Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and succeeding lockdowns, e-commerce has grown exponentially. As many of us continue to rely on online shopping to get the things we need- groceries, clothes, and other necessities, it’s essential to protect yourself from scams, overpriced goods, and low-quality items. With that in mind, here are a few tips to help make online shopping easier and stress-free.
Scan Through the Website
The first thing you need to check before purchasing anything online is the legitimacy of the site you’ll be buying from. Often, you can tell when a website isn’t a legitimate e-commerce site and is just a scam out to get your money and sensitive data. However, it’s essential to look at these characteristics that can help you tell the difference between a malicious site and a legitimate site.
Legitimate sites tell you who the seller is and whether they’re a third-party site or the brand owner themselves. On well-known e-commerce sites like Amazon, the sellers are identified through descriptions such as “shipped and sold by” and other similar keywords and information that help you know more about the seller. If the site you’re shopping from is an independent e-commerce website, however, you might find it harder to come across this kind of information, but it shouldn’t be impossible.
With the amount of free website building services, practically anyone can make a legitimate-looking website. However, not everyone can create original content. Take a close look at the product listings and do a reverse image search on the photos being used to display the products. If the results show multiple sources, then that could be a red flag.
Social Media Links
Most legitimate e-commerce sites are linked to social media accounts used to interact with their target audience. In most cases, the site comes before the social media account. Stay cautious of any sites that promote directly and check sources to ensure you’re not entering a malicious website.
While most people may not think of this aspect when making purchases online, a secure site is a sign of legitimacy. You can tell a site is secured if its link contains “https” and a lock symbol to the left of the link. When you purchase from a not-secure site, you risk leaking sensitive information such as your credit card details, address, full name, and other personal information that could put you at risk if it falls into the wrong hands.
Accurate Measurements Are Key
Shopping for clothes online can be a little more complicated than shopping at a physical store. While you can physically look at the clothes and try them on in a brick-and-mortar store, you can’t do the same online. This is where taking your measurements comes in. Depending on the type of clothing you plan on purchasing, you will need to know your chest, waist, and hip measurement to help you choose the right size of clothing to fit you.
Find the Size Guide
Size guides or size charts can help you determine the size and length of a piece of clothing on you. Once you’ve taken your measurements, compare them with the size charts provided by the website. Some websites help you out with this by letting you know what size the model displaying the clothing is wearing and how tall they may be.
Keep an Eye Out for Reviews
Make sure to look at reviews when buying anything online. However, make sure to look at genuine customer reviews and not those placed on their website. You can do this by checking a company’s Facebook page or third-party review sites that give you an unfiltered look at what people think of a particular item.
Check the Fabric
You’re probably aware of which fabrics you find comfortable and which ones you don’t. Before purchasing clothing online, it’s important to check product descriptions and see what material the specific item of clothing you’re eyeing is made of. For instance, if you plan on buying an Obermeyer ski jacket for a future ski trip, you want one that is made of materials that fit you well and give you a wide range of movement. Avoid any tight-fitting and stiff material that could cause accidents while you’re on the slopes.
You Don’t Need Everything in Your Cart
Before you check out your items, scan through everything you’ve added to your cart. You’re bound to find one or two pieces of clothing that you could do without. It can be tempting to go on a shopping spree with so many choices, but since most are staying at home, consider buying only what you need to avoid any regrets later.
As we enter a new era in the digital age, it’s vital that we make shopping for anything online as efficient and as stress-free for ourselves as possible. With these tips, not only will shopping be easier, but you’re also sure to have high-quality and durable items that you won’t regret having bought.