Online shopping is a great way to get the things you need without having to leave your house. You can find just about anything you want, and sometimes you can find better deals than you would in stores.
However, online shopping can also be a frustrating experience if you’re not careful. Here are several tips to make sure your online shopping experience is a good one.
Find a secure site
When you’re giving your personal and financial information to an online retailer, you want to make sure the site is secure. Look for HTTPS in the address bar and a lock icon before the URL. These are both signs that the site is encrypted and your information will be safe.
Additionally, you can check to see if the site is a verified business by looking for a BBB logo. This means the site is a part of the Better Business Bureau, and they have to adhere to certain standards.
Some browser extensions will check a site’s security for you, like HTTPS Everywhere and Privacy Badger.
Take advantage of coupons and deals
One of the best things about online shopping is that there are always coupons and deals to be found. If you’re using eCommerce and especially AliExpress, before you make a purchase, do a quick search for coupons. You can usually find codes for free shipping or a percentage off your total purchase or an AliExpress coupon which you can use at checkout. Also, take a look at the site’s sale or clearance section to find good deals.
There are also sites like RetailMeNot and Honey that will automatically apply coupons to your purchase when you’re shopping at certain retailers.
Additionally, make sure to sign up for newsletters from your favorite retailers. They will sometimes send out exclusive deals to their subscribers. And, if you’re a member of a loyalty program, you may be able to get special discounts as well.
Know your return policy
When you’re shopping online, it’s important to know the retailer’s return policy. Some retailers have different policies for different items, so make sure you read the fine print.
In general, you should be able to return an item if it’s defective, doesn’t fit, or you simply don’t want it. However, some retailers may only offer refunds in the form of store credit, and others may not accept returns at all.
Additionally, you will usually have to pay for return shipping, and the process can take a few weeks. The possibility and ease of return add to the enjoyment and convenience of online shopping so make sure you are aware of the policy before you buy. So, if you’re not sure about an item, it’s probably best to buy it in-store where you can return it more easily if you need to.
Be aware of extra fees
Sometimes, when you’re shopping online, you can be blindsided by extra fees. Shipping costs can add up, and sometimes retailers will charge a restocking fee for returns. Additionally, if you’re using a payment method like PayPal, you may be charged a fee by the retailer.
These fees can vary depending on the retailer, so make sure to read the fine print before you make a purchase. Also, consider signing up for a free shipping program like Amazon Prime or Walmart+. This way, you can avoid paying shipping fees on your purchases.
Additionally, when you’re comparing prices, make sure to take into account any extra fees that may apply. This way, you can get an accurate comparison of the true cost of the items.
One of the best things about online shopping is that you can read reviews before you buy. This is especially helpful when you’re buying something for the first time, or if you’re not familiar with the quality of a certain brand.
Look for reviews on the product page, as well as on sites like Amazon and Yelp. Pay attention to both positive and negative reviews, and look for patterns. For example, if a product has mostly five-star reviews but a few one-star reviews, the one-star reviewers might not be representative of the majority.
Additionally, take note of when the reviews were written. A product that has all five-star reviews but was only reviewed a year ago might not be as good as a product with four-star reviews that were written recently.
Online shopping can be a great experience if you’re careful and take the time to do your research. With a little bit of effort, you can make sure that your next online shopping experience is a good one.