get dressed and brave the cold/heat and get irritated by fellow shoppers in shopping malls.

This was quite a tough, nasty period and thanks to God that now in 2013, you no longer have to experience this.

In the recent past, before the introduction of the internet, shoppers had to take a shower,

Currently, all because of the internet, shopping will never be the same again.

People no longer have to physically visit brick and mortar stores anymore.

There are virtual online stores where consumers can make purchases at the comfort of their home 24/7.

Online Shopping offers convenience and saving to both retailers and consumers.

However, it’s important for shoppers understand their rights before taking part in online shopping transactions. Here are tips on the best ways to shop online in 2013.

Tip 1: Security

Plastic money is the most preferred method of payment in online shopping. Your credit card can be compromised if the card information falls into the wrong hands.

Online shoppers can take some measures to minimize this risk. First, shoppers should carry out their shopping on secure sites.

Secondly, shoppers should provide their credit card, bank account numbers and other personal details only to reputable traders.

Tip 2: Should I use a Credit Card or Debit Card?

Just as mentioned earlier, plastic money is the most preferred method of online payment, but some plastic are more suitable than others.

In online transactions, shoppers are advised only to use credit cards, instead of debit cards.

Credit cards are just an extension of credit, while debit cards have a direct link to the bank account.

Thus, hackers can do more damage once they are in possession of your debit card information than with your credit card information.

Tip 3: Beware of the Restocking Fee

If a customer returns an item, back to the store, it has to be replaced and repackaged which adds extra expense to the company.

As a result, online retailers in the have started to charge replacement fees for returned items. Some stores charge reasonable replacement fees while others charge exorbitant fees.

A reasonable replacement fee for thoroughly packaged products,

such as electronics should be about 15% of the item’s purchase price and there should be no return fee for goods that require simple packaging such as books and DVDs.

Thus, before purchasing a product, you should get to know the retailer’s return policies. You are likely to find this information explicitly stated on the company’s Web site.

Tip 4: Hunt for the Best Bargain

Online shoppers have the advantage of ease of bargain hunting.

A simple Google search of the desired item will yield a variety of deals. Compare deals from various sites and establish the one that suits you.

Tip 5: Plan Your Purchase

A big drawback of online shopping is that, customers have to wait for their orders to be shipped. Make your purchases early enough, so that they’ll arrive on time.

You should also order numerous items from the same retailer to reduce the shipping cost.

Ensure that all your purchases are put together in a single large package with a the total shipping fee attached so as to enjoy the offer of free shipping on purchases beyond a certain dollar amount.

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License: Creative Commons

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Annie K. Cain currently has a job that makes her in charge of budgeting and delivering ROI through SEO and social media campaigns.

She recently became a part the Empower Network, which a friend told her.

Now, she’s feeling more confident about her going full time on her own business.