Online stores are where most people are at these days. While some people have their reservations about online shopping platforms, others opt for it for the mere purpose of convenience. The ones scared to make an online transaction say that they are not comfortable sharing their credit card info.
As far as I am concerned, I even pay for my Spectrum TV package online. That is the level of dependence I have on online purchases.
However, I do keep a couple of things in mind.
Some of us get overwhelmed after having a look at the cost of an item we wish to purchase. However, we tend to ignore the fact that shipping costs are a part of delivery as well. But many brands won’t charge you with a shipping cost if you order items worth above a certain amount.
Shipping costs vary according to your location and the weight of the items ordered as well as the size of the package. You must read the shipping policy of the company or brand you are ordering from before making a purchase.
Read Product Reviews
Before you decide to purchase a particular product online, spend some time on reading various reviews for the product online. This is essential because many a times we get excited about purchasing products only to realize later that all the hype around them was just not worth your dollars. Look for buyer guides and reviews that various users post online.
Social media platforms and YouTube videos can be the best sources for collecting reviews before you make a decision for your own self. Some of the reviews available online will give you a very honest and realistic expectation regarding the item. Always avoid reading the sponsored reviews because they will do nothing but misguide you.
Be Wary of Fraud and Scams
The online world is a dangerous place. Where the Internet facilitates you in many ways, it also poses many threats to your security. Because you are not looking at the person dealing with you or visiting the physical location of a store, the chances of scams and frauds are very high as well. The sad part is that there is nothing much we can do about it. Because many a time we fall for these scams.
The most one can do is look out for fraudulent websites because they just want your personal information. Once received, these websites can use your information including your card number against you. You can also use platforms like Google Trusted Stores to see if a website is fake or original. This little effort can save you from many hassles in the future.
Be Aware of Your Rights
You as an online buyer should know about your rights. Every e-commerce store has policies regarding the process involved while making a purchase from their e-store. From return policies to payment methods, you should know about everything before you make a purchase. Some companies do not allow returns once an item is purchased. Or they may require you to return the item within a given timeline. Make sure that you read the policies before you buy anything. Visit the website’s ‘Help’ page or call the Customer care number to learn more about the policies. You may think that this is not essential, but trust me when I say IT IS.
Comparison of Prices
If you wish to buy a product, compare the prices of similar products. The chances that you may be paying more for a similar product are high. Therefore, check various websites for their prices. After all, everyone wishes to save money. At times there are sales or discounts on a certain website and not on others. Therefore, it is always a good practice to visit a couple of websites offering the same or similar product to make a fair comparison.
Precious goods like metals, stones, or any perishables always get delivered with extra caution because of the fear of damage to them. The policies regarding such goods are also very strict. Therefore, before you place an order for any such good online, make sure that you read the policies including the payments, taxes applicable, duties and dispatch of the item thoroughly.
Be careful about the seller rating and repute as well. Selling fakes in this category is very common. Only opt for the verified sellers and sources that you can blindly trust.
If you are guilty of indulging in online shopping too often, you will be familiar with the fact that you can search for various online coupons as well. These coupons allow you to purchase an item at a lower cost than mentioned once you add the coupon code at the time of checkout.
I make sure that I follow all of the following before making a purchase. I recently purchased a Spectrum digital receiver. But I did not have to worry about it turning out to be a fraudulent transaction because the purchase was made from the company’s site. Had it been any other online store, I would have verified its authenticity from various sources.