Other expenses such as as shipping and taxes can skew your final price. And if you need to return something, a restocking fee may be charged. Here’s what you need to know about web shopping today:
Reviews: Authentic or Not?
Bet on it that people shopping online will read reviews when posted. There are sites such as Yelp! that are all about reviews, but feedback may be posted directly to a website, on a product site, or to an independent site such as Amazon.
Read reviews carefully, being mindful that some information you read may not be authentic or at least the review does not give an accurate portrayal of the item or service. A too glowing review should be suspect as should reviews that absolutely trash a business especially if other reviews are positive. Commenters may have a hidden agenda — learn how to spot them.
Pricing and Then Some
It would be simple if that dress shirt retailing online for $19.95 was the “out the door” price you’d pay. Chances are there are some other expenses that will add to the cost of the item, perhaps driving the shirt above $25 or $30. Now you’re in retail store territory — buying online does not seem like such a bargain after all!
You can cut your overall costs by not choosing one- or two-day shipping. Some stores charge a flat shipping rate, such as $3.95, while others provide free shipping for orders as low as $25, but usually for $50. Also keep an eye out for coupon codes. If while at checkout you’re asked for a code, then open up another tab and look for one online. You may find a code that provides free shipping or enough of a discount to pay for shipping and reduce your final price.
Ask For Help
Some of the heavier trafficked websites have helpers standing by. You’ll know if there is someone within reach if a small window pops up with an offer to help. Click on the window if you need assistance tracking down something or answer a question about the product such as its color, fabric, and size.
If you’re lucky, your online retail assistant may be able to provide you with styling advice or point you in the direction for a like product. That rumbled skirt you like would look especially fetching with with a rope sash belt. Let your assistant direct you where you should go.
All About Returns
Before you hit the submit button, you should understand the company’s return policy. You may discover that you’re responsible for shipping the item back and the company may charge you a restocking fee. Suddenly, that deal doesn’t seem so special after all.
You may be able to avoid charges if you can prove that the company sent the wrong item. Also, your subsequent delivery may be sent without an added shipping cost. Don’t assume anything — understand what your costs will be and plan accordingly.
Buying goods online has certainly changed over the years. These days, a lot of retailers are collecting sales tax where that cost was not charged previously. Still, with lower overhead costs than brick and mortar merchants, you may find that web shopping is both a big and a good deal.
See Also — Tips for Secure Online Shopping
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