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7 costly mistakes we make when shopping online

Can you remember the first thing you bought online and the last one? Online shopping has become an integral part of modern life; it's hard to remember when they weren't there. Writes about it Money Talks News.

Photo: Shutterstock

Undoubtedly, shopping online is very convenient - the choice is unlimited and the delivery is quite fast. But there are also many nuances that lead us to make costly mistakes when ordering online.

Here are some of the most common mistakes.

1. Payment by debit card

Using a credit card is safer when shopping online, but using debit cards on the Internet makes you vulnerable to data theft.

If someone obtains your credit card information and uses it for fraudulent purposes, you will not lose money while your credit card company investigates. But if someone has information about your debit card, they can clear your account at once, and it will be impossible to get a refund.

In addition, credit card transactions are more secure than debit card transactions.

2. Do not use cashback

It may sound counterintuitive, but in the online shopping world, there are several ways to get money back for purchases. You can earn:

  • cashback for purchases through an app such as Ibotta;
  • cashback when making purchases through special sites: Rakuten, Drop, TopCashback and Swagbucks Shop;
  • cashback by credit card payment - provided that you pay your bill in full each month to avoid interest charges.

Of course, you can also take advantage of the stores' own bonus programs to get more.

3. Believe fake prices

A site might advertise a product with a 50% discount, but where did that original price come from?

Some products do not have list prices, so the site can set any prices that are beneficial to itself. Or overcharge the list price to make the discount seem bigger than it actually is.

On the subject: 6 common mistakes buyers make on Amazon

Fortunately, determining how profitable your deal is when shopping online is easier than at a mall. Find the product on other sites and see what prices are there.

4. Using a public Wi-Fi connection

It's easy to do: you are sitting in a local coffee shop, doing some work, when you suddenly remember that you need to order a gift.

Do not transfer sensitive information, such as account passwords and credit card information, over a public Internet connection.

Of course, a purchase is not tied to sensitive data, but online purchases require personal information, which may include bank accounts and accounts on retailers' websites. Shopping is not something to do on an unsecured Wi-Fi network.

5. Ignoring return policy

Make sure the site you are shopping on has a clear and generous return policy. In particular, before buying, you should know the answers to the following questions:

  • Under what conditions does the site accept returns?
  • How long does the site give to return the product?
  • Will the site provide a paid postage label or will you cover the return shipping costs?
  • Can you return the item to your local store instead of posting it?
6. Build on reviews

Internet reviews are a great resource, but could you take a bite of a sandwich that a random stranger served you on the street? If not, then why would you waste money based on the opinion of a random stranger?

On the subject: 8 mistakes that make your car an easy target for criminals

Reviews can be manipulated. If you spend your hard earned money on a purchase, it is always in someone's interest. Sites like Fakespot and ReviewMeta can help you spot fake or suspicious reviews.

These sites use algorithms to analyze reviews, looking for signs of fake reviews. ReviewMeta only works with Amazon reviews, but Fakespot analyzes reviews from other retailers' sites, including Walmart, Best Buy, and Sephora.

7. Forgetting to check for a free option

One of the great things about online shopping is that, thanks to the internet, sellers and buyers can easily find each other.

To take just one example, a girl was thinking of playing the piano, so her dad set up a Facebook marketplace alert for the word “piano” within 40 miles of home. Over the course of a few months, he was offered a dozen pianos, and many of them were free for those who could pick them up.

If the Facebook marketplace isn't for you, look in your area for the Buy Nothing Project group or the Freecycle Network group.

Miscellaneous Errors Educational program online shopping

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