Online shopping is the latest trend to come about. And owing to the ease and comfort it offers, it is indeed catching up with all social groups at a fast pace. However, just like there are good and bad aspects of everything, online shopping too has some flip-side aspects, which if not considered well in time, can lead one to incur losses instead of making any savings. This is because online shopping websites have various terms and conditions (some pleasant, some not so pleasant) that might not necessarily appear on the homepage, but would be applied in any case. Not only this, there can also be other aspects like shipping charges, return policy etc that you need to be aware of well before placing any order.
To help you with this, we have here a checklist of the seven quintessential things that you must check before going in for online shopping.
Checklist for Online Shopping:
- Go through the Return Policy
Most online shopping portals offer a return policy these days; however, the terms and conditions posed by them all might be different. Hence, whenever you move towards making an online purchase check the return policy thoroughly. Most websites have a limited time period ascertained within which the products can be returned and you must be sure about it before purchasing anything. Secondly, the return policy may vary for certain categories of products like electronics, furniture, clothing etc.; you must be aware of that as well.
- Check for the Shipping Charges
Most people like to shop online due to the large amounts of discount available on shopping portals and websites. However, shipping charges are the one thing that they tend to ignore under the swing of this craze. Almost all shopping websites provide the facility of free shipping for purchases above a certain amount; however if your shopped items cost less than that, you would be required to pay the shipping amount. Hence, increasing the total amount you spend on that particular item. Remember, shipping costs can at times spoil the best of the deals that you crack! It is therefore, very important that you check for the shipping charges for each website while shopping online.
- Time taken for Shipping
Along with the shipping charges, make sure you know about the time that would be taken in the shopped products reaching you. This can be anywhere between one week to six weeks, depending on the product and the place from which it is to be shipped. Hence, being sure about it is very important, especially when you need the product by a specific date or time.
- Understand the Quality Rating Systems
All websites have a column for quality ratings for each product. This is supposed to an indicator of the quality of the particular product as per all those who purchased it before you. Also, in some websites, this can also be an indicator of the condition of the item (new/refurbished/fair) when being sold.Understanding what these ratings convey is very important in order to be sure of buying what you exactly need.
- Customer Reviews
After the quality ratings, come the customer reviews. The customer reviews are the comments and experiences that are shared by all those customers who have shopped with the website earlier. These reviews help one learn about the condition of the product and about its quality. As these reviews come from real customers, these are quite genuine reviews which must be considered in order to have a fair idea about the actual shape of the product you seek to purchase.
- Customer Support System
The customer support system of a shopping website is also very important to be checked for as one might need it at any time. You might need to return a product, or inquire about its quality or even need to check about its delivery status; at any time, you might require to seek help. That is when the customer support system is required. The website should have a 24×7 functional customer support system so that you can seek their help at any point of time.
- Check the Product Details Carefully
The product that you seek to buy might look perfect in the image provided; but don’t forget, images can be deceiving. Hence, make sure that you check the details of the product as provided on the website very carefully. If you feel concerned about any aspect, you should feel free to contact the customer support as they should be able to clear your doubts properly. It is important that you check for this aspect well in time than to regret buying a wrong product later!
The above listed seven points should be your guide to be a super online shopper and avoid making any blunders in the process. Hence, follow these whenever you make an online purchase. Happy Shopping!