One of the best ways to cut costs and avoid hassles is to shop online. However, that doesn’t mean all deals are as great as they seem at first glance. So, keep on reading for the five ways to avoid online shopping pitfalls so you can maximize your savings and minimize stress.
- Go for a merchant with a good reputation.
Unless you’re going to shop for the designer’s legitimate website, not all auction sites and resellers are professional or trustworthy as it’s just easy to misrepresent the condition or nature of a product with a photo or generic description. The key is to check out the seller’s ratings and buyers feedback. If it sounds too good to be true, then, beware of it.
- Check out shipping costs before you buy.
The base price for an online item designed to look lower than the store price. However, you have to factor in the cost of shipping as sometimes the list price meet certain conditions, like buying a large enough quantity or spending enough money to qualify for a discount. Before searching the site, check out shipping costs first. You can find some retailers with local stores that will allow you to ship a product to one of their locations at no charge.
- Read the return policy carefully before ordering.
Whether you shop online or at a store, returning a purchase can be a sticky process. Generally, have to cover return shipping on your own and sometimes, there’s a “restocking fee” so you won’t get a full refund. Also, some items can only be exchanged, or can’t be returned at all if they’ve been opened. The key is to read the merchant’s return policy before ordering.
- Consider using a secure payment method.
Identity theft and fraud are always risks online, so be careful when putting your financial information out there. At checkout, verify the list of items you’re purchasing and make sure the quantities are right. Also, consider using secure checkout methods, and be aware of the protections your credit card offers in case something goes wrong.
- Look for sites that have automated systems that notify you when an item’s stock is low or sold out.
Since lots of people are shopping alongside you, the item stock might drop fast. There’s a time that a merchant will run out of an item and have to order more, possibly delaying the arrival of your item. So, look for sites that have automated systems that notify you when an item’s stock is low or sold out, so you’ll know what to expect. Remember, every business has different shipping policies, as some orders can take weeks to arrive. By considering these things, you’ll be a savvy shopper and avoid online shopping pitfalls.