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Online Consumer and Buyer Tips on How Not to Get Ripped Off

by Alice C. Woodhouse
June 23, 2009
Online shopping has never been this easy! And the possibility of being ripped off is easier too! Here are tips to avoid being miserably duped:

1. Always set budget for all and every item you might want to purchase. For every item, set a "maximum price" that you're willing to pay for, even if you want the item a lot. Take into consideration how much you want the item, how difficult it will be for you to find another one and how soon you need it. Then, determine the highest price that you're willing to pay.

2. Do your research so you can know the nitty-gritty about the item. Head off to product reviews website and look into impartial reviews so you will know the pros and cons, if this product is worth your dough, and what are the cheaper brands with the same quality. When you're looking into online stores, don't forget individual online retailers. There are times that I was about to buy a cute pair of shoes, and when I looked it up in another online retailer, I found out that it was cheaper by almost $3!

3. If you're buying from individual sellers, understand the details or terms of the seller. One of the reasons why some people are charged higher than what they commonly though is because they agreed to the transaction without reading the fine print. It is only after they notice that the postage is pretty high, that there's insurance for the package, and there are other fees that they weren't aware of. There are one too many instance where the seller has some weird fee that you have to pay for. There's an instance where a friend got stuck with a $1 charge because the seller had that fee for every money transfer done.

4. Be careful with personal or financial data - Online purchases require credit card, and there have been so many instances of fraudulent account use or identity theft that consumers haver reported. Be careful what retail websites you buy from. Stick to popular stores and credible individual retailers with their phishing-free forms and other secure online payment methods.

5. Dig for coupon codes! Never shy away from using discount codes, as most stores take them with every purchase. What's good about coupon codes is that they always slash off a portion of the total amount of purchase, or get you some sample items, trial offers or free shipping.

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Online Consumer and Buyer Tips on How Not to Get Ripped Off




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