Top 7 Online Shopping Tips
on Wednesday, October 26, 2022
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Do you think Santa Claus gets stressed around the holidays? Even the jolliest of us must feel the impending time crunch of family gatherings and Christmas shopping, right?
Whatever he feels, one thing is for sure: he can’t do it alone. Each year he counts on you, his Christmas elves, to find the best deals on the hottest items of the year. To make your lives easier, he’s asked his loyal helpers here at MEC to pass along this online shopping PSA.
#1: Make Sure the Site is Secure
When you visit a website, look to the left of the URL. If the site is secure, you’ll see a small lock icon. This means your information (like passwords and credit card info) is private when it’s sent to this site.
You should also watch out for misspellings or incorrect domains. Scammers sometimes set up fake websites that look like the real thing – don’t be fooled!
#2: Verify the Brand
If you’ve never heard of a brand, do some research before you buy. Shady third-party sellers can pop up even on trusted sites like Amazon or Walmart. If you buy from one, you might find your product has an unexpected “cheap” feel, or that it’s not quite the product you thought you were getting.
#3: PayPal is Your Friend
If the site you’re buying from accepts PayPal, you can make a purchase without giving the seller any of your financial info. PayPal handles the transaction for you. Click here to learn more.
#4: Don’t Recycle Your Passwords
It’s tempting to keep using the same password for every site – but that makes it very, very easy for hackers to get into your accounts. Switch up your passwords to keep your online accounts secure, especially when your financial information is involved.
Click here for our guide to creating a secure, effective password collection.
#5: You Can Still Shop Local
Shopping online doesn’t mean you’re tied to whatever Amazon has in stock. See if your favorite local shops have websites to order from. Your chamber of commerce’s website might be able to point you in the right direction.
#6: Compare Prices
Don’t buy from the first listing you see. Different retailers sometimes sell the same product at different prices. Sites like Google Shopping or Honey can help you find lower prices or deals elsewhere.
#7: It’s Okay to Delay
Which is less appealing: your kids not having that new iPad right on Christmas Day, or paying hundreds of dollars extra for it because the only one you can find is from someone reselling it to make a quick buck? Even Santa doesn’t think it’s worth it.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for, or the seller wants to overcharge you, it’s okay to wait for a few weeks while demand dies down and new stock rolls in.