While the improvement of internet technology has made gadgets shopping online safer and more convenient, nothing beats being prudent when buying electronics online. To guide you in your search for the right electronic device, here are a few tips on making your online shopping secure and productive.
Tip #1: Know what you want/need
To save you time on your shopping, figure out what you want/need beforehand to narrow down your search. For instance, if you need to purchase a new mobile phone, think about the features that you want: do you need to check your e-mail on the go and make mobile payments? Or do you just need one to make calls? Once you have a basic idea, you’ll know what to look for.
Tip #2: Research, research, research
Here’s a crucial step: you need to look at what’s out there. Not all electronic products are created equal so you need to find out which one is actually worth buying. To do this, scour the web for reviews. But don’t just look at any website; consult credible sources like ConsumerSearch, Ars Technica, Engadget, CNET, and Wired. Don’t forget to look at your prospective device’s features so that you can compare it with what you need.
Tip #3: Check the prices
Another important factor to consider is price. You may have found the best electronic device for you, but it needs to be within your means. Compare prices not only among different models, but also between different online retailers so that you can get the most affordable deal.
Tip #4: Compare delivery costs
Your expenses do not end with the product’s price tag, however; you’ll also have to deal with delivery costs. There are online retailers, for example, that provide free delivery but sometimes, they require you to spend a minimum amount. Some offer express shipping, but some charge an extra fee for it. Others provide an option to pick-up instead.
The important part is that you check how much you’ll pay before you click the “Buy” button at the checkout page. If you’re not careful, you might end up spending more for delivery than the item itself.
Tip #5: Watch out for scams
There are many types of scams when shopping online, so be careful. There are fraudsters that sell cheap products so that they can get your bank account and/or credit card information. Others take your money but give you broken or useless item. Because of these risks, you should see to it that you buy only from reputable auction sites/online retailers to minimise your risk.
Tip #6: Beware of auction sniping
Auction sniping happens in online auctions where a person makes a higher bid at literally the last possible moment before the sale ends. While some online shoppers object to the practice, auction sniping is permitted in many auction sites.
If you want to avoid getting sniped, look for systems in place that help you combat it. Auction giant eBay, for instance, allows automatic bidding where you indicate your maximum offer and then eBay automatically bids for you until your limit is reached. Other sites like Trade Me automatically extend the deadline by a few minutes if someone bids in the sale’s closing moments.
Tip #7: Ensure the website is secure
If you’re shopping at an unfamiliar site, make sure that it’s secure. There are several ways how: first, see if the URL uses the prefix “https://”.Next, look for a padlock on your browser’s address bar; this indicates that the site is encrypted and its identity is verified. You can also use services to verify a website, like HpHosts and Norton Safe Web, which will check if the site distributed malware.
Tip #8: Do a background check on the seller
Make sure you always do a background check on the seller or retailer. Sellers receive ratings and feedback from their dealings with buyers. Avoid sellers with poor ratings and negative comments. If the seller has no comment or feedback, engage at your own risk. As for retailers, see if there are any negative remarks about how they handle things so that you know what you’re getting into.