December 14, 2011

Online Shopping - Know What You're Getting

Buying online does require some guesswork. While the unreliability of Internet shopping is nowhere near as bad as it used to be, everyone occasionally has a harrowing online shopping experience.
From products arriving damaged, not as advertised or never arriving at all, to dealing with customer service reps and waiting 10-3,000 business days for a refund, you'll want to make sure you do all you can to avoid being sucked into an online purchasing disaster vortex.

Internet Shopping
Pic Credits:renjith krishnan /

Check out these few steps to avoid said vortex and secure your Internet finds this holiday season and beyond with ease.

Authenticity Is Key
Authenticity is one of the first concerns you should address when purchasing anything online, especially more expensive items like jewelry, designer clothing, leather or any 'original' goods.

To avoid falling prey to Internet scam artists, do your best to shop only from reputable brands and sellers. Instead of paying thousands of dollars for a diamond ring on, spend your money with an accredited retailer like Blue Nile or through any company site with a clearly professional name, look and upstanding reviews.

online shopping
Image: winnond /

Follow the same guidelines for purchasing other expensive items. Though you want to save money by taking a chance on the eBay seller with the blurry pictures of designer jeans, know what you might be getting yourself into. If a deal seems to good to be true, it probably is. You will not get a legitimate Louis Vuitton luggage set for $60.

louis vuitton fake bag

The more popular the brand, the more counterfeited goods there are on the market. Beware of incorrect spelling, poor stitching or craftsmanship and lesser quality materials. Though it can be hard to spot these details online, try to familiarize yourself with the product on the company's own website, or in stores. When searching for better deals on the same product, beware of overwhelmingly positive reviews and only use sites that provide contact details for sellers and product manufacturing addresses. Always check comments for genuine feedback and purchase accordingly.

All in all, common sense is your friend. Use it.

Sizing: It's All In The Numbers
We've all had to squeeze into a sweater that didn't quite fit to make Grandma happy. And, we've all been swimming in a pair of jeans that we didn't have the heart to ask Aunt Marge to take back.
It's awkward. And we could all do without it. To be fair, you've probably given some ill-fitting gifts too. To avoid ever giving or receiving a poorly fitting garment again, plan ahead enough to ask for all the measurements you'll need. While shirt and pants sizes are a given, you might also ask for shoe sizes, inseam, chest and leg length measurements for specialty items.

If you suspect that Aunt Marge is going to try again with the jeans, give her your measurements ahead of time and save both of you trouble. Online clothing retailers always have size charts, and sellers on sites like eBay or Amazon will typically have the garment's measurements listed. If you don't see the specifications, you can ask the seller for any information needed.

Online Returns/Exchanges and Assorted Disasters
There are few things worse than spending valuable hours on the phone with the representative from The ring you ordered 16 months ago has not arrived and you're beginning to wonder if it's ever coming. You call the number and spend the next two hours in a dead-end question and answer session, which you emerge from with little more information than you started with.

Before calling in with questions about your purchase, have every shred of information in front of you that you suspect might be needed. Have your purchase receipt in front of you, confirmation emails or any other correspondence you've had with the company. Having all this information handy before the call starts helps you avoid wasting time.

Generally speaking, reliable websites and sellers will have an easy shipping, return and exchange policy. With a reputation to uphold, they'll do all they can to make your experience simple and pleasant. Be patient when dealing with online returns, refunds or exchanges, especially during the holiday season. Plan ahead and buy early. Keep an eye on your checking account to look for excess charges and refunded money.
shopping online with credit card

Armed with these few tips, you're prepared to make the most out of your online shopping experiences. So, go out and conquer, all from the convenience of your laptop!

(Guest Post by Ashley)

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  1. Christina12:14 PM

    Its very convenient and saves travelling time.
    Its good if you wanna find something that is not found on local stores.

  2. Mithun12:30 PM

    pros: you don't have to face the crowds, you don't have to leave home, stores sometimes have sales, stores have some things online that is online only

    cons: takes a while to get there, might not get there at all, shipping can cost a lot, you could become a hermit if you only do online shopping. that last one's just for fun lol

  3. The post has covered almost all the points that one should take care while ordering products online.


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