It is hard to dispute the wonderful benefits that online shopping can offer just about anyone. The best way to get the most value for your buck while shopping via the Internet is to do a bit of research in advance. By studying the information that follows, you will have the tools to be a champion shopper.
Never try to shop directly from a link someone sent you in an email, unless it’s a widely known and respected site, like Amazon.com. Too many consumers get tricked into scams via hyperlinks in questionable emails. Visit the URL of the site mentioned in the mail, instead of clicking the link itself.
A great way to stay safe when shopping online is to avoid clicking any web addresses that are sent into your email. If you are expecting an email from a company, go to the actual website and do not click any links. Legitimate businesses do not send emails asking for personal information or account information.
When shopping online, make sure that the online store offers secure checkout. This will help protect your personal information from being stolen. To ensure the site is encrypted look up into your web browser’s URL box. The site is secured if the website starts with https. This stands for hyper transfer protocol secure.
If you want to buy books online, you’ll get a better deal if you get them used. Depending on the condition you get them in, you may just end up paying a few cents plus shipping. Make sure you read through the description of the book to see if there are any damages you should be aware of.
Make sure you read the return policy before buying online. Some online purchases can have different return policies than you normally see. This is especially true if you are buying from an online auction store like eBay. Take the additional time to look into what your return rights are so that you aren’t surprised later.
Wait a day before you buy something. It’s really easy to click “confirm order”, but remember that’s real money you’re spending! Before you buy something, take a full 24 hours to see if you still like it tomorrow. This can be a great way to avoid a return and spending too much money.
Discount websites are the best places to get deals when shopping online. Websites like Overstock.com get their merchandise from manufacturers that were unable to sell their products at retail stores. This is how they are able to sell their products so cheaply. Try to make purchases through these sites before looking at “normal” sites.
Shopping online doesn’t always mean buying directly from the manufacturer. In fact, you can purchase from sites like Target, Walmart and Amazon which have everything you need under one roof. This can save you money on shipping costs as all items are coming from a single retailer, plus it makes shopping easy.
Sign up on online communities that focus on finding bargains online. Forum members post their best bargain finds and daily deals for other members to enjoy. This is a great way to stay posted on the bargains that pop up everyday. You just never know if something that you want goes on sale.
Shop with a friend to save money. Many times an online store will offer free shipping or another discount if you spend a certain amount of money. If you find that you will not be spending the amount needed, ask a friend if they need anything from the store so you can both save money.
Unless you need an item right away, avoid choosing the expedited shipping option when shopping online. Most websites will charge you a fortune to have your items delivered the next day or the day after. Most of the time, standard shipping is much cheaper and your items will still come within a few days.
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.
One way to save money is through points programs. For example, Swagbucks.com and MyPoints.com offer members the ability to earn points with their purchases. They also offer coupons for certain brands. When you redeem your points, you can get merchandise or gift cards, saving you even more money down the road.
Bookmark your favorite shopping sites. These would be the ones most frequently visited. You can also bookmark your favorite coupon or deals pages that you check when you shop online. Thus, you will only have to make a couple of clicks to get to the sales or products you most want from the stores you already trust.
Before you make a purchase, look on the manufacturer’s site for coupons and/or promotional codes. Lots of retailers provide discounts, so their pages should be reviewed as well. Something as simple as a free shipping code could save you up to ten dollars off your purchase or more.
Online shopping is a wonderful thing in that it really does put the world at your fingertips. It is important, though, to know a few tricks and tips before hitting the keyboard and spending some money. By keeping the above information close at hand, you can take full advantage of everything the online marketplace has to offer.