Online shopping is a convenient way to purchase products you want and need with a click of a button and gets delivered right to your door.
The ability to browse, compare and purchase items from beyond your local retailers can be a little overwhelming, with lots of information and fine print along the way.
Below are some tips to help make your online shopping experience as productive, easy and efficient as possible, while still being satisfied with your purchases:
You probably already have some familiar and favourite retailers to shop from.
Tip: Make sure to sign up for their mailing lists. This is an easy way to receive regular updates on sales and great deals right in your inbox. Also, newsletter subscribers often receive exclusive online discount codes not available to in-person shoppers.
Pro tip: If you are an avid shopper, dedicate one e-mail account just for online shopping so that newsletters and shipping notices are conveniently stored in one place, away from personal e-mails.
2. Comparing prices
While comparison shopping can be tedious and time-consuming, the beauty of online shopping is that window shopping and comparing items has never been easier.
Tip: Use an online price aggregator to compare prices across multiple retailers.
Pro tip: If you have a smartphone, there are several apps you can download that will search for, store and display the product price information for you. Additionally, some services will even provide the direct link to the item so you can purchase it right away.
3. Sales and promotions
Just like brick-and-mortar stores, online retailers regularly clear out older merchandise through sales and promotions.
Tip: Always check out the sales section first. For certain types of goods, like electronics or small appliances, last year’s model on sale is just as great as this year’s model at regular price.
Pro tip: For further discounts and deals, subscribe to coupon community sites. There, community members post coupon codes and exclusive deals for free shipping or an additional discount.
4. Shipping costs
Most retailers offer free shipping with a minimum purchase amount or free shipping altogether during special promotions.
Tip: If your shopping cart subtotal is just below the minimum amount required for free shipping, consider topping off your cart with a gift for someone else.
Pro tip: To qualify for free shipping, try consolidating orders at the same retailer with close family or friends. Each of you will avoid paying shipping costs and you’ll have an excuse to meet up!
5. Read the fine print
A great price doesn’t mean much if you’re not satisfied with the product in the end.
Tip: Always read the return and exchange policies on each site you are shopping on. There is nothing worse than being stuck with items that you can’t use either because it was damaged or not the right fit.
Pro tip: Try sticking to retailers that have offer free returns in-store or by mail to avoid getting stuck paying more to return a product than you paid for it. When in doubt, it doesn’t hurt to call the customer service line to negotiate a free return.
These are just a few easy tips you can use to shop online like a pro. Have a tip you’d like to add? Let us know in the comments!
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