How to Shop Online Like a Pro
With all the convenience it brings, people are gradually shifting towards online shopping. However, with so many options available, it's easy to make mistakes.
Due to all the convenience it brings, people are gradually shifting towards online shopping. During the Coronavirus outbreak, the number of consumers purchasing online has skyrocketed, as forty-two percent of the US population has shopped for groceries online, many of them planning to continue purchasing this way, even after the pandemic is over.
However, with so many options available at a single mouse click, we have a lot of room for making all sorts of errors. Read on for the best six tips on mastering this skill and learning to shop online like a pro!
1. Make your purchase secure
Most of the online retailers pay a lot of attention to making the connection to their website secure. You can tell the difference easily, and trust your sensitive details and credit card numbers only to websites beginning with HTPPS:// instead of HTTP: //, which guarantees they are taking safety measures.
However, to shop safely, you need to do your part of the job as well.
For starters, this means you shouldn't make any financial transactions over the public network, as there is a great risk of your sensitive data being stolen. When making purchases, ensure you're using a secure connection, protected by the firewall.
2. Have a dedicated credit card
It's best to avoid debit cards for shopping online, as they don't offer the kind of protection credit cards do if any problems arise.
To put it simply – if your credit card details get stolen, your liability to unauthorized charges is limited to $50, while many credit card issuers have zero fraud liability.
Some issuers offer similar protection for debit cards too, but there is a vast difference. When it comes to credit cards, the money is stolen from the issuer, not from you. On the other hand, when your debit card is used illegally, money is lifted directly from your account, so you need to dispute the charges to get it back.
If your designated credit card is compromised, you can just shut it down without any further complications or significant losses.
You can compare credit cards and choose the one that will fit your spending habits, and bring you the most benefits. For example, if you like to shop with overseas retailers, you should find the best credit card to use overseas and make use of multiple discounts and promotions they offer.
3. Be sensible
Never go for the first item that you see, especially if the offer is too good to be true – it's a sound reason for you to be cautious.
When a price for an item is too low, it's only sensible to be suspicious and doubt whether it's authentic, stolen, or if it will ever be delivered. Take your time to research retailers online and check whether they're legitimate. The good idea is to read the reviews of other shoppers and learn more about their experience with the merchandiser.
A great thing about shopping online is that you can easily make comparisons and choose the best items for the best price.
Learn how to control your impulses, and resist buying the first item that you like. The chances are high that you can find a similar/same product at a different store for a much better price and make a great bargain.
Also, before clicking a purchase button, make sure you've gathered all the information that could influence your decision, just like you would do in a store. Read product descriptions thoroughly, as well as customers' reviews so that you can get a clear idea of the quality of the item.
5. Check sales, special offers, and coupon sites
If you want to take online shopping seriously, have a particular email account that you will use to subscribe to your favorite retailers.
This way, you will be notified about any sales and special offers, and you can plan your shopping accordingly, without sacrificing the zen of your inbox.
Before making a purchase, go through your inbox and check the offers. You can also visit some of the best coupon sites, and search for digital discount codes so that you can get the most bang for your buck.
And while you may (understandably) hate going through sale racks in brick and mortar stores, when it comes to online shopping, searching through discounted merch can actually be a stress-relieving activity, resulting in some fabulous purchases.
6. Be clear on the return policy
As you don't get to see and physically try the items you're shopping, you have to count that not every one of your purchases will be perfect. That's why knowing the returning policy of the retailer is especially important.
Investigate whether the retailer accepts returns, who pays the costs, and the time frame for returns. If the policy is not clearly stated on the website, you should contact the company to get all the details.
Using the tips above will help you shop safely, like a pro. But remember – when it comes to mastering a skill, practice makes perfect, so be prepared to learn on the go.