1. Make a Paypal account
The first step to becoming a savvy online shopper is feeling at ease and knowing that your money is safe. Many online stores now accept and prefer Paypal as a method of payment, and it very quickly became my favourite method too (lets be honest it definitely beats typing your card details out every time you make a purchase). I have been a user of Paypal for a few years now and it takes away the worry of chasing back your money should your item be damaged or not even turn up. The process is fairy simple to create an account and theres no fees unless you plan on becoming a seller. You can shop online knowing you have a safety net should something go wrong, what have you got to lose!
2. Do Your Research
Dont settle on the first bargain you find online. In my opinion nothing is more annoying than purchasing an item and then seeing it cheaper somewhere else, It pays off to have a look around at different sites. Also if its your first time buying from an online site make sure you check out whether its reliable, read some customer reviews and see if they provide an estimate delivery time- especially when ordering items in time for Christmas!
Yep, Ebay It! Being one of my favourite places to shop I just had to mention Ebay In my post. It may sound silly but when I'm out shopping I will Ebay the item I'm looking at in the shops to see if its cheaper online, and 9 out of 10 times It always Is. Now that you have a Paypal account theres no reason you can't shop confidentially on Ebay, sellers have feedback ratings which can straight away tell you if they are worth buying from or not. If an Ebay seller has 50% positive feedback give them a miss, 90% and above your good to go! Another must for me when using Ebay is selecting the 'worldwide' option on the left hand tab when browsing, often when you start a search for an Item Ebay has a default location setting which only shows the buyer certain products, when you select wordwide all the items then become viewable and in most cases cheaper!
4. Avoid Fakes
Following on from tips two and three, unfortunately replica Items like to float around the internet fooling consumers into thinking their getting the same authentic item at a fraction of the price. This can be especially frustrating for my fellow beauty lovers, although if you stick to some simple guidelines purchasing replica items can be avoided. Although I just preached about my love for Ebay, as a general rule I don't purchase high end beauty products from there as many sellers put replica items up for sale. It can be frustrating on Ebay trying to decide if the seller is putting authentic items up for sale as often the customers buying the products will think its authentic when its not, and therefore leave a positive feedback rating. New customers see the positive ratings and then purchase once again, giving the seller an even higher Ebay rating and the spiral just continues from there. When doing a web search for an expensive item be sure to use words such as 'authentic' and 'genuine' as you'll find it'll actually filter out a lot of the replica websites. Stick to reliable sources for buying expensive items, especially makeup, jewellery and handbags! Although if you don't mind the odd replica item, aliexpress.com is a cool bargain website, who doesn't want a 'naked palette' for $10!
Honestly, I buy nothing online before checking for a discount or coupon first. It may seem stingy but sometimes you can save 20% and upwards off your order, for example most online stores often send emails out with new discount codes, or in general you can just do a quick google search and you'll find different discount codes being promoted. Even better is using a coupon site that finds all the best deals and discount codes for you, keeping you up to date without the hassle - so much money can be saved with just the click of a button!
Now you've got a Paypal account, you've done your research, got your discount codes and your ready to shop till you drop. Hopefully you find this post somewhat useful, and if you have any online shopping tips yourself please do let me know in the comments!