The Internet has brought us many conveniences, and one of the best is access to shopping around the world. No longer are goods from far-flung corners of the globe out of our reach — all it takes is a credit card and an Internet connection, and the objects of our desire will be delivered straight to our door.
More than 70 per cent of Singaporeans shop online at least once a month, says a Visa survey last year. And if you add up the number of hours you spend trawling websites for things to buy or the amount of money you spend online in a month, the figures are likely to be similarly substantial.
Yes, it’s clear that shopping online is fast replacing its bricks-and-mortar equivalent. And in celebration of the wonders of e-commerce, we’ve put together 8 quicks tips to help you shop online like an expert.
1. Only buy from websites protected by SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption.
Look out for the lock-shaped icon that appears either in the status bar at the bottom of your browser or next to the URL in the address bar.
2. Don’t carry out a credit card transaction while using a public wi-fi connection.
And never, ever send out your credit card details over e-mail.
3. Read the returns policy thoroughly.
Especially when buying big-ticket items.
4. Use the Wish List feature.
It helps you keep track of everything you’re eyeing, and also stops you from wasting money on items that are overly similar.
5. Check the size charts when buying clothing, especially on sites that carry multiple labels.
Measurements usually vary slightly from brand to brand, and an
extra 1 or 2 cm could make a huge difference.
6. Read the reviews and always trust the negative ones.
No one is more brutally honest than a dissatisfied customer.
7. Be flexible with your sizing choices.
It may be a good idea to go a size up for body-con styles and one size down for blousy pieces.
8. Before you click “Check Out”, don’t forget to search coupon sites.
Try Retailmenot.com, or google for promo codes.