5 Mistakes Online Shoppers Make

While it is quick and convenient to shop online while at home in your pajamas, it is all too simple to spend more money than you would in a store due to this convenience. Here are some online shopping blunders to watch out for to save money.

1. Being seduced by a deal

The average user of the free email streamlining service Unroll.me has roughly 91 retail email subscriptions and 250 total subscriptions. With so many sales promotions flooding our inboxes (“Today Only: 50% Off Everything!,” “Buy One Dress, Get One Half Off!”), it’s simple to search aimlessly for items you hadn’t intended to buy but now firmly feel you must have. To avoid being distracted by offers I don’t actually need, I’ve used Unroll.me to unsubscribe from marketing emails or “roll them up” into a daily digest.

2. Purchasing more to qualify for free shipping

If you spend $25, $50, or more in a single order at many retailers, delivery is usually free. When Amazon increased its free delivery barrier from $25 to $35 last fall, many customers probably just ordered more products to reach the $35 requirement. If you have Amazon Prime or ShopRunner, you could be more likely to use such services to shop rather than comparing prices to find the best offer. Despite having a large range, Amazon is not always the cheapest option. Even after you take into account the cost of shipping from a different retailer, going to another website or a physical store may still be more cost-effective than placing an order online. To save you money on shipping while still getting the item you desire, the retailer will occasionally ship your item to a shop for free.

3. Not looking for coupon codes

When you can receive free shipping or a percentage off your item, why pay full price? Search for discount codes quickly before paying for anything. It’s worth looking because websites like RetailMeNot and CouponCabin compile discount codes for well-known retailers. If you frequently shop online, you might want to register with a cash-back service like BeFrugal, Ebates, Extrabux, or Upromise to receive rewards on a portion of your eligible purchases. Although many of these websites provide promo codes of their own, occasionally utilizing an outside promo code may invalidate cashback earned through the website.

4. Ignoring return policy requirements

Online shopping is practical, but not if you need to exchange something. Others will charge you for return shipping if you wish to send an item back, however certain shops, like Zappos.com, are quite forgiving about returns (Zappos gives free returns for a full 365 days after purchase). Due to the inconvenience and cost of returning something, this may lead you to keep something you don’t want. Before making a purchase online, read the return policy. This is particularly crucial when purchasing apparel because sizes might differ and it can be difficult to obtain the appropriate fit without putting it on first.

5. Choosing debit over credit

Customers should be cautious about the information they disclose in stores or online in light of the recent data breaches at many companies. Credit cards generally offer higher consumer safeguards against illegal transactions and are more secure for online purchases than debit cards. However, using a credit card to make purchases online shouldn’t give you carte blanche to rack up charges. To prevent finance charges, it’s preferable if you pay the debt in full each month. In order to prevent your credit scores from declining, you should also try to avoid carrying excessive sums from month to month on your credit report card.

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