The convenience to shop from anywhere and get deliveries to your doorstep has made life simple. With online shopping, you can shop round the clock, do product comparisons and get the best deals from behind a screen.
The flipside of it involves impulse spending, maxing out your credit card, and even exposing your financial and personal information to online fraudsters. To take full advantage of the beauty that is online shopping, it is important to learn how to become a smart shopper.
Here are timely tips to make you a smart shopper in 2021.
Only shop from reputable e-commerce sites
The best way to ensure you visit a credible site is to check for the HTTPS on the website address and a padlock icon before the URL. This shows that the site uses encryption for all activity on the site.
Clicking on the padlock icon will give you more details on the security credential issued to the site. You can click on the certificate option for further scrutiny and confirm that the recipient’s name is the same as the website address.
Check for secure payment guarantees
The best online shopping sites should accept secure payment methods such as PayPal or credit cards. These payment methods are insured, making it easier to get your money back if the merchant fails to deliver what you ordered.
When shopping on a site, check for security seals of approval. These can be from the Better Business Bureau or other issuing bodies. A security seal shows that the site has gone to extra lengths to secure its payment channels. With this certification, you are limited to a $50 liability if your credit card is compromised.
Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
With online shopping, you can shop from the comfort of your home, in a café, hotel, or a public transport facility. While the use of public Wi-Fi connections is highly discouraged while shopping online, a VPN makes it possible for you to safely shop online, even when on public Wi-Fi. The functions of VPNs include encrypting the data transmitted from your device to the sites you are shopping and giving you access to geo-restricted e-commerce sites.
With a VPN, you can pay securely using your debit or credit card without the possibility of your financial information being intercepted online. Also, bypassing geo-restrictions makes it possible for you to shop on any site from any location in the world.
Review return and refund policies
Before paying for products online, always read and understand the cash-back and return policies. Check if the site accepts returns, how long you have to return items, who meets the cost of shipping items back, and whether you are entitled to full refunds.
The best online retailers should be able to issue full refunds, offer standard delivery costs and a reasonable grace period for returns.
Shop in bulk
To maximize your saving online, always plan to shop in bulk. This gives you access to better discounts and reduced shipping costs. Look out for the end of season sales to make the most of low prices for great products. You can always buy a lot of stuff that can be stored for use over a long period or the next season.
In 2021, online shopping is projected to become bigger and better as more stores go online. As a smart shopper, you can make the most of these opportunities using the tips highlighted in this article.