- Make sure you WANT the product: Impulse purchases are no longer just relevant to in-store purchases. They also apply to individuals when they are browsing/shopping online. The ‘you may also like…’ or ‘customers who purchased this product also purchased…’ tricks that online retailers use do just that: make an individual impulsively buy something. Make sure you don’t fall for such tricks, and that what you are buying is completely essential for you, or that you really want it;
- Understand total costs: Often, the price of the product is not the only cost that you will incur when shopping online. Additional costs like shipping costs, transaction fees (credit card fees), etc may crop up, thus increasing your buying price. Look into the final price of your purchase to understand if you are okay with spending for all those additional costs/expenses too;
- Check for better deals on other websites: Before confirming purchase from ‘website A’, browse through ‘website B’ and ‘website C’ for better deals. An online search for similar products on other websites shall yield the desired results;
- Understand about after sales service, warranties, etc: Buying from an offline retailer (real brick-and-mortar stores) is straightforward in this regard, but when shopping online, these points may not be mentioned on the website, or you may tend to overlook them because they are the ‘fine print’ that no one reads. Make sure you are aware of the provision of any services after purchase (if they are offered by the product’s company), any warranties, etc.;
- Check if your information is safe: Not all online retailers may have encrypted websites to safeguard their clients’ billing information, and not all online retailers have reputable payment gateway systems. Look for their payment information security details and how safe/reliable they are about this, and only then hit the ‘confirm’ button!
Happy shopping, and thank you for reading!