With the holiday shopping season close at hand, now is a great time to go over my 10 Rules For Online Shopping. It can be an easy, and safe way to shop if you are prepared. I have created some helpful tips to save you hassle and money.
Many 50 and Over women are still unsure of the whole “online shopping world”. Online shopping is one of the greatest things ever invented. No seriously, it has thrown the world of retail in a tailspin and the winners will be you and me. People are still somewhat fearful of online shopping due to credit card security and identity theft. Many are just overwhelmed and don’t know where to start or how to shop for their body and style. This blog post will hopefully help you conquer those fears by giving you some simple rules and guidelines to get you safely started on your way.
Rules for Online Shopping
- To be an online shopper you must be an online RETURNER. This is extremely important. Online shopping is very easy and returns can be too. You need to read return policies for the stores you shop in. Some small boutiques are store credit only, and very limited return window (14 days after purchase). Nordstrom has one of the best return policies, free RETURNS. Most will provide you with a return label either with the items shipped or online where you will print it out and tape to your box, bag, or envelope. Many times a small cost of return will be deducted when the retailer receives your return items.
- Use one credit card for just online shopping and NEVER use a debit card. Use a credit card only! Never, never, never, never use a debit card. Credit cards are protected. Debit cards, not as much. A good rule with debit cards is never let it leave your hand. With the fear of online identity theft, one credit card specifically for online shopping is smart for keeping up with online purchases, returns. If you do have your card compromised, you still have other credit cards you can use and your checking account is not in danger.
- Sign up for PAYPAL. Think of PayPal as a credit card information keeper. Instead of giving everyone your credit card info, retailers run their transactions through PayPal and only PayPal has the card information. It is easy and it is free. Use that one credit card for PAYPAL too. PayPal is great for smaller boutiques, Etsy shops, and other retailers. You are not giving your credit card information to everyone, only PayPal. Not every retailer uses PayPal. If you plan to make returns in store, do not use PayPal. Many retailers are not able to credit to PayPal in-store, just online. PayPal will send you a monthly summary of your purchases and returns. They will also send you a notice when an item is returned and credited to your card.
4. Use and love AMAZON. It is the ultimate online shopping. Many retailers have online shops and Amazon shops too. You can use the feature Amazon Pay just like PayPal. Use that ONE credit card we talked about above for Amazon too. If you sign up for Amazon Prime you receive FREE shipping on many products plus access to Amazon Prime Video and Music. Amazon Prime has a cost of $90 a year. Shipping can be expensive so this pays for itself very quickly.
5. Fashion shoppers know your body type and measurements. Most of the major retailers now have online tools that can help you decide which size to buy a particular item. You need to measure your bust, natural waist, and hips. This has been a HUGE game changer for my shopping experience. Fewer returns and more accurate sizing. Read up on your body type and what styles work best for you.
6. Read reviews. One of the great tools with online shopping is the customer reviews. Most retailers have sections where customers can comment on things such as how shoe runs, quality of fabric in a dress, quality of shipping and returns from retailers, customer service, and price. Read these reviews to help you make informed decisions. Also, post reviews to help others make the same decisions. If a customer receives a product or service at a discount from the retailers in exchange for a review, they have to tell you. If you read a review from Nifty50girl- that is ME !!!!
7. Use coupons and promo codes. Many times I can get items cheaper online than in-store and have it delivered to my house free shipping. I do this by using coupons and promo codes. Many retailers have special “online-only” sales and coupons. You can use the same coupons you get from major retailers online too. Most have a code you will have to enter in promo box. You can google promo codes for your retail site and find if they have any specials. I use an app called HONEY for many retail sites. The app searches for the best promo codes- WINNING. Not all sites have specials and promo codes- but most do. Many may be the day of promotions or automatically deduct at checkout
9. Set account id same, but different passwords. Many retailers use your email address as your ID. With each retail site wanting you to set an account up, it can be impossible if you have different ids and passwords for each site. You are going to want to have an account set up to keep up with returns, shipping information. Keep the same id for retail sites, just change up passwords. Never use 1,2,3,4 as a password or login id. I have used things such as first letters of store name and special numbers to help me remember. If you have trouble with passwords, set remember password on your computer, get an app such as KEEPER for your phone, or simply write it down in a safe place. If you forget, most retailers can send a link to your email for the ability to reset passwords. Don’t panic.
8. Use major department store credit cards when shopping on their sites. Many major department stores like Macy’s, Belk, Nordstrom, and Dillards offer free shipping, rewards points, extra % savings to those customers who sign up and use their credit cards. This can be well worth it. Nordstrom offers its customers easy access to their big Anniversary Sale
10. Keep up with shipping, credit card purchases, and returns. With online access, this is so easy and quick. Most retailers will send you a notice when your item ships and when you should receive it. Many retailers will send you a notice that they have received your return merchandise and when you should see a credit on your credit card statement. I have a notebook I write down all the items I have bought when I should receive them, and make notes on those I have returned. Stores will make mistakes. If they do, just call the retailer’s customer service. Most are extremely helpful and friendly, they want your business.
I hope these rules help you get started in your online shopping adventure. Warning, once you start online shopping you will not want to get in your car and drive to the box stores ever again. You now see why many stores are closing their brick and mortar stores and focusing on their online shopping website. It is just too easy to shop at 3 am
**One of the newest ways to get cash back when you shop is to use Rakuten- Check out How To Get Cash Back When You Shop for instruction on how to sign up