A person shopping online.

Online Shopping Mistakes

Online shopping is here to stay, there is no way around that. You see more and more brick and mortar retailers shut down stores every day. It is just so convenient and often cheaper to shop online. That being said, people waste a lot of money online. Take a look at some of the top ways you are probably wasting money when online shopping.

Top Online Shopping Mistakes

It is incredibly easy to make mistakes online shopping because retailers set things up that way. Just like with “brick and mortar” stores, the online shopping website is set up to extract the most cash from your wallet.

You can beat the retailers at their game, but you have to be smart and avoid the biggest money costing mistakes. Here are some of the top ones.

1. Not Looking For A Promo Code

This is a big one but it is also a mistake that is easy to remedy.

Online retailers put out coupons and specials just like traditional local retailers. They do so in the form of promo codes or coupon codes. These codes can save you hundreds of dollars over the course of the year.

It used to be that you had to search to find these codes. You had to then visit scores of online coupon website, most of which were pure spam. This led many people to simply give up on coupon codes because their time was, quite frankly, worth more than the occasional discount.

Now, there are apps to help you find those coupon codes. My favorite is Honey. Honey will automatically apply coupon codes and even tell you about price history on websites like Amazon. It really is a huge money saver.

So, if you are making the mistake of not using promo codes, be sure to download the Honey app right now.

2. Storing Your Credit Card Number

There is a reason that websites ask you if you would like to save your information after each transaction. Guess what, it is not for making your life easier.

It is so that they can enable one touch buying. The easier that they can make it to spend money, the less time you will have to change your mind.

Yes, it can be tedious to enter your credit card information each and every time you make a purchase but it serves a purpose. It gives you time to reconsider your purchase. When I need money for an online purchase, making the run for a credit card is an opportunity. You have no idea how many times that 2 minutes it takes to find and enter my credit card number have saved me.

If you have your credit card entered on your favorite shopping websites, delete it. Keeping it on there is a huge mistake.

3. Not Price Shopping

A lot of times, we assume that one website will have the cheapest price but that is not always true.

That giant retailer might dominate online sales but they are not always the cheapest. It pays to shop around a bit. Search for the product on multiple venues to find the best deal. You might be surprised at just where you find the cheapest price.

When looking for the best price, look at all the major venues first. Search walmart.com, amazon.com and of course eBay. Also do a search on Google and see what comes up in the shopping section. You might be shocked.

Not price shopping for the best deal is a huge mistake and it can cost you dearly. A dollar here and a dollar there really add up over the course of a year.

4. Shopping For Fun

If you spend your leisure time browsing online retailer websites you are far more likely to impulse buy. Browsing is far more fun when it ends with a purchase, even if it is for something you really don’t need and ultimately may not even want.

When you go shopping online, you should be doing so with a purpose, not to kill time. If you need a particular item, that is one thing. If you are bored and just want to browse, that is another thing.

If shopping for fun is your thing, do so in person at retail stores. Just leave your credit cards at home and after you have had time to think about a potential purchase, go looking for the best price online.

5. Not Looking At Return Policies

Before you click submit on that order, you need to know what the return policy is on your item. What if you get the product and it is not what you thought it was, it comes damaged or you simply change your mind?

Be sure to read up on what would happen should you chose to make a return. Some retailers may have local stores where you can make returns and others may leave you on the hook for shipping. Worst case scenario, some retailers will not even accept returns.

One of the most important places to follow this rule is Amazon. People often assume that they are covered when buying something from the online giant but this may not be the case. Buying something sold by Amazon is far different than buying something from an Amazon retailer.

Only make a purchase once you completely understand the return policy. Preferably, you should also only choose to do business that liberally allow returns. That will allow you to easily resolve a case of buyers remorse.

In Conclusion

Online shopping is not going anywhere. The brick and mortar store is in serious trouble and has been for years because of what online shopping means.

It is easier, faster and usually cheaper for consumers. That being said, it can also prove costly if you do not do your shopping smartly. By avoiding the major mistakes on this page, you should find yourself in good shape.

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James Car is a finance, loan and budget expert based in the United States. After attending Brookhaven college, he went on to become a successful entrepreneur. He now enjoys writing articles that help people save and make the most of their money.