Savvy Online Shopping Tips and Tricks
We’ll no longer ask you why you’re interested in reading this article because just like you, we’re also hooked on online shopping while staying at home. There’s a thrill,
addiction, and of course, convenience right under our noses when we scroll through these eCommerce apps or on our browsers. So before you hit checkout on that cart, here are some tips to be a wiser online shopper.
Always read the description and fine print.
As much as reading the label is important, make sure to keep scrolling to know more about the product and if it’s really what it looks like in the photos—or if there are limitations and accessories not included.
Also be mindful of this, when it comes to warranties that involve high-ticket items. You’ll have to know where you need to return the item in case you wanted it repaired later on. Others don’t offer a refund so you might be stuck with store credits when you return a defective product and there’s no available replacement unit. If there is more information that you want to know that isn’t posted, don’t hesitate to ask the seller or the store. It will also say a lot about how they communicate with their customers.
Check for comments and reviews.
This is an important step to avoid scammers. Don’t just read the description, but also read reviews from previous buyers. Some people who already bought the product gladly share what the actual product looks like by posting photos, but if you don’t get enough feedback to convince you that it’s legit, then check the store’s main page and see if they have good customer satisfaction. Or at least if it’s the official store.
Check the location.
Most eCommerce sites also source products internationally, which isn’t a bad thing. However, if you want your items to be shipped as soon as possible, then make sure that it’s from the country. Nonetheless, if you’re willing to wait for weeks or even months, then go ahead and buy that globally sourced item.
Check the shipping time/duration.
One of the most painful parts about shopping online is waiting for your product to arrive. So, before you check out that cart, make sure that you know when the product will be shipped and when you can expect it. Some items are also in pre-order, which means the product won’t ship right away after payment. Knowing this should save you some trouble especially if the product you ordered is something you need to have as soon as possible.
Whenever you search for a specific item in a shopping app/website, it will show you first the best sellers and related products so you can compare them. But why stop there? If you really want to save money, try to check other competing shopping sites as well, because usually, the prices get higher due to the percentage the eCommerce app is taking from the merchants.
Buy from the same trusted seller or official store to save up on shipping fees.
When you’re already sure that you’re shopping from a trusted store, it’s more practical to buy most of the items you’ll get from it to pay for one shipping fee. Some stores also offer discount coupons or codes for a minimum amount of purchase so better keep an eye for those.
Keep clicking on the items that you want to see more.
In case you don’t know it yet, it’s included in the privacy policies of eCommerce websites and apps that they can track your online shopping habits. This explains why you often see ads of related items you just searched for.
And to let them show you what you want to see more, we suggest that you show more interest by clicking on the items you find interesting. In a way, this seems like you’re the one controlling them.
Take advantage of pre-ordering deals.
This applies more to newly released gadgets. During pre-selling periods, go to the official stores of the brand and you’ll already see their link to the product with freebies. This way, you won’t only get the device delivered to you for free, you’ll also get exclusive deals.
Use a safer payment method.
Online shops will normally offer different payment methods. This ranges from bank deposits, mobile wallet payments, cash remittances, credit cards, and COD. The safest option would be cash-on-delivery (COD) since you only pay once you receive the shipped items. But if you want to pay via card, we suggest using a prepaid card so it’s separated from your savings account.
Another safe option would be using credit cards since you have the option of calling your credit card provider and reverse the charges if the merchant is uncooperative of your complaints.
Keep items in your cart for a few days.
As mentioned earlier, eCommerce websites and apps monitor your online shopping habits and this includes the items you keep in your cart and still haven’t checked out. By keeping products in your cart for a few more days, you can think about them more, and sooner or later some stores will email or message you with exclusive discount codes to help you decide.
If it’s too good to be true, it most likely is.
Unless it’s included in flash sales, if the price is weirdly too low than usual, please be more critical. You might get a really good deal or end up buying a replica or a damaged item—or worse, be a bait scam victim.
So please be vigilant when shopping online. No matter how small or big, we’re still talking about your money here and we want to make sure that you get the actual items you want to purchase. Remember to take your time even if it’s an item on sale. And if you have more tips to share, please feel free to let us know in the comments. Happy shopping!