The Most Common Online Shopping Mistakes and How You Can Avoid Them

Throwing away money comes all too naturally when you can do it from the comforts of your own home without ever even having to leave your bed or having to put on anything other than your fuzzy pajama slippers. Several online shopping mistakes are easily made and could cost you dearly in the long or short run.

Using Your Debit Card

Credit cards tend to be more secure and do a better job at protecting consumers and their personal information when compared to their counterparts; the debit card. This is definitely beneficial when you take into account the data and security breaches that have been occurring at many retailers as of recent. Keep in mind that shopping with credit should not give you free reign to spend without reason. Paying off your balance each month is ideal so that your credit report shows low balances and so that you avoid interests rates on higher balances (higher balance=more interest that you have to pay on it).

Not Being Aware of a Retailer’s Return Policies

Online shopping is both easy and convenient, right up to the point where you need to exchange or return something you ended up not needing. While a few companies are generous when it comes to their policies, many places will charge shipping fees should you need to return an item. This causes those instances where you end up keep something you wanted to return simply to avoid the hassle of going through the return process or paying shipping fees.

Not Looking For Coupons and Promos

A quick Google search usually returns a slew of coupon codes for things like free shipping or discounts off of your purchase. Many online shoppers make the mistake of just buying from the first site they see without ever checking if other sites are offering any special promotions. Many websites gather these codes into one place for you. Some websites offer cash back for your purchases so this is definitely worth signing up for if you shop online frequently

Adding an Extra Item or Two In Order To Qualify For Free Shipping

Several places will offer shipping at no cost if you spend a certain amount in one order on their sites. Many retailers have raised their thresholds so as to persuade online shoppers to make the mistake of adding extra items to their orders in an effort to qualify for free shipping.

Failing To Shop Around For the Best Price

Many individuals who already pay for services like Prime through Amazon or Shoprunner have a tendency to not shop around for the best pricing. Sometimes, these places don’t have the best prices and you could come out cheaper even when adding the cost of shipping from another site. This could be a rather expensive online shopping mistake.

Allowing Advertisements to Suck You In

Allowing subscriptions to overcrowd you email inbox tempts you with things you need or want that you never even knew existed until now. Browsing mindlessly is an easy mistake for online shoppers to make when there are literally hundreds of advertisements in your inbox. This will ultimately result in more clutter in your home and a higher statement on your credit card bill

Using Open Wi-Fi Connections to Shop

Open connections tend to not be secure; meaning your personal information could be on display for the world to see. This allows hackers to access all of your personal data and purchase things without your authorization and is not a mistake you want to make while shopping online.

Shopping From Unsecured Sites

Try to avoid sites that start with http rather than https. The “s” is indication that the website is a secure one. Padlock icons located in the address bar indicates that the site has been encrypted. Always be sure to research into a company’s policies regarding privacy and personal data. Scammers tend to slightly alter spellings of reputable retailers.

Opening Links That You Do Not Recognize

Many links will direct you to sites interested in collecting your personal information for the purposes of identity theft. Input the organization’s information directly into your address bar or simply search for it. Never reply to any kind of message looking for numbers to your bank accounts or credit cards.

Dealing with Less Than Reputable Retailers

Make sure that there is a number and address from retailers that you have not dealt with before. Make sure there are customer service representatives to answer any concerns that you may have. Check online or with the Better Business Bureaus to see if other individuals have had any complaints.

Shopping online can still be a fun and exciting experience while still being safe as long as individuals learn to follow these guidelines and to avoid making these common online shopping mistakes.