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A Beginner's guide to online shopping

Posted: December 2016
As the internet is often the first port of call for many shoppers we've put together a few tips to nail online puchases for first time shoppers.

1. Read reviews on the product

When you're looking to make a first time purchase on any product or service it’s always good to read up on what other customers have to say. This can either be about the product or service in question or the customer service they’ve received from the company.

Reading reviews from people who have already made the purchase you’re interested in is a great way to help you decide whether or not it’s worth the buy.

Although many online shoppers will leave an honest review, sometimes you’ll find people love to share a bit of humour instead. Take a look at some hilarious customer reviews on Amazon that’ll leave you in stitches! Our personal favourite are the reviews on Veet for men!

Read 10 Side-Splitting Customer Reviews on Amazon

2. Always read the item description

Many shoppers make the mistake of making a purchase after looking at the image online however, it’s not always a case of “what you see is what you get” so always read the description to know exactly what you’re paying for.

3. Use comparison sites to get the best price

Before you hit the “buy” button it’s always nice to know you’ve got the best price. Using deal hunting websites (like us here at Hunt Hot Deals) is a great way to find the hottest deals and discounts. You might find some retailers are selling the same product at a sale price so it’s always worth a quick browse!

4. Think ahead and buy well before the season

When it comes to shopping for certain items such as clothing and apparel it’s always worth stocking up before the season. You’ll find many retailers will reduce the cost of products at the end of the season which’ll help you prepare for when the season comes back around!

5. Check your order has gone through

Once you’ve placed an order you should receive an email confirmation to advise you that the company has received your order. Don’t be alarmed if you don’t receive an email straight away as sometimes it can take hours for you to receive anything. It’s also worth checking your junk/spam folder as sometimes emails sent by companies are automatically stored within this location.

If you get an error after entering your card details, try to avoid restarting the payment process as this may result in a duplicate payment which you won’t want! If you don’t receive an email or are unsure of whether the payment has gone through you can always check with your bank to be on the safe side.

6. Opt for a click and collect service

It’s always a bonus If you can avoid paying the cost for postage. Many companies set a minimum spend to allow you to qualify for free delivery but if your order is below this spend then check if they offer a free click and collect service. This is quite handy if the store is local and can save you a few quid!

7. Plan for delivery

Some companies will send you an email to notify you when your order has been dispatched. If your order is dispatched via Royal Mail standard delivery then be aware that is can take 3-5 working days to receive your order remember, this excludes public holidays and weekends.

For orders dispatched via a courier service the company should at the least be able to provide you with a delivery date if not a time. Nobody wants to take a day off work and spend their day waiting for their order to arrive so it’s worth checking with the company to see if your delivery can be arranged to your work address instead.

Some courier services now drop you a text message or email on the day of delivery with a one-hour time slot which means you can still go out and get things done without giving up your whole day waiting for your parcel to arrive

8. Credit card purchases

If you own a credit card it’s good practice to use this when shopping online as you are protected under the “Consumer Credit Act” which means your credit card company is liable to help you claim back the money you have spent for any misrepresentation or breach of contract by the company you are purchasing from.

For example, if the product purchased is not as described you will be able to make a claim and your credit card company will take responsibility to get your money back on your behalf.

9. Don’t forget to leave a review

As mentioned in our first tip, many new and old online shoppers will read reviews to see what other customers have to say before they make their purchase. So it’s always good to leave a review and share your experience. Like you, someone else may be a first time shopper on the internet, so may need all the information they can get to experience a good customer journey online!

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