These important things to do before shopping online apply to everything from major electronics purchases to holiday gifts. You may think you should just click and buy, but there are a few simple things that you can do that will save you money, frustration, and make sure you get exactly what you are looking for!
Online shopping is a great way to save time and money. You may be able to get some great deals on everything from your favorite brand of socks to the literal kitchen sink without leaving your home!
5 Things To Do Before Shopping Online
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Check multiple reviews. Before making a purchase on anything significant, make sure to read the reviews online. You want to check for quality, wear and tear from normal use, and of course if it is as described. While almost every product will have an occasional bad review, you want to look for at least 70% positive reviews. You also want to see quality reviews that include thorough information and not just, “this is a nice product”.
Take measurements. A lot of online shopping consists of clothing, furniture and electronics. All of these items require some measurements prior to purchase. For clothing, don’t go by just the size you normally wear or buy. Measure and match those measurements to the suggested size of the manufacturer. This is especially important for those sites that sell clothing that is made outside the US and may have a different sizing guideline. Furniture and electronics have measurements listed in online stores, but you’ll want to double-check the space you are planning to put your purchase in. Appliances and furniture are not all made equal. It’s important to verify so you don’t have to worry about returns later.
Look for alternatives. Don’t buy the first product you see. Look for alternatives, different brands, sizes, colors and styles. Always check for the best prices on various sites, and in that process look for reasonable and functional alternatives. This is great for electronics, appliances, tools, clothing and many regular purchases made online. When it comes to one of a kind items like books and movies, you can simply take the time to check pricing on other sites. Remember when comparing prices that you need to figure in shipping costs as well.
Check for coupons or free shipping options. Before you order anything online, do a cursory search for an email newsletter that would provide you with a site or brand coupon or a free shipping option. Many popular websites and brands offer valuable coupons to their email newsletter subscribers. You can also check popular sites like RetailMeNot to find some usable coupon codes that can give you a percentage off your purchase or free shipping.
Read the return policy of the website. This might be the most important thing to do before shopping online. It is so important when shopping online to know if you can easily return something if it isn’t the right size, style, or even if it is damaged. Most websites have great, easy to follow return policies, but there are bits of fine print from time to time to keep in mind. Some sites don’t allow returns on clearance or sale items. Others don’t allow returns if a package has been opened or a product is washed and worn. Make sure you read the fine print before you make a purchase so you don’t end up losing money later on.
These things to do before shopping online are easy for anyone to do quickly and simply before hitting that purchase button on their screen!
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