Online shopping is one particular shopping method that has gained popular following these days. It is a relatively easy and convenient way to shop because it does not require a person to physically head out and brave the daily traffic just to get to a mall. However, while convenient, shopping online can also be quite unnerving. That’s why online shopping, just like regular shopping, also requires some skill.
Online shoppers do not get to actually see the product they are purchasing and must simply rely on the seller to follow through with the transaction. For this reason, it is important to take some precautionary steps to ensure a worry-free and successful way of online shopping.
Below are some tips to keep in mind when you go online to shop.
1. Do your research.
Don’t buy the first product you see.
When you shop in malls for presents, it is most likely that you visit several stores or at least check out a number of display racks and shelves. As much as you can, you try to scrutinize different brands and scout for budget-friendly prices before making a purchase. The same practice should apply for online shopping. You should accomplish the necessary research before finally committing to a purchase at an online store.
If there are any online reviews about the site, that would be even better. Make sure that the online shops that you will entrust your hard-earned money to have a “good reputation.” Read reviews and comments from previous customers shown in their website and social media pages such as Facebook or Instagram.
Also look not only for the contact details of the online shop, but also for the latest news and blogs about it. You might find necessary information (such as the shop is already closed or that the customer service is poor) that could help you when deciding to commit to an online purchase.
2. Review the payment options.
Explore your payment options!
Credit card payment is not the only payment option. A lot of people make use of their credit cards because it is naturally an easy and convenient way of paying for a purchase. While it is safe to do so in general, this type of payment is more exposed to online scams.
Some online shops do not have the necessary security measures to protect their customers from online deviants. And if their site is not secured, other people with enough hacking skills can easily steal sensitive information online which could lead to credit card fraud and other scams. For those who are too scared to use their credit cards but would still like to shop online, other payment options are provided by many online shops.
Bank transfer is a relatively easy way to pay for purchases. Many online shopping sites accept payments through deposits to different bank accounts. This is now easier thanks to mobile and online banking and apps like Gcash. The best alternative would probably be cash on delivery service. This payment option allows you to receive the product before letting go of your money.
The best alternative would probably be Cash on Delivery service. This payment option is most likely the best one because it allows you to receive the product before letting go of your money.
3. Practice shopping in reliable online stores.
Don’t forget to check product and site reviews as well.
For first time online shoppers, only trust reliable and well-known sites. Those who have been shopping online for years have already become pros in choosing which online sites to trust. But for those who are relatively new to the whole online shopping experience, it is wise to take baby steps to ease into the process.
Look for online shopping sites that have great presence. Established online shops such as Zalora, Lazada, and Ava.ph, among others, provide quality customer care and delivery services. They have already established credibility so you know you can trust them with your hard-earned cash. Once you have gotten your feet wet so to speak, you can finally start looking for smaller online shops that carry that unique product you are looking for. With careful research, you may discover that these shops are just as reliable.
4. Do not believe pop-up messages.
Being a savvy shopper also means knowing how to detect scams well.
While shopping in various online sites, one is most likely to receive pop-ups or links to pages that say that you have won something. Some pop-ups even request for you to answer a survey in exchange for money or a job. These pop-up messages are most likely scams that trick people into giving out their personal and sensitive details which will be used without their knowledge. In addition to this, these pop-up messages can also include malwares which could infiltrate your computer and plant a virus. Be safe online and never surrender to these obviously devious tactics.
Just like regular shopping, shopping online should be done in a smart and careful manner. With proper research and a little bit of healthy paranoia, one will be able to have the most efficient and successful online shopping experience.
This article was originally published in Yoorekka on January 18, 2016.
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About Anne Stephanie Cruz
Anne is a freelance content writer and editor. A certified work from home Mom, she juggles multiple accounts from different time zones. Shopping, massages, and mani-pedis are welcome breaks from this routine.
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