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How to Wisely Shop Online

Updated on November 25, 2015

Do you loathe pushy salespeople? Does the thought of navigating through a sea of loudmouthed shoppers make your blood boil? Does seeing that juice blender you just paid full price for on sale in another store send you into a fit of rage? If you answered yes to any of these questions—or if you’re just fond of making sensible and informed purchases from the comfort of your own home—then it sounds like you’re ready to embrace the Golden Age of online shopping. Customers today not only have an endless choice of websites to browse for anything from clothing to household appliances to electronics and everything in between, but also have a vast array of tools at their disposal to help them find the best product for the best price.

Besides just the convenience of being able to shop from the comfort of your couch, online shopping also provides users access to a wealth of information about whatever it is they wish to buy. Shoppers can use features such as customer reviews, comparison websites, and various other e-commerce tools that allow them to more easily navigate the vast ocean of commodities available on the web with the added knowledge that they are getting a quality product at a fair price. With so many different options available for making Internet purchases, such tools are especially valuable in saving shoppers from spending hours hopping from website to website trying to find the best deal and combing through thousands of customer reviews. Shopping wisely online has never been more possible and convenient, thanks to these handy tools.

Comparaboo's current list of the 10 best vacuum cleaners
Comparaboo's current list of the 10 best vacuum cleaners | Source

Use Product Comparison Tools

E-commerce today is booming; according to Invesp 80% of the world’s more than three billion Internet users have purchased something online at least once. And with such a large Internet market, someone could spend an eternity searching, scrolling, and comparing online; a shopper in search of something as simple as the best blender faces a daunting and potentially very timely journey trying to sift through the abundance of options at their disposal. Product comparison tools such as Comparaboo spare the online shopper the time and effort it takes to research the product of their fancy. In just seconds, it ‘reads’ hundreds of different product reviews, sales data, and other measures across the web and spits out a “Value Ranking,” which neatly lays out a ranked list of the best options available for the product they’re searching for. The rankings are based on both brand and product popularity, value, quality, and price. Similar websites such as BestDeals.Today and BestReviews.Guide provide visitors with a list of items that they’re searching for based on price and customer feedback, so users can quickly find the best deal out there in one place. The next time you need to replace your hair dryer or want a new pair of boots for the fall, consider skipping the hassle of doing your own product research and let one of these sites do it for you.

A list of hair dryer deals on BestDeals.Today
A list of hair dryer deals on BestDeals.Today | Source
The 10 best juicers according to BestReviews.Guide
The 10 best juicers according to BestReviews.Guide | Source

Use Browser Extensions

There are also a number of extensions available for Google Chrome, Safari, and other browsers geared toward making your online shopping experience more painless and streamlined. Online shoppers with eyes bigger than their wallets should check out Amazon’s wish list extension, which allows shoppers to save products from any website to their Amazon wish list so that they can conveniently keep all of their would-be buys in one place instead of having to keep returning to ten different websites. Amazon’s fellow online mega-retailer eBay also has an extension that lets auction-happy users stay signed in securely to keep track of items they’re selling and bidding on and it lets them place bids and save searches as well.

Besides just simplifying your online shopping experience, there are a number of extensions designed to save you money as you shop. Coupons at Checkout, for example, uncovers coupon codes from over 100,000 online stores for the user before they check out; The extension Honey also hunts coupons for shoppers before they finalize their purchases. For bargain hunters, InvisbleHand and PriceBlink let users see the lowest price for the product they’re currently viewing, and is a must-have for thrifty spenders.

Amazon's wish list extension in action
Amazon's wish list extension in action | Source

Use Safe Practices

Other than just getting good deals online and finding the most efficient online shopping tools, shopping wisely also means shopping safely. If you are not on a trusted website, be very careful before you give away any personal information and make sure to read the fine print on a website’s privacy policy. Here are some more must-read tips to keep you safe while shopping on the web.

Why do you prefer shopping online?

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Now that you know how to use the world of e-commerce to your own advantage and how to navigate it safely, you are ready to get shopping wisely!

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