Online Shopping 101

I'm someone who buys things online every now and again (don't we all?). I tend to buy things at stores, but occasionally a deal will present itself and I just can't pass it up. That being said, there are some certain precautions that need to be taken in order to make sure your order is processed correctly. I'll never forget, I decided one day I was going to buy a pair of Gurkee Sandals mostly because they made me feel like a hippie. Needless to say, I went to a slightly frightening website and thought I had ordered a pair of the sandals and was expecting an email saying they had received my information or it was being processed. I waited about a week and decided the website was bogus and went to a different site and purchased a pair. Well, after I got my sandals in the mail, I ended up getting an email saying my shipment was on its way. I ended up getting two pairs of sandals when I only wanted one. Now, I did wear both pairs, but I made the mistake of not checking up on my first order. I found a great article from mint.com which talks about some common mistakes that people make while online shopping. Here are a few of them

Buying the same product twice

I was the victim of this, and it was my own dumb fault. According to the article, most people who buy the same product twice click more than once when it takes a while for the page to load. Even if it looks like the order hasn't gone through, DO NOT reorder the product. Call the company first to see if the order actually completed or not. If it didn't then go ahead and order once again. This will save you from having your card charged twice and having to send the products back.

Not knowing the difference between online and in person shopping

Believe it or not, there are some differences to purchasing things online compared to walking into a store. The product you get online may not necessarily be the same exact thing you looked at in the store. Often times if you buy a product through a website and it's not what you were looking for or the recipient needs to return it, there may be different return policies than if you buy in store. It also takes a bit longer for things to process when using online stores so your return could take weeks instead of minutes.

Not updating your mailing address

If you have purchased items from a company in the past, chances are they have your information on file. If you end up moving somewhere or changing your mailing address (like a P.O Box to an actual address) don't forget to change your information. If you don't change it, chances are your package will be delivered somewhere else. This can be especially a pain during the upcoming holiday season because it means your gifts may be late for the big day. Often times mail carriers will forward your mail to you, but the sooner you can change your address and keep things constant, the better.

For a list of more things that happen while online shopping, check out the mint.com article here. It may just save you some painful experiences in the future!

How often do you online shop?

Seth P.