0 6 min 2 weeks

Do you have kids with a wish list a mile long? Maybe its a husband that has some hobbies that can get costly. No matter what you are shopping for, it can likely be found online. Before you begin looking, take a few moments to learn a few tips that are sure to help.

If you find a great product on your favorite site, search for it in a search engine before you buy it. Make note of the model number or brand, and do a quick search to make sure you can’t get it cheaper from somewhere else. You might be able to save a few dollars that way.

Talk to your friends about their favorite online shops. There are millions of sites out there, and there is no way you can find them all yourself. Talk to the people you know to find out who the reputable online retailers are, and where they like to shop. This can save you a lot of time and energy.

When you enjoy the convenience of frequent online shopping, it’s very important to keep changing the passwords you use for each account. Every couple of weeks or so, make up a new password for your bank and the shopping sites directly. Use abstract words, combined with numbers and other odd characters for the strongest passwords.

Always save copies of your orders and receipts from online purchases. Many stores will redirect you to a page after you’ve submitted an order detailing everything that was bought, customer information, the prices, etc. You should either print a copy of this or save a copy to your computer in case any issues arise before the end of the return period. Make sure to save any emails about your items’ status or correspondence with the company regarding your orders, too.

When you are shopping online, use reviews and ratings to your advantage and make smart purchases. If you are buying a rug and 10 out of 11 reviewers say the item was not the correct color, you probably want to look somewhere else for the item. Also check to verify that a customer had to purchase the item in order to make the review.

It is best to shop online with a credit card. Most credit cards come with a protection plan in case your information is stolen. Your bank will probably give you your money if you purchased a bad product with a credit card while you will entirely depend on the seller to get your money back if you used a debit card.

Avoid using your personal or business email addresses when you are shopping online. Many times you will receive a ton of unwanted emails after making purchases. Setting up an email specifically for shopping sites will stop all of this junk mail from being mixed up with all of your legitimate emails.

Many of us have a favorite store – are you following your favorite store on Facebook and Twitter? If not, you should be! Companies often announce special offers or sales via social media sites, and by checking their Facebook page or Twitter account regularly, you may find some good deals that you otherwise would have missed out on.

If you frequently shop online, consider registering for services that offer free shipping. You can shop at any of their partners and the items will ship for free. Test drive several services to see which, if any, is right for you.

Buying gifts and holiday shopping can be made so much easier by using the internet. You can purchase an item and have it shipped to the recipient without ever laving your home. You can also choose to buy a gift-card to a website that you know has items that they will like. This can save you time and money and ensure that the recipient will love your gift and thoughtfulness.

One way to save money is through points programs. For example, Swagbucks.com and MyPoints.com offer members the ability to earn points with their purchases. They also offer coupons for certain brands. When you redeem your points, you can get merchandise or gift cards, saving you even more money down the road.

Watch out for online retailer discounts that have short expiration dates. Too many online shoppers fall for the urgency of a good discount without really thinking it through. If the discount is for items that you need, it may be a good idea to use it. However, if the discount only applies to things that you wouldn’t buy otherwise, it’s not a good deal. Keep in mind that you could also find a better deal elsewhere, so think about it and do your research before you buy.

Apply the tips from above to your next online shopping experience and you will find that shopping online is easy. Keep these tips by your computer so that if you have any questions about the online buying process, you will have the answers at hand. Have fun while exploring the virtual shopping world.