Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Dos and don'ts of online shopping

With online shopping now part of our daily lives, it helps to be as street smart as you would if you went to a mall. Here are the dos n don'ts of online shopping

             With the temperatures soaring, the weather makes it extremely impossible to venture out for anything. The scorching heat can be a turn-off even for a die-hard shopaholic, who has now found a new venue to indulge — online shopping . With the sites offering huge discounts, it becomes even more imperative to not get carried away by it all. There are some things that you need to keep in mind:

Things to do

Keep an eye for best discounts
Although most of these online shopping sites have great discounts around the year, make sure these discounts are not merely to earn clicks. Many of these discounts are on select products, which are usually not mentioned on the homepage. Find out if the product you are buying has a discount, and make sure you apply the right coupon code for the same.

Read the conditions behind the product
Just for clicks — is a common tactic that most online shopping sites use to monitor the number of visitors on the site. While making a purchase, make sure you read the terms and conditions associated with the product. There are times when a certain offer is valid only on purchase worth a certain amount, or buy 1 get 1 free offer on identical products, etc.

Get familiar with the return policy of a purchase
Since it is a virtual platform, you do not get check the product first hand, so there are chances that you might not like it on arrival. Make sure you go through their return and refund policy whenever you shop online as you can either get it exchanged or exchange product or get a refund. Some sites do not refund your money, instead they transfer the amount into your credit account wherein you are forced to repurchase from their site.

Play safe and choose COD
Cash on Delivery (COD) is the best payment option you can avail of, as part of online shopping. This is the safest bet, since you pay only after you are handed the product. Most online sites do not allow you to open the product before paying, this prevents your from being able to return it then and there.

Things to avoid

Skip online payment if the payment gateway is not safe
We are all used to paying our utility bills online. It is a convenient way to make payments, but one must be aware of every aspect of internet banking as a payment option while making purchases online. Since you are directed to your bank site from the shopping website, there are chances of your personal or account details being hacked, if the payment gateway is not safe.

Don't ignore the fine print
Most of the products you buy have a fine print engraved within; make sure to read it thoroughly, especially while buying cosmetics, skin care, IT products or electronics online. Make sure to read every single detail of the product or offer you choose. Check for ingredients, warranties and lapses, as well as service policies if any.

Compare sites to check the products' authenticity
Although you choose to buy a product from a particular site due to the discounts it offers, do not forget to compare the product and its price on two to three different sites. This will give you clarity if you are actually availing a discount or it is just superficial. Make sure to check the manufacturer details and confirm if that particular site has online rights to sell the product.

Do not buy food products online
It is difficult to personally go grocery shopping or buy fruits on a regular basis. There are many sites that claim to sell the purest form of food products, especially organic food or health products at reasonable rates. Do not fall for these offers as fresh produce and health products should be bought over the counter to ensure authenticity. Moreover, health products should be bought from reputed stores since there are chances of you ending up with fake product online. Similarly, organic food products are extremely expensive and rarely come at discounted rates. 

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