shopping

A quick guide for the cyber sales shopaholics; the do’s and don’ts of online shopping

by Josh Biggs in Tech on 3rd October 2019

Whether you’re a novice buyer or an old timer, online shopping can be full of pleasant and not so pleasant surprises. The Internet is a great resource for shoppers and to get the maximum benefits, one needs to understand all the ins and outs. The online stores are always coming up with discounts and deals, providing a competitive environment to other e-stores as well as the physical ones. There are then such websites that do overall price comparisons to help find out the best deals that are monetarily invaluable. Moreover, customer reviews can also help in guiding what to buy and where to buy it. There aren’t a lot of taxation issues when individual sellers and stores offer their products online, so, online buyers can save up on those additional costs as well.

You cannot just go crazy with every sale that pops up on your screen. With a little more restraint, some patience and research, you can steadily become the guru of all shopping online. Here are a few points to keep in mind with Thanksgiving sales right ahead to get the best deals possible:

1. Figure out what you really want

Before the madness begins, do your numbers. Sit down and make a list of what you really need out of any sale or deal that comes your way. It can be some personal items, a home accessory and it may very well be the Christmas shopping. The whole point of this exercise is to limit yourself to focus on what you require so that you’re not carried away by some sweet deal that makes temporary sense. Nevertheless, these sales don’t just happen every day so think about everything that you need and get ready to shop.

2. Research your options

Once you’re sure about what you need, try to look for the same product at different websites as well as any brick and mortar stores that you have a chance to visit before the upcoming sales. Research is the key to getting exactly what you want within a certain price range. Make comparisons among different brands; look for what they most probably are going to offer during the sales. Companies want customers and sometimes they drop in hints and clues regarding what to expect. So work hard to make sure that you are aware of everything.

3. Keep a set budget

You know what you want and where to get it from, now keep a fixed amount in your head that you expect to spend on your shopping spree. Once the sales begin, you may get excited about stuff on the spot that is perfect. Try to be clear about how much you can set aside from the original score so that your main agenda is not overlooked. Sales don’t mean that you become tipsy with the delight of them as it happens with many shopaholics.

4. Beware of frauds

Check the credibility long before any sale comes up and then shop at reliable e-stores. Don’t rely on the deals that social media sites or apps have to offer. Go to the original websites of retailers to view what they actually have to offer. Discrepancies can occur and you may end with either nothing or a replica that you never bargained for. If you have to buy from partner website, call on the provided number to make sure that everything that’s visually apparent is also legitimate.

5. Use credit cards

Do not make any payments through your debit card. The information that you enter online is easily accessible and saved for fraudulent use. This can lead to unnecessary troubles. Credit cards, on the other hand, have a liability limit of only $50. Moreover, the bank requires you to confirm any payment via message, email or call. This further ensures the safety of credit cards. With debit a card, the amount that you enter is instantly gone.

6. Check return/exchange policy

Make sure that you know what services are available in case you need to make an exchange or return a faulty product. Known companies with physical offices sometimes offer an exchange at their selling points as well as courier returns. Similarly, credible websites offer returns or exchanges in compliance with their policies, trying to make sure that their customers are satisfied.

7. Look for hidden fees

The shopping website of your choice may be in another part of the world. Try to make sure that the product you choose can actually reach you in the promised amount of time. You can do it by checking their shipment policy. Do not fall for free home delivery gigs. They may not even apply to you. Moreover, a company may hold some hidden costs and charges that apply to low-cost items. Make sure that you are paying the exact amounts.

8. Try to fly risk-free

You cannot try on clothing items that are bought online, similarly, electronics can’t be checked or verified. Look for public reviews to steer clear from buying products for their amazing good looks. Find out the market value and look for the warranty options in case of electronics or any other appliances that you want to buy. If it’s a clothing item, look for the brand. Try not to go for replicas online as you may get utterly disappointed.

9. Create a new e-mail address

This may sound like an extra hassle but believe me; this can help a lot when it comes to keeping your personal information safe. If the website that you shopped from ever gets hacked, you don’t need to worry about your personal or official e-mail splattered everywhere. All your personal information, which sometimes includes phone numbers and credit card information, is safe from prying eyes. Moreover, your personal folders are not always brimming to edge with unwanted marketing stuff. An important addition to a list of warnings; do not pay attention to spam e-mails offering/promising gifts if you provide your credit card number or NTN. Stay away from the crazy vultures online. Now that you’re all set for this year’s holiday shopping spree, use your lightning fast internet and get your hands on the best deals that there are!

Bonus: Using different passwords for different accounts helps ensure the safety of your data across varying platforms. With the recent addition in cyber hacks, taking a few extra measures is what we all should rely on. Buying won’t stop and sellers won’t stop selling, but a little time that you invest in keeping yourself secure will pay off immensely.

Categories: Tech