Despite high street shops closing down and households across the world being self-isolated, many of us will go online in the next few weeks to do our shopping. Whether you’re new to using online marketplaces or stores, there are a variety of items to watch out for to make sure you shop safely and get a good price.
Be mindful that anything you order will require key workers – from warehouse staff to delivery drivers – to get your shopping to you.
Take a look at our top 6 ways to buy dresses online and for ensuring a smooth online shopping experience during quarantine:
1. Check out sales and availability
You may find good deals going on during this quarantine. It’s a good time to collect things you have been consistently missing out or planning to buy say, scarves for women, a new bag, a pair of shoes, etc. You may find that while spending too much on other items regularly you skip buying a few items you have been planning to get, it is the right time to cover up all that you have missed. As everyone around the globe is cutting out their eat-outs, parties, and other meetups to be safe, this is also helping them save money, utilize it.
2. Shop around for a very nice price
Online shopping can be a great way to find a bargain if you shop around for the right deal. Don’t be duped into spending more than you should – read our advice on finding a good deal.
How to compare prices?
Don’t just accept the first price you see online. It’s likely that different sites will offer different prices and you might well be able to find a cheaper deal elsewhere. Once you’ve decided which product you want to buy, take a look at a few other sites to make sure you’re getting the best price possible.
3. Beware of fake reviews
It’s a good idea to read reviews of products before buying them, but be aware that some reviews aren’t always what they seem.
How can you ensure the reviews you’re reading are genuine? Read the comments If the comments seem too good to be true, they probably are.
Flood of five-star reviews Another tell-tale sign is if a product has received hundreds, or even thousands, of five-star reviews in a short space of time, or if a product has significantly more reviews than other products in the search results.
If a seller gets a bad review followed by a flurry of positive reviews, it’s possible that it’s trying to bury the bad review to bring up its average score. Is it a verified review? Confirmed reviews are those purchased via its platform which the marketplace may confirm. Normally they’ll be branded with ‘checked purchase’ or something similar. Non-verified reviews mean that the company cannot confirm where the user purchased the product, or how much it cost.
4. Gain extra cover while paying
Different payment methods will give you different levels of protection if something goes wrong with your order. If you’d like extra protection, find out what each payment method gives you.
- Debit and credit cards
If you pay with your debit card and something goes wrong, you can make a chargeback claim.
- Buy now pay later (BNPL) schemes
A whole raft of retailers now gives you a choice at checkout to ‘buy pay now later.’
5. Be vigilant about dangerous and counterfeit goods
Digital or online marketplaces, whether you buy from them instead of selling them, don’t have the same responsibility for the safety of products sold on their websites as a high street or Digital or online shops.
Here are three tips for avoiding unsafe or counterfeit products:
- Avoid unbranded products
Our investigations have uncovered a number of issues with unknown brands or unbranded products. One way to better ensure what you’re buying is safe is to buy from brands you’re familiar with, or directly from retailers you trust.
- Check seller profiles
If you’re buying from a seller on an online marketplace, it’s worth having a quick look at their profile. Things to look out for include foreign seller locations, strange business names and a lack of contact details.
- Read the reviews
The reviews can also help you to see if anyone else has had problems with the product. If there’s anything suspicious, such as images or reports of malfunctioning, it’s probably wise to choose another item instead.
6. Check the policy on deliveries and returns
Deliveries and returns may take longer during lockdown – here’s what you need to check before making your purchase.
- Delivery dates
If you’re buying from a seller on an online marketplace, be sure to check what the delivery date is before purchasing. Products from overseas will probably take considerably longer to get to you.
It’s a good idea to check what the return policy is before ordering an item.
- Contactless deliveries
If you’re concerned about the safety of deliveries, the Public Health committee has confirmed that couriers and delivery services are taking all precautionary measures to keep themselves and the public safe. Although there are many unknowns around COVID-19, other viruses aren’t thought to live for very long on surfaces such as packaging. It’s still good practice to wash your hands after handling any deliveries.