Don’t be fooled, online shopping is not the future. Online shopping is the present. More and more people are skipping the long queues at shopping centres and instead making purchases from their computers, cellphones and tablets. Why are they doing this? Well, because of many reasons. To start with, it’s easier to find competitive prices, you save on travel costs, you don’t have to deal with overly-enthusiastic sales people and, best of all, you don’t have to have to get dressed and leave the house.
If you’re one of those people who hasn’t yet made the move to online shopping, now may be the time. Of course, you shouldn’t just jump into it blindly, there are some tips and tricks to make it easier, cheaper and well worth your hard-earned cash. Here’s how to become a pro at online shopping.
Always check product reviews
If you know the kind of product you want but aren’t sure of the brand, do your research. You don’t just want to go for the cheapest product available. Because you can’t test the item in person, hold it in your hands or ask a salesperson, you can’t know for sure that you’re buying the best possible quality. Which is why online reviews exist. There are people who spend their precious time writing helpful reviews on products just so that you can make an informed decision. Of course, don’t simply go by what one reviewer has to say, read multiple reviews so you can get the whole picture. And once you find a reviewer you feel you can trust, you’re sorted for future purchases.
Sign up for newsletters
Once you’ve tried out a few of the most popular online retailers, sign up for their newsletters. You may feel that these will simply fill up your inbox with useless information you don’t need but that’s mostly not the case. These newsletters often include information on the latest products, list specials and even occasionally have coupons. Some retailers even give you a discount on your next purchase when you sign up.
Wait a day before making a big purchase
Once you get started with online shopping, it may become something you want to do every day. Which, naturally, could result in many unnecessary purchases. When you go into a store, you have time to think carefully about what you’re buying. You have to make the physical effort to be at the shop, so you generally are going to be there for a specific purpose. Whereas when you have your favourite online retailer bookmarked on your computer, it’s so easy to take a few minutes to browse the latest selection. Which is why you should wait a day before making a big purchase that you hadn’t originally planned on making.
Have all purchases delivered to your office
This tip may seem a little strange but it will make all the difference. Deliveries aren’t often planned down to the minute. There’s no way you can know for sure that you’ll be at home when the delivery arrives. And if you live alone, there will be no one there to sign for you. Having your purchases delivered to your office makes far more sense as you know you’re probably going to be there during usual delivery hours. And even if you’re out for lunch or a meeting, a trusted colleague can always sign for you.
Avoid lesser-known online retailers if you can
You know those suggested posts for online stores that pop up in your social media feeds? The ones you’ve never heard of with the seemingly amazing prices? Avoid them unless you’ve heard a good review from someone you know and trust. It’s not just that it might be a scam but the product could be completely different from what is advertised. You may order a dress that looks like it belongs on the red carpet when in reality it’s something no one with any pride in their appearance would wear in public.
Buy a little extra to avoid shipping costs
The one downside of online shopping is the shipping or delivery cost. However, many retailers offer free shipping if you spend over a certain amount. So, why not think about something else you may need and buy it at the same time? Friend’s birthday coming up? Wedding you have to attend next month? Why not get the gift now and avoid the extra fee?
At the end of the day, online shopping is simple, easy and hassle-free. And you don’t need to worry if you accidentally purchase the wrong shoe size. Just like with physical stores, store policies and the Consumer Protection Act regulations also apply.