Online shopping was once a fascinating innovation but has become a staple of everyday life now. Today, while traditional store-based shopping remains, people have found a comfort zone in shopping online. There is so much to look up across various platforms and make choices from among millions of options available at your disposal. It is the convenience to shop from the comfort of your home that makes online shopping such a popular activity. But, what remains constant is the fact that online shopping is shopping.
Shopping might seem like an easy activity but if you think about it you will understand why it is not such a cakewalk. You can shop around casually, but may not necessarily shop right. Those of you who like to shop right know how much patience, bargaining, comparative analysis, and budget play vital roles. These attributes become all the more important when you are shopping online—because the clothes are not in their physical presence and you will have to think through a whole lot more because of the terms and conditions applicable.
So, how do you shop online? What are the ways to ensure that your choices online do not result in regret? Well, I may have a few tips to offer to you.
- Read the product description
Just because the picture looks nice does not mean that the product is. You should have now already realized that there is a lot of beautification done on the models, clothes, and background. Those pictures are made to look good so you will have to check out the product description. You should read about the fabric, the size which the model is wearing, the preferable method of washing the cloth, the return policy, and whatnot. It could be that you are looking for a cotton shirt, and the product you buy has a very less percentage of cotton in it. Beware of what you are buying.
- Check across multiple platforms
Online shopping websites such as Amazon are aggregators of retail brands. These retail brands sell across multiple platforms, and those platforms make competitive offers on them. Before you settle down for, say, apparel on one platform, you should check out the same on different platforms. Compare the prices, shipping charges, discount offers, and whatnot. Once you have done this task, you are better positioned to determine your choice.
- Product reviews can be lifesaver
We all indeed have our own taste in retail but there are always certain attributes that are generally applicable to all the consumers. Pay attention to the reviews. A product may have a wonderful look and product description but may actually be a sub-standard product. Check the reviews and analyze them. There will be some disproportionately bad reviews that will make no sense but should there be recurring complaints about certain aspects of the product you must take caution. Reading reviews will help you judge the product based on some standards and background. The experiences of other consumers may end up deciding yours.
- Know the return/exchange policies
Big online marketplaces have a very systematic return/ exchange policy in place so the hassle in making returns or exchanges should not be a problem. Usually, the problem lies with small online marketplaces that draft ambiguous return policies and often cause monetary damage to consumers. Anyway, you should properly apprise yourself of the return policy. There are certain products, for example, which are not generally returnable such as lingerie. On the other side, certain categories of products such as gadgets would require an examination from the seller’s side before a refund is issued. Sometimes, for instance, the refund is credited in the form of credits to your account and you may want a refund directly to your bank account. Hence, know the policy.
- Do not share your personal details
Many fraudulent websites disguise themselves as reputed brands and solicit information from the users. You might end up getting emails from such websites and whenever personal details such as card details or identification numbers are asked for you should take caution. You should do a thorough check of the credentials of the website before you respond. But, it is recommended that you do not share your personal details anyway, just to be on the safe side.