The endless allure of online space transforms online shopping from cost-effective to wasteful and often unnecessary. We can’t resist the ease of buying, the offers for deals, coupons, discounts, benefits, the price for a limited time, and the fact that you don’t have to leave the house at all.
What measures should we take to save online shopping for cost-effective buying of what we really need?
1. Self-reflection – do we really need to?
- Even in limited-term promotions, think carefully about whether we really need the product or do we purchase it just because of the discount/promotion/coupon?
- Do we want to spend money and do we even have the financial option to make these purchases?
- Before purchasing a coupon, check: validity, redemption conditions and cancellation options. Most restaurant coupons don’t include evenings and weekends, and it’s frustrating to arrive at the restaurant and see that the coupon isn’t valid. For precautionary rules when purchasing coupons.
2. Reliability of the site where you make purchases
- Check that the website where you purchase is safe. Look for the lock mark on the purchase page and the https on the page address, they indicate safety standards.
- Prefer to shop on a website whose name is familiar to you.
3. Actions to take before purchasing online
- Before entering the shopping sites, prepare a predefined list and stick to it.
- Compare prices between sites. The price on the “Sale” may be the same as the regular price on another website.
- Before purchasing a large product, it is worth checking its price in Israel and its price on several sites. In quite a few cases it will be possible to find the product at a cheaper price in Israel, when purchasing in Israel guarantees receipt of the product, receipt of service and allows an easy, simple and immediate refund when canceling the transaction and returning the product.
- Don’t be tempted by deals or products at low prices. Just because a product is almost free doesn’t make it one we should buy. A few shekels and another few shekels on one holiday, and on three other holidays, add up to significant sums that are often spent on things that were not even in our original purchase plan.
- Check if there is a shipping option to Israel. If so, check the shipping cost. Sometimes the shipping cost makes the purchase unaffordable.
- All considerations should also take into account tax matterson purchases over $75.
- Calculate the total final price (taxes, shipping, accessories).
- Read the fine print. A 5% discount is also included in the definition of up to 70% off.
- Check what the price of the product includes and what the long-term cost is. For example, when buying a product such as an Xbox or PlayStation, you need to take into account not only the cost of the device but also the cost of the various games that need to be bought in order to use it.
- When ordering clothes or shoes, especially from the Far East, there may be differences between sizes. The measurements in China or Thailand are smaller than those in the West. Some sites have a size conversion table.
- Purchase only fromwell-known sites that you usually browse. Don’t access links that come to you by email or Facebook.
- Think twice about “too good” deals. A particularly cheap price can indicate a defective or non-genuine product.
4. Actions to take after making a purchase
- Check your credit card charges at the end of the month and compare to the price you paid. If there are transactions that you did not make, report them to the credit card company.
- You have the right to cancel remote sales transactions within 14 days from the date of the transaction or from the date of receipt of the product (whichever is later).
- If the product did not arrive, you are entitled to request the cancellation of the transaction and receive your money back.
And finally, two more tips when shopping online:
- Open an email for your shopping correspondence. Offers will go there rather than in your personal inbox, so the temptation to purchase will be lower. It’ll also be easier to find purchase details that you want to cancel.
- Protect your account and don’t use your credit card. Purchase a prepaid card by mail or use PayPal.