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There is nothing like a bit of online shopping to bring out the bargain hunter in anybody. The key to really making online shopping pay, however, is to fully understand the most effective strategies and tactics involved. Keep reading to learn how you can maximize your bounty by following a few critical steps.

When you’re shopping online you have to be sure that you know who you’re buying from. If you’re buying on an online auction site, only buy from people that have positive feedback. On other sites look to see if they are a reputable company by looking for reviews on them online.

If you are going to be doing some shopping online, make sure you understand the liability for each credit card you use online. Many credit cards have automatic fraud prevention built in while others offer it for a minimal fee. You do not want to get stuck with purchases made on your card if the number is stolen.

Make it a habit to register for price alerts. This goes even for purchases that you’ve recently made. Price alerts will let you know when a product has dropped to a price you like. And if you’ve recently purchased at full price, you can ask for a price adjustment to meet the new deal.

Find out the online store’s return policy. If you are considering making a purchase on an item that you may want to return, be sure you find out if returning the item is an option. Sometimes when you shop online, items can not be returned and you do not want to be stuck with an unwanted item.

Sign up for your favorite online stores’ newsletters. Many times online stores will send out daily, weekly or monthly newsletters with special sales, discounts and deals. If you like to save money, you might be able to score some great deals on items you were going to purchase anyway.

Save money with major online retailers by locating coupons and deals on deal sites. Getting an account and logging on frequently to money saving sites like RetailMeNot.com can give you access to redeemable online codes for major online retailers and even printable coupons for physical locations. Try keeping an eye on these sites around the beginning and end of the month for some of the best online coupons.

Check out eBay. Still the best and most respected auction site out there, eBay offrs thousands of products of all kinds. Even if you want something high end, give eBay a shot before you go and pay full price unnecessarily. You might even want to browse, to see what products you like that you would not have thought to look for.

Remember that when you are shopping online, there could be significant costs associated with shipping your item. Always take these costs into account when you are looking for your best price. One website may have a high price, but includes free shipping. The same item on another site may be priced lower, but by the time the shipping costs are added, it is more expensive than the first site.

Unless you need an item right away, avoid choosing the expedited shipping option when shopping online. Most websites will charge you a fortune to have your items delivered the next day or the day after. Most of the time, standard shipping is much cheaper and your items will still come within a few days.

While Amazon may be charging $29.99 for an item, that doesn’t mean that you should choose eBay if the item is listed for $9.99. Why? It’s all about shipping costs! Amazon may offer free Super Saver shipping, meaning you only pay $29.99 and not a cent more. eBay sellers usually charge for shipping, and that can make the item more expensive there. Always factor in shipping costs when comparing prices.

Prior to making a purchase, check out the site’s shipping guarantee. If your item does not ship out when it is supposed to, you can cancel the order and get your money back. Make sure you know what your rights are so that you are fully protected when making online purchases.

If you plan to shop online, be careful. Sizes tend to vary between brands and the way items fit might not always work on your body type. If you can, try the clothes on in a store first. If you can’t, buy from a retailer with a liberal returns policy.

Even if you choose to buy from a brick and mortar store, take the time to shop online first so that you can see what is available and what prices are standard. You can also read buyer’s reviews that can help you determine exactly which items you may want to avoid. A little research can pay off in saving and satisfaction.

Online shopping is a terrific method of having an amazing array of products at your fingertips while also getting the very best prices around. All you need is some good, solid information and you can be on your way. With any luck, the material presented above has helped you get going.