With everything from shoes and handbags to furniture, technology and car insurance, you can buy whatever you want, whenever you want online. To make the most of shopping online, here’s what you need to look out for and consider before buying online.
1. Read the returns and cancellation policies carefully
It’s a good idea to look at the small print before you agree to purchase anything online.
Know what your rights are in terms of cancellations, in case you change your mind or find the item cheaper elsewhere.
And make sure you read the returns policy thoroughly, to avoid being stuck with something that doesn’t fit.
2. Know your sizes and measurements
When online shopping for clothes, use a tape measure and jot down your measurements, then keep them handy to avoid sizing errors and disappointment. Bear in mind that clothing sizes can vary from brand to brand – and even item to item – so check it with every purchase.
Remember to check measurement conversions too, if you’re buying from another country.
If you’re buying items, such as household goods or furniture, make sure you know whether measurements are in metric or imperial. And how much it will cost to ship heavy goods.
3. Look at the reviews
If it’s your first time buying from a particular online store, spend a few minutes looking at online reviews, or ask a friend what their experience has been with that vendor.
You’ll want to know about things like the quality of their goods and services, what their customer service record is like, and whether there have been any issues with credit card security. Before you click ‘purchase,’ be sure you want to do business with them.
Read our guide to staying secure online.
4. Fill your cart or start a wish list
Throw everything you like the look of in your online shopping cart, or add everything to a wish list, and cull once you’ve finished browsing. Then leave it for a day or two, if the purchases aren’t urgent.
Retailers are constantly monitoring your shopping experience. They want you to buy from them, so they’ll do everything they can to seal the deal, even sometimes sending you discount coupons or reducing the prices of your chosen items.
5. Look for the best deals
Time spent on reconnaissance is seldom wasted! And with online shopping, the more time you put into your search, the more fruitful and economically savvy your purchases will be.
You don’t have to buy from the first or most beautiful-looking website. Keep on trawling and chances are you’ll find bargains, coupons, sales, loyalty points, free deliveries, new customer deals and many more ways to keep prices down and find what you really want.
Visit our deals and offers section for money saving tips.