Many of us are addicted to shopping. Nothing beats the rush and excitement of checking out those designer shoes, face masks sets,  and adorable bags. Going out of the mall with tons of shopping bags in hand has been an effective therapy.

The popularity of online shopping has widely increased over the last few years. Because of its convenience and availability, many shopaholics switched to online shopping. You can buy whatever you want without even leaving your doorsteps.

Whilst online shopping is indeed convenient, especially to busy-bees out there who don’t have the time to go to the mall; it comes with many risks and disadvantages. Aside from the “expectation vs. reality”, online shopping can expose you to scams and even bankruptcy.

Take control of your online shopping habit and be smart when doing your purchases online. Below are some rules that you can follow to have the best online shopping experience.

  • Have Full Control Over your Spending

You must have heard this a lot from your mother or older relatives: “You should only buy what you can afford.”

This saying is even more appropriate when it comes to online shopping. It’s easy to get carried away with thousands of items sold online. Different retail stores offer magically-enticing deals that would want you to take out your credit card and check out all of the items on their page.

Before you go online shopping, evaluate your financial standing and set a limit on how much you will spend. Say, you’re looking for a dress to wear on your friend’s wedding and you set a budget of $100. Look for dresses that are within this price range and summon all your willpower to stick to this budget.

Once you have reached your limit, turn off your computer or mobile device and leave that site. Lurking on online shopping websites can be dangerous to your credit card bill.

  • Shop at Secured Sites

You may hear some horror stories about a friend of a friend of a friend whose personal information including his credit card details got stolen and used by other people.

There are lots of online shopping sites who pose as sellers but their main purpose is to phish your personal information. Be wary of these sites.

How do you know that a site is secured?

Always check for the authenticity. Another sign of a secured system is a padlock logo on their check-out page, so always be on the look-out for this sign. Checkout the feedback rating first before you purchase on that store. The store is more likely to be trustworthy if they have a higher feedback rating.

It’s also wise to shop at reputed stores. Not only you are safe in conducting your shopping at these small yet reliable retail store but you will also find great deals in them.

  • Know the Store’s Policies

Being a smart online shopper means that you invest in your purchases.

In choosing a store to shop from, always make it a habit to know about their policies and warranties. Do your research first as different stores offer different warranty deals for the same exact item. Choose one that you think will get you the most coverage.

Different stores also have different policies when it comes to their return and refund policy. Some offers 100% refund as long as you returned the item on their specific allotted time. They may not accept or refund your purchase, even if it’s damaged, if it’s passed their return period so make sure that you check their page first and know these policies by heart.

  • Know your Label

You may be a size 4 on this brand, but you can be a size 5 on another brand.

Before purchasing any clothing items, make sure that you do your research first. Whilst some pages include specific measurements for their sizes variations, other retailers only provide general size information. Contact the retailer first to know the specific measurements.

You don’t want to spend over $100 on a dress that is either too tight or too loose on you.

  • Compare Products

Online shopping is an endless world of choices so make sure that you are getting the best choice.

Many retailers offer their products at certain prices; you may find that this exact item is way too lower compared to the current one. Before you proceed to the check-out page, make sure that you have done your research thoroughly.

Do comparisons amongst various sellers and find which one offers the best deal. This seller may be offering this item at a lower price, but she may not be offering free shipping or warranties. Be smart by checking every nooks and corner.

Use online shopping to your advantage. It should be an easy and convenient alternative of shopping and not a venue for excessive credit card bills or possible threat of identity theft.