With “Cyber Monday” approaching and online shopping expected to be more popular than ever this holiday season, shopping search engine Sortprice.com has compiled the “9 for ‘09” Tip Sheet that every shopper should follow to ensure a successful shopping experience as they comb the internet for gifts this year:
#1 Use Multiple Sources: Take advantage of all the resources on the internet including Comparison Shopping Engines and Customer Reviews on websites.
# 2 Get social: Facebook, Twitter and all your social networking resources are the perfect tools to help you this Holiday Season. You can use the Facebook Application called The Wishlist, to tell everyone what you want and to make sure you don’t get socks and underwear again! Communicate with friends via social networking so you know exactly what everyone on your list is hoping for.
#3 Be Safe:
a) Update your home computer’s anti-virus software and security tools before you start shopping. Make sure your wireless connection is encrypted with a password.
b) Only disclose your personal information—including phone numbers, addresses and financial information—when you are sure you are on a Certifiably Secure Website. Look for the https:// before the url, to ensure a secure connection.
c) Update your online passwords or create new ones that are unique and difficult to steal—avoid pet names, birthdays, etc. and incorporate numbers and characters.
d) Use credit cards instead of debit cards—you’ll be better protected from fraud and face less liability in the event of your card number being stolen.
e) If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Never give out financial or personal information in response to an e-mail from someone you don’t know, and if you feel that something just isn’t right, you can always find the product on a different website!
#4 Check Return Policies Before Buying: Many retailers modify their return and exchange policies for the holidays. Before you buy, make sure you don’t get burned by reading up on the site’s policies.
#5 Check Dates! Most sites have an “order by” date, which tells shoppers when they should order their gifts by for ensured delivery by Chanukah and Christmas. Make sure you order in time!
#6 Keep Order Confirmations: Keep any and all confirmations in case your order needs to be cancelled, modified, returned or exchanged. This will also help you if your items are damaged or if there is a problem with billing.
#7 Get Tracking Codes for Your Packages: This way, you can just look online (depending on what method they are using) and track your package, instead of having to call when that blizzard delays your package by a day. This will also help you in the event that something mysteriously goes missing.
#8 Get the Best Deal (not always the lowest price): Check if there are special deals such as free shipping or discounts if you buy multiple items. Even if an item is slightly more expensive than another site, free shipping may lower the overall cost of your transaction. In addition, you should search for coupon codes for the site you are shopping on to use at checkout!
#9 Don’t Procrastinate: Prices change easily online, and items go out of stock quickly during the holiday season. So order early to ensure all your packages will be under the tree!