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Handy tips for shopping online
Shopping online is not only convenient but it has also become something of a pastime for many people in the UK. Recent research shows that the UK topped the consumer spending survey with the UK spending more online shopping than any other country.
In 2015 alone, UK households spent around £4,611 by making a card purchase online with a retailer. These figures alone show the popularity of online shopping and the staying power it clearly has with consumers up and down the UK.
Although, online shopping may be second nature for some, it can be a confusing and time consuming process for others but regardless of your thoughts, here are some things to keep in mind when shopping online.
- Make sure you shop safe – Research the retailers you are planning to buy with, if they are not a household name make sure they are a legitimate company. Check the website is secure by looking at the domain and the URL, if it begins with ‘https’ the site is secured using the SSL certificate.
- Use strong passwords and never store card details – Another way to protect yourself when you are shopping online is by using strong passwords on all your accounts so that it makes it more difficult for others to gain access to your account. Also, try not to store your card details on any of these websites, by not doing this you are protecting your bank account even if someone does manage to hack into your account.
- Know your rights – When buying online, you can be protected by purchasing using a credit card or by using PayPal which has a Buyer Protection policy. Also, you have rights when it comes to buying and returning products bought online, you can find out your rights on the Gov.UK website.
- Use vouchers – This is a good way to save money as there are plenty of voucher sites on the internet, including Vouchercloud and Vouchercodes, which offer a good range of discount codes for many retailers. Plus, most retailers email out vouchers to people who have subscribed to their e-newsletter so online shopping can be a good place to grab a bargain.
- Shop around and track price drops – With the rise of comparison websites, more and more people are checking the market for the best price before buying anything and this is possible when buying goods online by checking the price of the same item on multiple websites. Also, follow items by adding them to wish lists and saved items lists and track the price for significant drops in cost.
- Join loyalty schemes for flash sales and discount codes – Many retailers, such as Asos and Boots, have loyalty schemes which offer you the chance to shop sales first, build up points for rewards and they will provide you with rewards for your birthday.
- Make use of social media – This can be a great way to be one of the first to find out about sales and discounts offered by brands. When it comes to flash sales a lot of brands will only advertise through their social media accounts as the sales are likely to last for 24-48 hours.
- Clear your browsing history and cookies – This can ensure less pricing bias when it comes to buying goods or booking holidays. When you clear your browsing history, your search history can no longer be seen so targeted advertising is likely to no longer be an issue for you.
For more information on how to shop safely online, check out this article by the Money Advice Service.