I am very fond of online shopping. In fact, in retrospect, eight out of my last ten clothing purchases were bought online – two trousers, four button-downs, one leather jacket and a pair of boat shoes. Online shopping makes going to the nearest mall or visiting my favourite retail shop (that’s just about a ten-minute drive away) seems like it is too much of a task. Why would I bother stepping out of the comfort of my own apartment and take a little bit of time to travel just to be able to shop when businessmen and marketers have already made it possible to do it at home, right?
While I think malls and shops will always be there, online shopping is still a welcome innovation just as everything and anything that makes our lives easier, and our day-to-day activities more convenient and enjoyable.
Allow me to share with you some the personal guidelines I keep in mind whenever I shop online.
1. Always have a list of what you need to buy.
Just like when you’re shopping for grocery at a local supermarket, you also need to have a list for when you’re shopping online. List down everything that you need to buy (on a piece of paper, on your phone’s memo, or anywhere convenient for you). This will help you veer away from all the products that you will see on the web that may be interesting and compelling to buy but aren’t really necessary. Remember that everything that you need (and probably also everything that you DO NOT need) is on the cyber space. It’s inevitable that you encounter interesting products that you don’t really need. Keeping a list while you shop online can help you save precious bucks. Of course, you also have to be your own strict shopping police.
2. Always have an idea of the original retails prices of the items you’re planning to buy.
This will help every online shopper to decide if buying the product at the price given by the website is a good decision. Some websites sell products at a higher price. While you may consider it as the convenience fee, some prices can be unreasonable. So, having an idea of how a certain product originally costs can be really helpful.
3. Look for price markdown sales or discount coupons
Discount coupons can help you make a good deal to be even better. Let’s look at sears coupons for example.
Sears discount coupons can offer free shipping, discount on appliance purchases, kids clothing and accessories, fitness and sports essentials, a discount on fancy jewelries, and many other good deals.
4. Be a careful online shopper and only buy from your trusted websites
It’s actually just commonsense that every online shopper should only shop at websites that they trust or have proven good track records for the sole reason that once you’ve been duped, it’s definitely impossible to get your money back.
If you have a hunch that the site may not be safe, you’re probably right. Small details such as wrong spellings and requests for excessive personal details can be considered warning signs.
5. Always use sites that have good return and refund policies.
Some online purchases may turn out to be a little bit different in real life than on the web. A shirt that doesn’t fit. A trouser that’s missing a button. A pair of shoes one size too big for you. These things happen, therefore, efficient return/refund policies should be a major consideration when shopping online. Think about it as your second chance at getting things right.
These are some of my personal guidelines. Feel free to holler if there’s any online shopping tips that you would like to share. :)