It’s 2021 – anything and everything you could want to buy is available online these days. While this is convenient, it also makes it easy for you to spend more than you should and leaves you vulnerable to fraud. If you know how to shop and what to look for, shopping online can be a great experience that can help you save money and time. We’ve put together some of the most important tips and tricks you can follow to help make 2021 the year that you become a smart online shopper.
Make Sure That Checkout is Secure
Any reputable eCommerce site will use SSL technology during checkout to ensure that your data is encrypted. This technology keeps you and your data safe from hackers and untrustworthy sources so that you can rest assured you won’t be robbed after you make a purchase. The simplest way to tell that the site you’re shopping on is using SSL technology is to look for a little lock icon on the side of the web address bar in your browser. Safe web pages always begin their address with ‘https’ as well.
Use an Encrypted Network to Make Payments
While SSL technology is reliable, you don’t need to place all your trust in the site you’re shopping on. Be proactive in making sure that your privacy is completely secure by turning on your VPN when you make payments. Using a VPN app is simple, secure, and can even help you save money. Simply open a private or incognito browser window, open the app, and connect to a VPN server that’s located in the city or state you wish to shop from. Make sure you clear the cookies from your browser each time you begin a new shopping session.
Look for Discounts and Coupons
Many shopping sites offer discounts, coupons, and cashback offers, but they don’t always make these easy to find. To see whether there are discounts available on a site you’re shopping from, you might have to do a little digging first. There are also many coupon and cashback apps you can use to hunt for discounts.
Compare Prices Before You Commit
The beautiful thing about shopping online is that you can find just about anything you need at the lowest prices if you know how to search. Don’t just jump for the first item you see – use price comparison tools or Google to search for the product and find the place that offers it for the lowest price. While you’re doing this, make sure you consider shipping costs as well as discounts and coupons. Even if a product comes at a lower price from one site, the shipping may be higher than another, which would eventually lead to you spending more money.
Read the Reviews
To make sure you’re getting authentic products from reliable sources, read the reviews before you make any purchase. You also need to make sure that the reviews are authentic by looking for ones written by verified buyers. Be wary of products that show a lot of ratings, but hardly any written reviews, as this could be the work of bots instead of real people.
Follow the tips above and you’ll be the smartest online shopper you know!