Shopping online from the convenience of your own home is one of the miracles bestowed upon us by the internet. We can easily buy anything from our weekly groceries to our automobiles with just the click of a mouse. However, with the ease of online shopping come some risks–identity theft, false advertising, and scams to name a few. Keep reading to learn how to reap the rewards of online shopping while protecting yourself and scoring great deals.
Check out coupon sites. Whatever you want to buy might have coupons or discount codes. Before you buy something, make sure that you have the ability to take a few seconds and do a quick search. You might even want to bookmark some coupon sites to have ready when you buy.
If you find a great product on your favorite site, search for it in a search engine before you buy it. Make note of the model number or brand, and do a quick search to make sure you can’t get it cheaper from somewhere else. You might be able to save a few dollars that way.
Look for the right times to shop online. Often the stores that you frequent will have online sales that follow a time pattern. Many, for instance, schedule sales for the beginning of the month or at the end. If you see there’s a pattern, hold off on buying anything until the upcoming sales period begins.
If you want to save money on the products you buy online and want to make online shopping more fun, consider auction sites. You will get some great deals if you place your bids at the right moment and have some fun while browsing through auctions. Learn more about bidding strategies before getting started.
If you do a lot of online shopping, consider investing in anti-virus software. Most Internet users are bargain hunters. As you search for discount codes and deals, you may inadvertently stumble across a virus. Also, if you are looking for an obscure product or service, you may be redirected to some questionable sites as well. Your software can help direct you to safety.
Keep your computer protected. If you are doing any shopping online, especially at a site you are not familiar with, make sure your computer has up-to-date virus protection. This is essential to prevent your computer from being infected by malicious websites. There are several free options that can be found on most search engines.
If an online vendor asks for your social security number, do not make any purchases for them. While your credit card information is needed, there is no need for a company to ask for your credit card information if you are shopping from them. In fact, you should report any business that asks for this information to the Better Business Bureau.
It is best to shop online with a credit card. Most credit cards come with a protection plan in case your information is stolen. Your bank will probably give you your money if you purchased a bad product with a credit card while you will entirely depend on the seller to get your money back if you used a debit card.
Many websites can offer you the ability to view competing websites prices on the identical item which can save you money in the long run. Many websites will “pricematch” an identical item if you can show them where it is offered at a lower price at a different website. Learn which websites offer to pricematch and use it to your advantage to make the most of the savings.
Avoid using your personal or business email addresses when you are shopping online. Many times you will receive a ton of unwanted emails after making purchases. Setting up an email specifically for shopping sites will stop all of this junk mail from being mixed up with all of your legitimate emails.
In order to save on shipping fees, it is best to get everything you need in one order. If you do not do it this way, you will have to pay a separate shipping fee for each order you make. This will end up costing you a fortune in the long run.
Keep your boxes for what you buy online for 30 days after purchasing any item. This includes the shipping boxes they came in. If something goes wrong in the initial purchase period (for most items 14 to 30 days), you may need to ship the item back in its original packaging. It’s nice then too to have the original shipping box as well since you know it will fit.
If you want retailers to send you emails about discounts and sales, but do not want your email to be cluttered with junk mail, create an email account just for receiving sales promotions from merchants. This will keep your regular email free of promo clutter, and you will have all of your sales announcements in one place.
If you are unsure whether or not you can trust an online vendor, look up their reviews online first. Many times, customers will post reviews about their shopping experience, both good and bad. One or two bad reviews should not put you off, but many bad reviews should set off warning signals.
When setting up any passwords related to online shopping, it is important that you take it seriously. Try to use phrases that are very hard for people to guess. Your accounts at the online merchants are connected to the information on your credit card and other things. Make it as difficult as possible for would be thieves. Passwords should be random and have symbols, letters, and numbers in them.
As you are well aware, shopping online from your home computer or mobile device is highly convenient. You don’t have the hassle of dealing with traffic or lines at the store. However, certain risks come with online shopping. You now know how to avoid these risks and fully enjoy the online shopping experience.