or online store, it may be worth it to sign up for their email updates which usually have special offers and sales. This can translate into savings for you as you may get a discount on the item or even free shipping, which can add up to bigger savings if you buy from the site often.
If you think that you will be making a lot of online purchases in the future, consider applying for a separate credit card to use only for these transactions. It is easier to track all transactions if they are the only items listed on this card’s transaction records. Additionally, you don’t need to worry about your own funds being compromised, even temporarily, if you are a victim of fraud.
When you are searching for a place to buy an item and none of the results seem to be from familiar retailers, you should be hesitant about entering your information. Try to find site security from Cybertrust or Verisign so you’re sure that the site is legit.
Before buying online, look for any reviews you can find on the items. The good news is that many stores have customer reviews front and center these days. Amazon, for instance, has sometimes hundreds of reviews for their most popular products. If you have concerns before buying, these are an excellent place to begin.
Keep your computer protected. If you are doing any shopping online, especially at a site you are not familiar with, make sure your computer has up-to-date virus protection. This is essential to prevent your computer from being infected by malicious websites. There are several free options that can be found on most search engines.
Look for the URL near the top of your screen before you enter your information on a website. If you see HTTPS at the beginning, you can be assured that your data is being encrypted. If you do not see this, you may be making yourself open to identity theft or fraud because your personal data is not secure.
Many websites have tons of information available about their products to ensure there isn’t buyer’s remorse. Reviews from customers that have bought the item can help you make a choice about whether or not to buy an item.
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.
Unless you need an item right away, avoid choosing the expedited shipping option when shopping online. Most websites will charge you a fortune to have your items delivered the next day or the day after. Most of the time, standard shipping is much cheaper and your items will still come within a few days.
You should be able to access your credit card statements online. Get in the habit of checking them at least once a week, particularly if you shop online a lot. If a charge pops up that you don’t recognize, you will be able to dispute it right away. However, if you don’t check it soon enough, you may not have any recourse.
If you have filet mignon tastes and a cheeseburger budget, turn to auction sites. You can often find brand new designer items at a heavily discounted price. Try searching for a slightly misspelled version of the designer’s name. You may be able to find an item that no one else has seen.
Amazon.com is a great place to get deals, but the real steals are often found in the used products available. When you buy refurbished, you often get an item which is even better than new as it has been rigorously tested. Other used products can be priced at super low rates.
Never use your business or personal email address when making a purchase online. You may find these email accounts end up being filled with spam if you do. Use a completely different email address, and forward any messages pertaining to online shopping for your regular email. By doing this, you are assured your inbox is kept clean, and you can receive messages on your purchases at the same time.
Before reading this article, you already knew that online shopping is both popular and convenient. However, after reading this article, you now know the ins and outs of scoring great deals, keeping your information safe, and buying online in general. Keep this information in mind as you shop the web.