Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Christmas Holiday Shopping Online - 5 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your Online Shopping Experience

Christmas is approaching fast and more people than ever are using the Internet to do all of their Holiday shopping. Shopping online can save you on time, travel expenses, and you don't have to deal with crowds and long lines when you shop on the Internet. You can find some really good deals online if you look around. You can try to find a bargain on eBay or compare prices from multiple web-sites selling the same product you are interested in to get the best deal. There are literally hundreds of ways to save money online if you are a value shopper.

The Best Deals Are On The Internet

The reason you can find so many good deals online is that it costs less to run an Internet based business than a traditional retail store. The operating costs are less than a brick and mortar, less employees, and almost everything is carried out automatically by a computer. Many companies who have a traditional store location will also offer customers special deals when they shop online. Any company that wants to have a chance of getting a lot of business online must have competitive prices and compete with the global market. This translates to huge savings for the customer!

Here are 5 things that will help you get the best prices possible:

1. You need to compare prices from different companies. Sure this is obvious and is something most people do even when they do their shopping offline. The problem is that it is even more important when shopping on the Internet. You may find a deal that you really think is dirt-cheap and order it quickly only to find out another website is selling the same thing for $15-$20 dollars cheaper! Don't just make sure you are getting a good deal. Make sure you are getting the best deal!

2. Make sure the company has a good reputation. Unfortunately there are a few online stores that have poor customer service, unfavorable return policies, and are slow on shipping. Search the Internet to see if they have any negative reviews before you decide to do business with any particular company. The most important thing you can possibly do is to make sure they have a secure checkout page. Click the checkout button for the item you wish to buy and make sure that there is an "Https://" in your address bar in front of the actual website address. This means that you are doing business on an encrypted page and that your information is secure. If a checkout page does not display the "Https://" it is time to get out of there and find a more professional company!

3. Check the shipping and handling prices before you check out! The price of a given item may be dirt-cheap but the shipping might cost you an arm and a leg. Make sure you know the entire shipping and handling cost and compare it to several other websites selling similar items to make sure it is reasonable. On the other hand, there are a lot of websites that take care of the shipping and handling for free! Just be sure that you aren't overpaying for the shipping.

4. Check to make sure the company has a mailing address, a phone number, and an e-mail address you can use to get in touch with them. If any of those 3 things are missing, this is not a website you want to do business with. This is a very simple task but it's amazing how many online shoppers do not check for these basic things.

5. It's important to either use a pre-paid credit card or use a traditional credit card that has some type of consumer protection program. It's very safe shopping online but it is possible to get scammed the same as in real life. A pre-paid credit card will make sure that there are no "accidental" overcharges. They can't take out more than what is actually on the card so this is a pretty safe way to do business online.

It's important to make sure you have some type of protection if you are using a traditional credit card. You need to have some way to dispute charges and most credit card companies have a customer service department to handle claims like that. It could just be a simple computer error and your credit card company can take care of problems like that for you.

Stick to those guidelines and you are sure to have an enjoyable online shopping experience. This will make your Holiday stress-free and you will probably want to do it again next year!

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