I have to admit, I am an avid online shopper. The convenience to just browse and shop online, and the look on your colleague’s faces as you carry yet another Poslaju parcel under your arms – simply priceless :p And after lots of clicking, browsing and learning from my own online shopping mistakes, I decided to compile this basic list to help all those newbies out there.
1. Search and Compare
Okay you saw something online that catches your eye, impulse saying – I HAVE TO HAVE THIS! But hold your horses. Do your homework. Use search engines, type the name of the site you intend to shop and see what results you get. Doesn’t matter if it’s a big online merchant, a Facebook or Instagram shop. You may stumble across some good shopping deals, sales and online promotions, or you may also come by any customer reviews, recommendations or even bad reviews. In this social media fast paced world, any bad experiences are mostly conveyed online so by doing a basic search you can eliminate or decide if the seller is fraudulent or not. If a deal is too good to be true, chances are most of the times it IS too good to be true. So whatever results you get, weigh the pros and cons and decide.
If you’re feeling lucky, try asking Mr Google for ‘store name – coupon code’ and who knows you might end up getting a 20% discount on your shopping!
2. Shipping & Delivery
Once you have decided to shop at a particular shop, again, read through their shipping price, policies and delivery timing. Read their FAQ if they have one (a reputable online shop usually have a dedicated FAQ page.) Sometimes you might ‘think’ that the shipping is FREE, but when you read on then only you realized that free shipping is only/or limited to local address or if certain amount of items is purchased. You might want to understand all the shipping options and how it will affect your total cost. Also take note of the number of days they take to deliver your items to our door step; some merchant provides next day delivery, some custom orders or international orders might take some time, but make sure you are aware of the time they take to deliver your items in case you need it by a certain date. Don’t blame the courier company if your dinner dress doesn’t arrive on time for your annual dinner function.
3. Size & Measurements
As you’re shopping for items virtually, you won’t be able to see or hold the actual items. So it’s important that you ALWAYS read the product details – product sizes, dimensions, type of material and sizing guides. Don’t just assume that the size is standard because sometimes it’s not. Always insist to see the actual product photo before you buy, especially pre-loved items. If you’re shopping for clothes online, have your body measurements ready. Measure and jot down the size of your shoulder, bust, waist and hips and save it in your smartphone for easy access. With the measurements handy, during a hectic one hour only online sale, you can easily check and decide if the clothes on sale will fit you nicely or not, eliminate the guessing game and minus the hassle of returning the item later.
4. Refunds & Exchanges
Always check your option for refunds and exchange, just in case. You might shop online just to save a few bucks, but you might actually be paying more if you need to exchange the item. So check their refund and exchange policy before you buy. Some online shops might not accepts refunds, others might accept if you return the item unused, within a certain period of time. Be aware that even IF they offer a refund, most of the time the refund will be in the form of credits on their web store, and not cash refund. Some stores, like ThePoplook even deduct 5% of the total item cost that was refunded as a restocking fee, plus the cost of sending the item back to them must be bared by buyer.
But in some cases like Zalora for example, they provide PosLaju slip with their PosLaju account number so you don’t have to fork out a dime when returning the item at selected Poslaju centres. Pretty kool.
5. Subscribe to merchant’s newsletter or social media page
You will get the best deals sent to your inbox, and you will be notified if they are having any flash sale in the next hour or so. If you’ve always missed out on sales or fast selling items, it’s time to connect with the seller on your Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and prepare for surprises that may come your way.
Okay, so what are you waiting for? Click away and happy shopping!