When was the last time you visited your neighborhood market or a mall to buy the apparel, various home products or the handbag coveted by you. There is a high possibility that you have ordered it online. Even groceries are available online and you need not step out of your home to have them. They get delivered to your house in no time. As far as online shopping is concerned there has been 155% rise calculated vis-à-vis 85% in offline shopping. This is according to Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry(ASSOCHAM). The figure itself speaks volume about shopping online. You can buy a product from the comforts of your home. You might be in any part of the country you can make a purchase. All you need is a computer or a laptop and internet connect and with just a click of the mouse the work gets done. Isn’t it’s great? With online shopping you become a smart shopper. While online shopping offers convenience, saves time, fuel cost and parking charges, there is no denial of the fact that it comes with its own perils. Let’s see what are the various factors to keep in mind by you when you make a purchase via online.
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One advantage of online shopping is that retailers offer a lot of discounts to you. For extra discounts, schedule your purchases at the time of festivals like Diwali, Christmas and New Year. This will get you extra discount. This is over and above the normal discount that you are offered throughout the year. Also look out for promotion code that retailers come out with. You have to put these codes at the merchant’s website to avail the discount. This also help you get some discount. In fact, most retailers have them. Otherwise, you can have discounts ranging from 70% to 90% on gadgets, restaurants and trips to various places in and outside the country when ordering online. Some products also have a free gift along with the product. Look for items with free gift and whether you need them or not in your shopping cart.
Reviews about the product
Unlike traditional shopping, online shopping does not allow you to touch or feel the product. But every product has a review or feedback section at the bottom. Check out the various reviews written by the customers like you. They help you make an informed decision. Through this you get to know if the product you are buying is worth your money or not. Its only after reading them, you should make up your mind and not otherwise.
Security is very important when you make a purchase through online shopping. There are fraudulent websites too. You should be aware of them. Always Look for encrypted check-out page, which is indicated by enabled green address bar, padlock icon, company name and https sign at the beginning of the web address. This is the indication of a web page secured with an Extended Validation SSL certificate and visitors are assured to submit their sensitive information over encrypted connection. If its simply http, its not secure. It can result in your payment details being misused.
When shopping online, the return policy matters a lot. Online retailers help you replace or exchange the product if found damaged or defected. Look for number of days during which its possible. Flipkart for instance provide you with 30 day replacement guarantee for fashion and books categories for fashion and books. This reduces to just 10 days in case of other categories. If the online retailer refunds you for returning the product, make sure if the free gift given to you has to be returned or not. In most cases you have to return the free gift along with the main product. Some retailers also insist on retaining the original package, price tag and invoice receipt on the return or replacement product.
Avoiding online shopping at public places
Public places like cybercafé are not safe to make a transaction for shopping. This is because the information gets stored which can be misused through key loggers and screen grabbers. Both are programs that monitor your activities. They note down the websited you visited and all the keys pressed. They grab the content on display. However, in case of emergency check out for the antivirus installed in the computer. For more safety, it’s better to key in through your own laptop or computer. If you are browsing through Wi-fi installed elsewhere, make sure it is safe through anti-virus software installed.
Check the various payment methods provided by the retailers while doing online shopping. You have the choice of various payment options like debit card, credit card, net banking etc. However, if you do not want to share your debit or credit card details on the website, cash on delivery (COD) can prove to be an excellent payment method for you. This entails paying once the product reaches your doorstep. Such sort of arrangement relieves you of all your worries.
There are numerous price comparison websites that allow you to compare prices of the product you want to purchase. Naaptol.com, pricedekho.com and compareindia.in are few such websites that help you in making the right purchase by giving you price information of the same product offered by different retailers. By going to these sites you can save a lot on money whether you are buying a phone, laptop or any other electronic product.
The price a website displays and the one you have to pay when you make the payment may involve some hidden costs in the form of taxes and delivery and shipping charges. They might increase the price to an extent you are not comfortable shelling out. Look for some retailers which provide the product to you without any shipping charges.
Buy in bulk
Since online shopping involves shipping charges it makes sense to make the purchases in bulk from the seller. So you do not have to pay shipping charges every time you order the product. Make a list of all the products and order them at one go. Also check out with your friends and relatives if they need something.