Online Shopping 101: Beginner’s Guide

online-shopping

Who doesn’t love online shopping? Sure, it may combine at least two deadly sins—greed, sloth, yes?—yet we still succumb to it. And why not, sometimes it’s just the best thing to do. Don’t get the wrong idea, I’m not saying that it’s bad to shop online or that you’ll go straight to hell when you do BUT before you start filling up your virtual shopping cart, make sure you know the basics of online shopping.

I love shopping online, it’s convenient, hassle-free (most of the time), and there’s always a huge chance of scoring great deals! I’ve been into online shopping for quite some time now and I’ve learned a good amount of lessons and tricks which I believe would help all online shoppers out there. So what better way to do that than make a list, right? Here you go!

Verify the online shop’s credibility

You don’t want to waste your hard-earned money and precious time on a bogus site/shop. So before drooling over their products and promos, make sure the online shop you’re visiting is credible AND reliable. Take time to search for reviews and feedback about the site/online shop. If you know some people who had an experience buying from that shop, ask them about it. Popular online stores (Amazon, Ebay, Etsy, etc.) has already made its name so you’ll know it’s a credible site for online shopping. Locally, we have ZALORA, Lazada, etc.

Create an account

After you’ve verified the site’s credibility, it’s time to register for your account. Some online shop allows guest buying but it’s always best to create an account because it always comes with perks! While you’re at it, sign up for a newsletter too so you can keep updated with the latest products and offers.

Look out for deals and discounts

One of the best things about shopping online is that almost all shopping sites always have sale and other promos. Save more and score bigger by looking for discount codes (I have some in my sidebar, if you want one, heh) and items on sale.

READ EVERYTHING!

This is very important; because you can’t really see and examine the actual product when shopping online, it’s best to read everything about it. Make sure that you are not being misled by the title. Don’t just rely on the displayed image of the product. Carefully read the description. Make sure NOT to skip the fine print! Check every detail and make sure that’s what you really want. Spend time looking for the details (size, dimension, color, validity if it applies, etc.) to save yourself the hassle of returning/refunding.

Create a wishlist

The beauty of creating a wishlist is that you can organize everything that you want to buy (but can’t at the moment) from that site and rank them based on priority. Also, you’ll be alerted via email when an item on your wishlist goes on sale. Plus, most sites allows wishlist sharing, so on your birthday or on Christmas, go ahead and share your wishlist on your social media accounts! You’ll never know, your secret Santa might just send you one (wish for more, haha)!

Compare

For those of you who are looking to buy specific product/s and wants to get the best deal, compare listings among different online shops offering the same product. The easiest way is to use price-comparison websites; think of it as a Google for best deals and online shopping. My current favorite is PricePanda; I love how it integrates all the important information (product overview, details/specifications, reviews) from different listings/sites and provides the best deal available.

Do NOT overlook the checkout details

Upon checking out, make sure to read all the details regarding billing, payment, guarantees, refund & return, and delivery. Online shopping should be convenient and hassle-free. If the online shop’s services and policies will just cause you inconvenience, maybe it’s not worth it (unless you can’t really find it anywhere else and you’re willing to take the risk). And most importantly, verify that the site is secured for online money transfer (with SSL) before even typing your banking information.

Avoid public networks

As much as possible, do your online shopping at home, using your own Internet connection/WiFi. If you don’t have a choice and must use a public terminal/network, take extra measures in ensuring your security while accessing the Internet. Always log out your account if you’re not using your personal computer.

Keep a personal record of the transaction

Send a copy of the transaction record/receipt to your email or print out a copy. It’s always better to have a personal copy for proof of your online transactions.

Mark your calendar

Check out the delivery time for your order and mark your calendar accordingly. Also, make sure that someone is available to receive your package/parcel upon delivery at your shipping address. Contact the online shop’s customer service hotline when necessary. Upon receiving your order, make sure to open it immediately to check if it’s the right item or if it has any defect. Almost all online stores allow refund, returns, and exchange but only for a limited time.

There you have it! I hope these tips somehow help you on your next online shopping spree. ^_~ It’s hard to write everything in detail because there’s a lot to discuss about this topic. Let me know in the comment section down below if you want this to be a blog series! ^_^


I’m curious…
How often do you shop online?
What is/are your favorite online shop/s?

Let me hear your thoughts and leave a reply down below. ;)
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DISCLAIMER: Some links are affiliate links. All thoughts and opinion remains honest, genuine, and NOT biased.

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12 comments

  1. Kristel Ann says:

    Hello!
    I like your blog as it has been almost a year since I started shopping online. I agree that it’s hassle free and you score really good finds along the way, but there’s always that risk.

    My first online shopping transaction was with Zalora; after that, well, it was difficult to control. Haha! Then, I went to online stores via FB and now on Instagram. I’ve learned so much about online shopping too.

    For IG stores, it’s better to check out and really ask the seller about the transaction process. Look for feedbacks, and proofs of transaction/shipments. Most of all, never be overwhelmed – make sure to read and to compare because others put “excess cost” to items.

    I’ve been an online shopper and now I also have a small online shop. It’s funny when i get to see clothes which I know where from the same supplier but they add 100% to the additional price. Well, can’t blame em. Such is life.

    Because of limited shopping places here in the city where I live now, I usually shop online… Once a month – depending on the prices, if there’s sale. Oh, it’s much better to check on stores with sales and promos, especially if it’s FREE SHIPPING.

    I think that’s what I can contribute to this blog entry. =) Finally. Hehe.. XOXO

  2. Shayne says:

    whaaat ive never been alerted that my wishlist items went on sale :S im going to check ont his nga maybe i have to click on a setting. i do almost all of my beauty purchases online since its cheaper that way <3

  3. Abegaill Villacruz says:

    I’ve been shopping online recently. I’m kinda enticed to what online sellers post online kasi. 🙂 Now, I usually connect with Instagram and FB sellers to buy what I want, but mostly makeups. I check other buyers feedback about them to ensure that they are legit. Also, double check the prices and shipping fee and check whether which one you can save more. There are products kasi that are so cheap but will have a huge amount of shipping fee. 🙂 If you are planning to do meetups, be sure you have some company.

    I’ve also tried buying in Ebay. I choose sellers with high seller rating. You can see it naman in their ebay profiles. Like how many positive, negative or neutral comments to they get from buyers. I usually buy from top-sellers – sellers that are tagged by ebay as sellers with so much positive reviews. 🙂

    I also buy deals in Metrodeal and Ensogo. The process is very outright, the payment is so easy. You can even choose over the counter payments if you don’t want to expose your bank details. But I can assure you that these two are so legit. You can even save from the deals you buy from them. I’m a consistent buyer of this site.

    I honestly don’t have a list when I’m buying, which is quite bad. Haha. I usually buy whatever I want so bad. Before kasi, I kept skipping buying things and when I’m ready to buy them, they’re gone. I super hate that feeling. :/

    Anyway, that’s it for me. 😀

  4. Project Gora says:

    I love online shopping too! But I stopped recently because I’m building my travel fund for next year. It’s pretty hard actually because there’s tons of sales and discounts. Sobrang nakaka tempt bumili 🙁

  5. hanna espiritu says:

    wow! this is great and so helpful. i was once an outfit to a fake online shop. of course i did not know at first that it was a fake online shop. i paid but they did not deliver my order. I am so pissed of. That is why i had trauma when it comes to online shopping. Really this is helpful at least i have an idea thanks for this 🙂

    • Jean Quiambao says:

      Aww, sad to hear that. Nowadays, we really have to do a little research first before buying online talaga. Lalo na sa mga sellers on IG and FB, daming scammers dun e. Hope you’ll never have to experience that again, sis, be extra careful din talaga. 🙂

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