Shopping online from the convenience of your own home is one of the miracles bestowed upon us by the internet. We can easily buy anything from our weekly groceries to our automobiles with just the click of a mouse. However, with the ease of online shopping come some risks–identity theft, false advertising, and scams to name a few. Keep reading to learn how to reap the rewards of online shopping while protecting yourself and scoring great deals.

Do not spend too much money on shipping. Shipping charges can really add up. Many sites offer free shipping, free shipping once you spend a certain amount, or have a coupon code that allows you to get free shipping. Instead of paying your hard earned money on shipping, look for a store that ships for free.

Before buying from a new online retailer, do some research on them. Check online reviews from other customers to see how it handles items like customer service, shipping, and its overall buying experience. You can also check the BBB to see if it has any disputes and whether those disputes were resolved professionally. Try contacting the company via email and phone number, if it’s posted to ask questions about its business before you buy anything.

If you want to buy a used product online, learn more about the seller first. You should visit their profile and look for reviews written by other shoppers who bought products from this seller. Do not hesitate to contact the seller to ask a few questions about the product you are interested in.

Always save copies of your orders and receipts from online purchases. Many stores will redirect you to a page after you’ve submitted an order detailing everything that was bought, customer information, the prices, etc. You should either print a copy of this or save a copy to your computer in case any issues arise before the end of the return period. Make sure to save any emails about your items’ status or correspondence with the company regarding your orders, too.

Make it a habit to register for price alerts. This goes even for purchases that you’ve recently made. Price alerts will let you know when a product has dropped to a price you like. And if you’ve recently purchased at full price, you can ask for a price adjustment to meet the new deal.

If you are not sure whether or not an online store is reliable, contact their customer service. Ask a few questions about the products, the payment method and the shipping. If you do not get a good impression after talking with a representative on the phone, find another online store.

The great thing about online shopping is that you can check out different sites before committing to a particular purchase. This allows you to compare prices from different online retailers. You might find that something that is out of your price range, is much more affordable on a different website.

If you see an item you’d like to buy online, but want to pay a little less, add it to your cart. Most stores will save the items you put in your cart, which means you can come by and check for price drops regularly. Just don’t wait too long. The item you want might disappear.

As you are well aware, shopping online from your home computer or mobile device is highly convenient. You don’t have the hassle of dealing with traffic or lines at the store. However, certain risks come with online shopping. You now know how to avoid these risks and fully enjoy the online shopping experience.

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