Online shopping is a great resource that everyone loves. What more fun than finding what you need, and in a few clicks and a short wait, having it show up at your doorstep?
It also allows you to shop when it’s convenient and find items that might not be available locally, and discover great shopping deals. It brings all shops at your comfort, reduces time wastage, and lets you purchase the items you need from different retailers without making the trip to the stores.
However, not everyone is a smart shopper. From the growing problem with fake reviews to high delivery costs, online shopping is continuously changing.
To make sure you’re shopping safely, or would love to get discounts without lots of efforts, check out these online shopping tips for smart shoppers.
Never Pay Full Price
Sick of paying full-price on items? There are many ways to save money while shopping online. Here are just a few tricks:
Always Search for Coupon Codes
If you think couponing takes hours of time and research, think again. All you have to do is download a browser extension that searches for coupons and applies them to your purchases automatically.
Honey, for example, identifies possible coupon codes and applies them to your shopping cart until it finds the best possible deal. The extension lets you combine different coupons and promo codes at checkout, and use them in the right order to get the lowest price.
Know When to Buy
While it may be tempting to spend your weekends browsing various retailers, don’t rush to hit that “place order” button. First, ask yourself whether the purchase can wait for the next big “shopping holiday” like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Amazon Prime Day, Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, etc.
If you need to make the purchase sooner rather than later, you should still give it a few days to see if the price drops. Most stores roll out discounts and exclusive deals on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. If you do a lot of your shopping on Amazon, you can also use the Honey application to study past price changes and trends.
Always Comparison Shop
Smart shoppers know that comparison shopping is the key to unlocking huge savings on just about any product, from groceries, clothing to electronics.
And many comparison sites let you compare products before buying to find the lowest prices. These platforms allow you to check out what retailers are selling the product you want to purchase and their prices so that you know where to go to save money.
Using comparison shopping sites is straightforward. Just search the item you want, find the best price, and head to the online store selling the product. But remember, when you find an excellent price with a retailer you’ve never heard before, be sure to check online reviews to see what other shoppers think about the seller. Some questions to ask yourself as you research include:
- Are the products genuine, or are they knock-offs that look like the real thing?
- How good is their customer service? Will they get back to you quickly?
- What kind of experiences have other customers had? Would they recommend the product to their friends?
- What does the return policy look like, and does the store adhere to it?
- How long does the retailer take to ship items?
Shop Safe and Secure
If you shop online frequently, you should take the time to review best practices for secure purchases. To protect your personal information and credit card numbers, use the following tips:
- Do Your Homework– Only shop where you trust. Fraudsters are fond of creating fake e-commerce sites to steal financial information from unsuspecting shoppers.
So, before entering any financial or personal information, verify the site you are on is legitimate and secure. Besides your own judgment, you can check the retailer on Better Business Bureau or Truste.com to confirm they’re trustworthy.
- Consider Your Payment Options– Typically, using credit cards is better than debit cards because you have more consumer protections for credit cards if something goes wrong. You can also use third-party payment services like PayPal, Google Pay, and Amazon Pay instead of your credit card.
- Only Shop Where You See the Padlock– When making payments for online purchases, make sure the payment page uses SSL encryption to protect your information. You should be able to see a padlock icon in the address bar of your browser. The address should also start with HTTPS.
Enjoy Your Next Digital Shopping Spree
Shopping online is the easiest way to get pretty much everything and anything you need. But while it’s convenient, you can often feel like there are some deals to be had you’re missing out on. However, with a little extra effort and some excellent tactics, you can become an e-shopping expert.