Online shopping has become a necessity over the years. It became an integral part of our shopping habits. Everything an average consumer need is a few seconds and a couple of clicks away. Besides the fact, it’s making our lives easier and it saves our time, this shopping method often has therapeutic effects on our mental health and not so therapeutic on our bank account.
Are there any rules for shopping online? Have you ever thought about that? There are simple instructions on how to put something in the chart or which shipping option to choose. How did you learn to buy things online? We are attracted by the wide variety of items, conveniently categorized and sorted by many filters. We are fans of fast delivery, great quality, and beautiful aesthetic. However, no one taught us how to shop online. Even if so, we would probably ignore the instructions and improvise the same way we do every day. This may be an excellent opportunity to slip up and make mistakes when ordering things online.
From privacy issues to the wrong card, from addiction-like habits and impulsive buying to signing up to every newsletter out there – what are the worst online shopping habits you should avoid starting right now?
1. Don’t buy more just to get free shipping
Have you ever heard about the business field called marketing? Do you know what is it about? Well, it’s exactly the case with buying more just to get some kind of a gift for your bigger purchase. This is when retailers offer you free shipping if you spend a certain amount of money such as $50 or more on a single order at a time. The funny thing is that a lot of retailers raise their threshold needed for shipping just so they force their customers to meet the minimum required. On the other hand, you need to be aware of the higher prices with free shipping tags. Why do you think that happens? Well, these retailers just added the shipping price to the total amount of money. If you don’t do your research and don’t pay attention you’ll actually pay for your shipping but you’ll just think that you didn’t. What’s the solution to this problem? Don’t be lazy to compare the prices on various websites. This is the best technique if you want to shop smart.
2. What card do you use?
All cards are the same right? Well, not exactly. Thanks to the research on this topic we found out that there are certain cards better for online shopping for the simplest reason of them all — security. What this means is that when we compare debit and credit cards we are able to spot the difference when it comes to the information you give out when shopping online. Debit cards are less safe for online transactions and they are less protected when it comes to unauthorized transactions. Why is this the case? Well, debit cards are cash-alike. You don’t have time to rethink your purchases or time to check if your order was successful, or the item you bought is exactly what you wanted. It is a short process – when you check out, the money has already left your account. Not only that revealing your numbers online can lead to much bigger problems such as hacking or stealing your money. If someone uses your debit card you won’t have the luxury of investigating the problem which is the case with credit card companies. Instead, it’s often the case that your account will simply be drained and federal law is protecting credit cards much more than debit card transactions. Enough reasons to do your shopping with a credit card isn’t it?
3. Try not to believe everything you see
One more thing to avoid and it’s again closely related to marketing — did you know that the majority of brands make big gorgeous shiny discount signs just to get you hooked on buying the very item? If you see there is a 30, 50, or 70% discount what does it mean to you? Do you think it’s cheap to purchase that item right now? You might be wrong. How would you know if it’s cheap or not if you didn’t know where the original price comes from? It could be and it sure is completely made up just to make you think that it’s a great offer. This is exactly while numerous large retailers have been sued for manipulating prices. The technique for avoiding this has already been mentioned for a good reason — you should think about comparing the prices on various websites and this will solve the majority of your problems. It’s quite harder to do this in real life since it’s time-consuming and it would probably make you very tired, but when it comes to online shopping your mantra should be “compare the prices”, “compare the prices”!
4. Don’t use a public wifi
Oh wow! There’s free Wi-Fi in here! Let me scroll a little while I’m drinking my coffee just to see if there’s anything interesting to buy for my sister’s birthday. This sounds like an ordinary thought that all of us had at least once. Well, we have to tell you to stop right there, hold the thought, and cancel the plan. Why is that? If you want to give out sensitive information such as your credit card numbers, account passwords, and other password-protected information, then go for it but you might get hacked, lose your money or experience some unauthorized purchases by hackers. Now you understand why it’s crucial to just spend your time in peace and forget about the public Wi-Fi when it comes to online shopping. The reason behind this is that the connection the public Wi-Fi networks have isn’t secure since they are not password protected and they don’t have firewalls to block potential access to your account details. If you have the money to purchase items then you should probably have enough cellular data on your phone!
5. Check the size chart before you click add
Do you know what would make your life a lot easier? We do. Not having to return your already bought items just because they don’t fit you. When shopping online you have to be aware that every brand and every model could be completely different when it comes to sizes. Assumptions that every dress you buy on completely different websites, retailer shops, and from different brands will look exactly the same on you and will fit you perfectly – as it’s the complete opposite in reality. This is why it’s important to check size charts to get the right idea of how different those garments are and to order things while paying attention to your personal measurements.
Slow down. Think twice. Do your research. And finally, enjoy shopping!