Over the past few years, online shopping has become increasingly popular among Filipinos. Aside from the convenience it provides, online shopping also gives access to a wide range of products at highly competitive prices.
However, it’s important to approach online shopping with caution. It’s easy to click the “add to cart” button and check out your haul, but being careless can lead to things getting out of hand very quickly. Things like going over your budget or even compromising your personal information can easily happen if you aren’t careful and lack proper self-control.
To become a smart online shopper and make the best decisions about your purchases, follow the tips below:
Research and Compare Prices
One of the keys to becoming a smart online shopper is conducting thorough research and comparing prices. Don’t be impulsive and buy the first thing you see that matches your budget. Instead, take the time to explore different shopping sites. You may end up finding something better than what you intended to buy. In addition, checking out other options may also help you discover sales and other promotions that can save you money.
You should also be wary of offers that seem too good to be true. If the price is too low, you may be looking at a scam. Of course, this may not always be the case. For example, a seller might have access to the manufacturer so they can offer better rates. That being said, it’s best to be patient and vigilant when looking for the best deals.
Use an International Shipping Service
The technology behind ecommerce has made it very easy to shop from abroad. Nevertheless, not all online stores are able to deliver their goods everywhere. In this case, using an international shipping service can be a game-changer. These services offer direct shipping to the Philippines by providing you with a local address in the country where you want to shop. Then, from their warehouse, they’ll send you your package through international cargo.
Keep in mind that you might have to wait a little longer than usual when you use an international shipping service. That said, you can rest assured that your purchases will be handled with care. What’s even better is that through these services, you can avoid exorbitant international shipping fees.
Read Customer Reviews
One of the downsides of ecommerce is that it doesn’t have the so-called form factor, meaning you can’t see, touch, or test the product before you buy it. So, to make sure you’re getting exactly what you need, read reviews and customer feedback before you buy anything online. With the help of reviews and feedback, you can gain insights into the quality and performance of a product and ensure that it’s really what you want.
Just like researching the price of the item, it’s also a good idea to look for reviews on different sites. You should also look for detailed and informative reviews that include both the positive and negative aspects. Finally, make sure to also read feedback about the seller and how they handle customer service. This way, you can avoid potentially disappointing purchases.
Check Return and Refund Policies
It can be a hassle to have to return an item you bought online. Sadly, there are times when it’s unavoidable. To prevent further inconveniences in case this situation occurs, make sure to review the online store’s terms and conditions related to returns and refunds. Some important details include the time frame for returns, any associated costs, and the process for initiating a return or refund. Also, keep records of your transactions, including receipts and order confirmations.
Buy at the “Right” Time
One of the best things about online shopping is that you can make a purchase at any time. However, there are times when it’s better to wait for a bit and time your purchases so you can take advantage of promos. Many online stores and marketplaces have monthly sales, as well as themed sales that discount certain types of products (e.g., summer sales, tech sales).
There are also flash sales, limited coupons, and free shipping vouchers, among many other offers. By timing your purchases, you can enjoy bigger discounts.
Secure Your Financial and Personal Information
Last but certainly not least, a smart online shopper keeps their financial and personal information secure. Look for security indicators like a padlock symbol and “https” in the website’s URL, indicating an encrypted connection. You should also avoid entering sensitive data on websites that don’t seem reputable or lack proper security measures.
Meanwhile, to protect your personal information, make use of strong and unique passwords for your online shopping accounts. In addition, avoid using the same password across multiple platforms to minimize the risk of a security breach. If possible, shop online at home where you know the connection is protected. If you use public Wi-Fi networks, you may be exposing yourself to hacking attempts.
Online shopping is an enjoyable experience. It can be even more enjoyable when you know you’re getting the best deals and that your privacy isn’t compromised. Follow these tips so you can be a smart online shopper and make the most out of your purchases.