Tips For Online Shopping

Shopping on the Internet is the way of the future. Most stores have a website now making it easy for us to make our purchases from the comfort of our home. Some stores have stopped sending out catalogs altogether and only sell via the Internet.

There are a few things I’ve learned over the years I’d like to share with you.

Don’t Give Your Real Phone Number:

It isn’t necessary for them to have your number and as far as I can tell most of them only want it to use for selling purposes. Either they will call and bug you or sell your number to others that will. They have our email address to contact us about any problems so why else do they need our telephone number? Some have gotten tricky and make that box a required field. Just fill in the line with “2’s”. For example: 222-222-2222. I’ve only had a couple times that, that didn’t work so I change it to “3’s” and it worked.

Check For Coupons:


Before ordering, put in a search for the company name and the word coupon. You’ll get sites like this one:

http://www.retailmenot.com/

There are several out there that come and go so that is why it’s best to put in the company name and the word coupon as a search because your store might be listed with one website and not the others. You’ll get anything from ten percent off to free shipping. Postage can add up so if you can get that knocked off the cost it helps.


Put In A Search For Your Product:


After finding a pair of shoes or handbag you really love and want to buy you may be able to get that same item cheaper with another company. Put in a search for the name, model number or style name and even size. You’ll get a few listed and you can choose the best price. Don’t forget to use your coupon search because that will make a difference too. If one is five dollars cheaper but Zappo’s is giving free shipping which adds up to ten dollars you have to take all these things into consideration.


Source

Pay Later:


Beware of this option. You can get yourself in a lot of trouble if you aren’t careful. I don’t recommend it and if you read the fine print you are usually charged interest on all those delayed months paying a whole lot more for the item in the long run.

Leave a Review:


Companies are doing this now and it’s very helpful to us all. If a dress runs big or small it helps the next customer order a size that fits. It also helps the store because they have less returns when people get the right fit.

I think this also forces manufacturers to make a better product because if people are consistently unhappy with their merchandise the company will have to make improvements or lose business.

Sales Tax:


Due to many online companies not charging sales tax some states have made it mandatory for them to. As of this writing, Amazon has stopped hosting small businesses from those states because they didn’t want to have to deal with the extra accounting hassle. This is unfortunate for those sellers that depend on Amazon for revenue. I believe that states will eventually have to charge a flat tax based on income to residents. Some states do this already.


A Few Of My Favorite Shopping Sources:


Zappos-

This company mostly sold shoes in the beginning but has branched out to selling handbags, clothing as well as other items. They have free shipping “both ways” so if you buy a product and it doesn’t fit or you aren’t happy with it, you can send it back on their dime. You can’t beat that. Most of the time I get my purchase the next day so you don't have long to wait. There are a couple other companies that do that now trying to keep up with Zappos.

They have a huge selection and even carry widths for those of us with narrow or wide feet. There’s a review thread, which can be very helpful.


FootSmart:

Hard to fit or sensitive feet with special needs will be happy after trying this shoe source. They not only sell shoes, but also lots of socks and other foot therapy products.


Amazon:

Most of you know about this store. They started out a book dealer but branched out to sell other things and also help the small retailer by being a middleman. You can sometimes get free shipping if you spend over $25. This only applies to certain items so read the fine print.


Sierra Trading Post:

This is like a close out store on the Internet and has all kinds of great deals. Just like any other outlet store you are limited to what they have on hand so if you are looking for something specific you might not always find it but they have a lot of great bargains.


Etsy:

I love artsy hand made things and this website is a middle man for people who make all sorts of items from jewelry to clothing to home decor.

What is your favorite online shopping source?

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Comments 33 comments

marellen 5 years ago

Thanks for all your useful tips. I'm not a regular on-line shopper but I will keep your tips handy when I purchase something.


Reynold Jay profile image

Reynold Jay 5 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

Excellent tips. I am wary of the online shopping after a scam was pulled on me couple of weeks ago. I enjoyed this very much. You have this laid out beautifully and it is easy to understand. Keep up the great HUBS. Up one and Useful. Hey! I'm now your fan! RJ


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Marellen, where I live we have limited choices so online is the best way to go.

Reynold Jay, I've never had any problems and shop online often. The major companies keep everything pretty secure.

Thanks for being my fan.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Great advice, Pamela. Bookmarked!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States

Wonderful tips for online shopping. Thanks.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Thanks for reading, Will and Pamela.


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 5 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi Pamela thanks for all these great tips,advice and shopping online information, it will be a great guide line for everyone who shops online !

Useful and vote up !!!


Solar Awareness 5 years ago

Pamela - very informative, I agree, there is no reason for anyone to leave their phone # when shopping on-line. I thought I might pass along info to everyone about E-bates.com; a web-site that offers cash back for shopping online. They are able to do this by sharing some of the commission they receive from on-line stores for the purchases you make. To join, by setting up an account, you only need to give them your email so they can notify you when your cash back is credited to your account.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Thanks, Kashmir.

Solar, I haven't heard of that one. I'll check it out, thanks.


Docmo profile image

Docmo 5 years ago from UK

Good advice Pamela - well compiled and instructive. Especially relevant in these days of online scams as shopping over the net becomes a way of life. Voted up!


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Thanks, Docmo. If we shop the bigger companies or the smaller ones through brokers like Amazon we should be safe. So far I haven't had any problems.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

I buy on line quite a bit, especially computer things.You have some good tips here, especially the phone number one. I hate giving out my phone number.Up and useful.


Suramya.K 5 years ago

Amazon is still my favorite online shopping store. I "blindly" trust them. I really don't buy anything online except Amazon and I was unaware of some of these points.

Pamela, Thanks!

Your hub will save many people from being scammed. Up!


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

dahoglund, where I live I can usually get electronics much cheaper online.

Suramya.K, thanks for reading. Amazon is one of my favorites too.


SUSIE DUZY profile image

SUSIE DUZY 5 years ago from Delray Beach, Florida

I love shopping online. I find exactly what I want at the right price, right size and color, and it get delivered to my door. No schlepping around the mall.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Susie I love it too. Most of the time it fits perfectly and I don't have to spend gas driving across town to the mall.


dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 5 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

Thanks for sharing great, useful information! Voted up and useful!


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Thanks for reading, Dallas.


iZeko profile image

iZeko 5 years ago

Very useful hub! Appreciate the tips, especially the one about the phone number!


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Thanks for reading, iZeko.


simhaisrael profile image

simhaisrael 5 years ago from Cincinnati, OH

Have you ever bought products from Amway. If not try it, go to Amway.com/Hoshaiahisrael


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

I have bought from them several years a go. I didn't know they were still around.


Jinesh07 profile image

Jinesh07 5 years ago from Leamington Spa

Good informative hub! More and more voucher code websites are growing so you really can save lots by doing your research before you buy


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Yes, Jinesh, it's a smart thing to do. Thanks for stopping by.


susannah42 profile image

susannah42 5 years ago from Florida

Shopping online is the best. No driving, parking, searching, looking for my size, color. No carrying packages. love it.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

It is very convenient, Susannah.


TinaAtHome profile image

TinaAtHome 4 years ago from California

The best advice is to search for coupons. Yesterday I shopped at a store I hadn't used previously. Just as I was checking out I Googled the name of the store and the word coupon and I found a 10% coupon I could use.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Tina, it's amazing how much that adds up. It often covers the shipping amount plus more if you are buying a high ticket item.


L.L. Woodard profile image

L.L. Woodard 4 years ago from Oklahoma City

I am enjoying online shopping more all the time for convenience, selection and price savings. Shipping and handling charges can sometimes be a little steep, especially if you're in a hurry for something to arrive. But after factoring in the price of gas, wear and tear on the vehicle, and wear and tear on me, I've decided even the S&H charges aren't unreasonable.

Great hub; vote up and Shared.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

L.L., I prefer to shop online when I can. So many companies are now giving free shipping trying to compete with Amazon and Zappos so it's great for recluses like me.


Rusticliving profile image

Rusticliving 4 years ago from California

Great hub Pamela. Having my own online store, you are correct, giving out your phone number is not necessary. I never ask for it! Emails are usually sufficient. Where I don't offer a pay later program, I know Paypal does (which is offered on my site). Consumers always need to read the fine print whenever applying for credit of payment plans. Thumbs up and shared! :)


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

RL, the fine print is great advice we should all make sure we understand the terms.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Thanks, RL. That's good to know.

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