5 Tips For Shopping Online

5 Tips For Shopping Online

Shopping online has become the preferred way to shop for millions of us. It’s convenient and offers many more options than going out shopping. It may be the best way to shop, but you still must be wise and extra cautious when shopping online. A mistake can cost you money and a big headache. The convenience can turn into an inconvenience if you are not careful. Good thing these issues can be prevented. Here are 5 tips for shopping online.

Don’t always buy new: We all want the products we shop for to be in good condition. Just because a product is in good condition, it doesn’t mean it has to be new. Products can be bought almost new or gently used in good condition. For example, you can buy a brand new shirt for $20 dollars when you could of bought the same exact shirt for $10 almost new. It may not have the tag on it, but it has the same brand and quality of the $20 dollar shirt. Shop around and you are more likely to get what you want at a lower price in good condition.

Search for price comparisons before you buy: There are not just many products that are offered online, but also many prices. Just because something is on sale, it doesn’t automatically mean you are getting a good deal. Always do your research and shop around before buying. Check other websites and see if the same product you are looking for can be found at a better price. Another thing to pay close attention to is shipping costs. You may see a product at a low price that has a shipping charge at a high price. Always ask yourself if you are actually saving money on a product before you buy. Be a strategic shopper!

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Be careful what you buy: Just like the offline world of shopping, it is also very important in the online world to be careful what you buy. Always make sure there are no hidden costs. Take time to read the Return Policy of the website. If you are buying electronics make sure and check if there is a warranty offered. Be extra cautious when buying perishables like food and pharmaceuticals. Merchants should disclose certain information about a product like expiration date and side effects. Being careful what you buy can save you from dealing with unnecessary issues.

Make sure the website is reputable: Just because a website’s appearance and promises look right, it doesn’t automatically mean the site has a good reputation. Always make sure the site doesn’t have a bad reputation. You can check with the Better Business Bureau for reviews, complaints and scams. You can also check online business directories like Yahoo and sites like for reviews. You can also see who is linking to a site by going to and typing in [link:] without leaving a space between the “link:” and the URL. You can review the web pages that have links that point to the site. Make sure the links are from well-know reputable websites. Another thing to be careful with is sites that are cluttered with advertisements. Most websites will contain ads, but a site with more ads than information or products of their own, are likely to not be trustworthy. A good sign that a site is reputable is if they offer a “Contact Us” option. A way of communication with a real person is a must!

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Make sure the website is secure: Fraud and identity theft have become a huge issue in today’s society. It is imperative that you are extremely cautious when purchasing online. Anytime you are asked to provide your sensitive information you must check to see if the website is secure or not. Information that is sent from your computer to web servers has the possibility of being read by someone that can take your information. The solution to this possible issue is to encrypt this data that is being transferred. This is called Secure Socket Layer (SSL). SSL uses a complex system of key exchanges between your browser and the server you are communicating with to encrypt the data you input before it is transmitted across the internet. All websites that ask for your sensitive information should be secure using an active SSL. Just think about all of the possible crooks out there that can steal your information. You should be able to find out if the site is using SSL by reading their Privacy Policy. The last thing you want is to purchase online and be a victim of fraud.