Online Shopping in NL – 7 tips everyone should know.
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One of the biggest benefits that the internet has brought to our province is the ability buy and order things online. And while buying locally is preferred, sometimes you can’t always find what you need in your hometown, or you have to drive 4 hours to get to a shop that has it.
To help out we’ve compiled a list of tips that will help you get the best bang for your buck.
1. Chose a payment method that’s easy AND safe.
The most common method is credit card. Things have come a long way in the past decade, and using a credit card online is in most ways as safe as using it in a store. If your virus scanner is up to date and you’re buying from a store you trust, there’s nothing to worry about.
A second method, and perhaps the most convenient, is PayPal. it’s essentailly a middleman that handles the transaction on your behalf. You only ever give your card info to PayPal, once, when you sign up. From then on out, they deal with the sites and make the payment. There’s no charge to you, and the website never gets your credit card info.
2. Watch out for duties.
Nothing is more frustrating than having something show up to your door and the duty costs more than the shipping. Duties are generally applied if you buy something from a retailer outside Canada. To avoid being dinged you could try to buy from stores that have a Canadian web presence. One quick test is if there is a “.CA” version of the website. (ie, sears.ca vs sears.com). But the only way to know for sure is to check the shipping info on the website you’re buying from.
3. Use a shipping method that works for you
As anyone who’s shopped on E-bay knows, how you ship an item can be a deciding factor in a purchase. Watch out for those who sell an item cheap only to try to make the money back in shipping and handling. Another thing you’ll have to decide is whether to ship via a courier, like UPS, or the postal service. Both allow you to track your package but I’ve always preferred shipping to my PO Box since I may not be home when the courier arrives. (I’ve heard stories of couriers leaving packages on doorsteps or out in the rain & snow.)
4. Buy from someone you can trust
This boils down to common sense. if the site looks like a scam artist set it up, you might want to look elsewhere. One think that i do before a purchase is look the store up on Google to see what other people have had to say about it. If people have had problems then there’s a good chance they will have posted about it online.
5. Shop around
While no one at home may be selling what you need, there’s probably hundreds of sellers for it online. I’ve seen items listed at $100 on one website selling for $60 on another. Take advantage of the competition and hold onto your hard earned money.
6. See if coupons exist.
Just like in stores, online retailers have coupons. They are usually in the form of codes that you enter into a box on the website’s checkout page. There are websites out there that keep track of coupon codes so a quick search for “myfavoritestore coupon code” or “myfavoritestore promo code” will often give you a discount code for your item!
7. Print, Print, Print!
Once you’ve made the purchase, print off the screen that comes up. it’s usually called “transaction record” or something along those lines. It’ll have info you may need later like order tracking, delivery tracking, or even just proof of the purchase. It’s your receipt, so keep it!