The convenience of online shopping makes it unavoidable for some and an obsession for others, but regardless of which side of the coin you fall on, you buy stuff off the internet. And if you’re like us, you have no plans on stopping any time soon. However, when shopping online versus a brick and mortar, you’re at a greater risk of fraud or buying an item you don’t like. So to avoid the common pitfalls consumers make, explore these ten tips for online shopping.
Boutique Sellers Over Large E-Commerce Websites
When shopping on large e-commerce sites like Amazon, the parent company isn’t always the one selling the product. Third-party business can list their products on these websites, so the parent company can’t always guarantee that the quality will be up to your standard. Then, customer complaints can get bogged down in giant customer service call centers. To ensure that the clothes you buy are of the highest quality, shop at boutique online websites where they have more time for the individual customer.
Small businesses will be more open to assisting you when shopping, and they will be more available to you if there is a problem. One of the biggest concerns when online shopping is the lack of personal interaction, making it challenging to trust sellers. However, the personal attention you receive from boutiques lifts the veil of mystery.
See the Clothes Modeled
Before you decide on an item, see if there are any pictures of models wearing it. You want clothes that fit your body and complement your figure, and it’s hard to get a feel for how something will look when it’s lying flat. It could look completely different once on the body. After all, if you were at the store and found something in your size, you’d probably still try it on before buying it. But since you aren’t in person, you should see how it fits on someone before making up your mind.
Read the Reviews
You’re not an explorer; others have done this before. You’re probably never going to be the first one to buy something from a shop, so check the reviews to see other customers’ experiences. A series of one-star reviews will send a quick red flag that a website might not have the best intentions. In contrast, a highly rated site can serve as a security blanket that the site sells quality products.
Also, the review will help provide more detailed descriptions of items without the fluff of ad copy. Not to mention, some reviews might go into how the piece fits and if there are irregularities from the picture.
When purchasing items online, you only want to use reputable websites where you know your information won’t be compromised. So you should only shop on encrypted sites. You can tell if a website is secure if the URL starts with HTTPS. Websites that don’t have SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption installed will just be HTTP. You should also see a lock in the address bar next to the URL. This signifies that you’re using a secure website.
Don’t Give Out Sensitive Personal Information
You’ll have to give up your credit card information and shipping when shopping online. It only makes sense. However, keep your eye out for any websites that ask for too much information. You shouldn’t have to insert your Social Security information to buy a skirt. Also, be wary of giving out your birthday or any other sensitive personal details.
Credit Card With Fraud Detection
Regardless of how careful you’ve been with selecting a reputable vendor, you may find your financial information stolen when making an online purchase if someone hacks your device. So make sure you only use a credit card with fraud detection and protection when making online purchases to protect yourself from shady websites and hackers. Fraudulent purchases on debit cards are much more difficult to redeem, so you have more insurance with a credit purchase.
Avoid Pop-Ups and Links in Emails
Sometimes, our online purchases are impulse buys; we see an ad or a TikTok of something cool, then we immediately turn around and buy it. But it’s essential to be careful with what ads and pop-ups you click on because some of them can be hackers trying to find a backdoor into your browser. So if you see an ad that interests you, just do a quick Google search of the website before traveling down a strange rabbit hole that could lead to someone hacking your computer.
Check the Return Policy
When online shopping, there is always a bit of a gamble involved. Regardless of how much research you do into an article of clothing, you could still decide to return it once buying it. If it becomes damaged in transit, you want to have the option of returning it, if need be. So check the return policy of the website before making a purchase. Some websites will cover the return shipping, while others maintain that all purchases are final. You won’t ever catch yourself off guard by an unexpected return policy by checking ahead of time.
Shipping Costs and Discounts
Remember, the price tag is never the final price, and when shopping online, you’ll have to consider any shipping costs. Sometimes, their sites will run special deals where they comp the shipping for a minimum purchase value. However, most of the time, you’ll have to weigh how badly you want something and how much you will pay to get it quickly. You can avoid shipping costs by agreeing to pick up the item at the store’s location. It might be less convenient, but it saves you money.
Strong Passwords With Variation
Don’t fly the setup process if the website asks you to create an account before making any purchases without paying attention. Since the website will store your credit card information within this account, you want to make sure it’s secure. Therefore, don’t skimp on the password creation process. Use a strong password, different from your others, to ensure you keep your information safe in case someone hacks this account.
After learning these ten tips for online shopping, you can securely buy that perfect outfit without having to worry if it’ll fit or not. And, when you’re looking for trendy boutique blouses online, head over to Sidecarcafeandbar’s easy-to-navigate virtual store!