Savvy Shopper's Corner! The Smart Online Shopper

Shopping online is a great convenience, yet there is the agony of waiting for your order to be shipped and arrive on time. Here is some information, which may be considered helpful when shopping online. Plan Your Purchase

The earlier you make your purchases, the greater chance they will arrive on time. To cut down on shipping costs, try to order many items at once from a single retailer. Your purchases should be lumped together into one large package with one shipping fee attached. By registering with an online retail site, you can start your online shopping and any items in your shopping cart will be retained until you either delete or purchase them. Then, you can ship everything at once and at one price. Many online retailers offer free shipping on purchases over a certain dollar amount, and online coupon sites regularly offer free shipping coupon codes. If you can’t catch a break on shipping, ordering early enough will allow you to choose standard shipping. It’s always the slowest method, but if you order early, it should get to you on time.  Give yourself a little more time if you are ordering from a third party vendor through a big online retailer.

Bargain Hunting

Online shopping presents consumers with a wonderful new advantage – the ease of bargain hunting. Prior to shopping via the internet, finding the lowest price for an item meant using catalogs and circulars, traveling from store to store. Not so much anymore. Often, a simple Google search of the item you want will find even better deals. Search discount sites for the item you want before buying it elsewhere. These retailers purchase excess items that manufacturers could not unload on other retailers at a discount and generally pass the savings onto customers. Don’t be afraid of purchasing refurbished items either—this is often more surplus inventory. Do a quick search for coupons for the retailer available on other sites. Many stores will happily provide you with their own promotional codes if you sign up for their email newsletters.  Enter the code before you check out to earn the savings on your purchase.

Return Item Fee

Online shopping could eventually mean not so many physical retail stores, but even if that happens, the warehouse will always be there to storage merchandise and to employ people to stock these warehouses. If you return an item, it still has to be repackaged and replaced, although the retailer has not made any money from the return. As a result, online retailers have begun to charge restocking fees on returned items. Before proceeding to checkout, familiarize yourself with the retailer’s return policies. Simply packaged items like books or defective products should not cost you any more money to return.

Be Secure

There are some measures online shoppers can take to minimize their risk. First, ensure that all online shopping is carried out only on secured sites. It is advisable only to use credit cards rather than debit cards, for online shopping. Credit cards are an extension of credit while debit cards withdraw directly from your bank account.  Once in possession of your banking information, hackers can do much more damage to your finances than with your credit card number.  Using only one credit card for online shopping is another great way to shop on line. The potential for fraud is limited to one account.

Remember, online shopping, while convenient, could pose more risk.