Hate waiting in long checkout lines or burning up your gas tank in search of the best deals on the products you want? Online shopping may be in your best interest! Over the years, online shopping has grown increasingly popular because of the ease of comparing product prices and the availability of various products to fit the consumer’s needs. If choosing to explore the world of online shopping, there are particularly five things to keep in mind before confirming your checkout.
1. Review shipping fees and estimations of delivery
Majority of online retailers provide an option of standard flat-rate shipping of products, which is among the most popular inexpensive option for consumers. Expedited shipping is typically available but this can often be an expensive option.
The average estimation of standard delivery is five to fifteen business days. Expedited shipping averages at 3-5 business days, but often for twice the cost of standard shipping. Free shipping is available for certain products depending on the retailer. Always check the shipping fees and delivery estimations in order to receive the best deal.
2. Review each item’s return policy
Each online retailer has different return policies for their products. Before ordering online, consult the online customer service department to review the item’s return policy regarding time frame for returns and for defective products.
3. Look for the website’s quality rating of the product
Quality ratings are provided to help give mental imagery on the condition of the item. The most common terms online retailers use are “new”, “used”, “like-new, “refurbished”, and “fair”. Remember that each website will use these terms differently, so save yourself the shock of receiving a “like-new” or “refurbished” product when you were expecting a brand new one by checking the quality rating of the item before checkout.
4. Acknowledge customer reviews
Customer reviews, just like recommendations from friends or family, can influence your decision on purchasing an item online. Customer reviews are first hand experiences from other online shoppers who have bought the item you are considering. These reviews will tell you whether the item arrives how it is described, how long it has lasted, how well it works and more. If available, checkout the customer reviews to get an idea of the product to ensure your complete satisfaction with a purchase.
5. Be confident the product is what you want.
Product descriptions should be thoroughly read in order to get a clear understanding of the item. Depending on what you decide to purchase, always re-check the model, sizes, and colors before you click to make that final purchase. So, instead of anxiously waiting for that beautiful couch to be delivered, only to find that it won’t fit through your front door, double check yourself and read each description carefully.