I’ve got a few tips for shopping online if you’re like me and could use some pointers for your fun habit. I love shopping online. Shopping online is convenient, it’s fun, and you don’t have to fight traffic, which I of course, just love! However, if you’re an online shopper, there are some things you need to know to keep yourself safe, informed, and get the best deals. Check out these tips for shopping online, and let me know if you have any too!
1. Spend Smart
Before you start, pay attention to one of the most important tips for shopping online of all. You need to spend smart. Decide before you start shopping how much you can spend so you don’t get excited and blow your budget. Not doing so can lead to debt quickly, which I’m sure we’ve all found to happen occasionally.
2. Check Coupons First
Before you make any purchases, always Google for coupons and deals first. Usually, when you type an item into Google, any sales will automatically come up. If not, check deal sites like Ebates.com, Ebay.com, Amazon.com, and Retailmenot.com. All of these sites run deals daily, and it’s best to check if you can save on an item, before just hitting the “place order” button on a website and missing out on a good deal.
3. Shop around
Just like you should check for coupons, you should also shop around. Don’t just head to one site for an item. Check a few sites. One may offer better shipping, or a lower price. Or, they may offer faster shipping, making it worth a few extra dollars if you need the item quickly. Many websites also run coupons for customers who sign up for newsletters, so check different websites to get the best deal.
4. Install Antivirus Software
If you don’t already have antivirus software on your computer, definitely download a program like McAfee before you shop online. It installs privacy settings on your browser that prevent hackers from getting any of your personal information, or corrupting your computer by you entering a website. Update the software regularly, and always make sure it is working properly before shopping online.
5. Use a Credit Card
I also always suggest paying with a credit card, or debit card backed by a credit company like Visa or Mastercard. Don’t put your checking account information into a website. Using your credit card to pay is best because if any fraudulent purchases occur, the credit card company will refund you the money. If someone gets a hold of your checking account number, your bank might not as easily refund it, and then your entire account is at risk. If you have a credit card, a new card can be issued right away so you don’t deal with this headache. Always, always use a credit card, or opt for a secure payment system like PayPal to check out with.
6. Get a PayPal Account
On the note of PayPal, I suggest you get an account if you don’t already have one. PayPal is a very safe website that stores your financial information, and you can make online purchases through PayPal, or even send money to people without them ever knowing your account information. You can link your bank account to PayPal, and pay through PayPal to ensure a safer checkout. You can also obtain a PayPal Mastercard debit card, and even receive payments, send payments, or make purchases with it as well. This is by far my favorite way to shop safe online, pay bills, and even send money to members of my family.
Learn more at paypal.com.
7. Look at Your Browser
Lastly, before you shop on any website, look at your browser. See the address in the browser bar? Never shop on a site that doesn’t include this instead: . The “s” at the end of is vital to your security online. That means the site is certified as safe. If you ever get a coupon deal that sends you to a website without the “s” in the browser address after , then most likely, it’s a fraudulent or fake website. Never, ever shop on a site, or even spend time on a site without that setting.
I hope these simple tips have helped you learn how to shop smarter online. They certainly make me feel smarter and more safe when I shop online or pay bills online. If you shop online, what tip would you like to add?