Tips for Online Shopping
Creative Living Ideas

What to Look For When Shopping Online for Gifts

What to Look for When Shopping Online for Gifts

Shopping online for gifts is much easier than fighting traffic to the mall, looking for a parking space, and going from store to store looking for the perfect gift.
But there are even more reasons for shopping online.
You can buy gifts that your recipients won’t be able to see in the local stores and know exactly how much you paid for them. You can buy regional themed gifts from other parts of the country or even the world.  You can shop at anytime day or night.  You can compare prices without having to go to multiple stores in the mall.  And probably most important to most of us is you save TIME.But shopping online can have a downside as well.
Here are some tips to help you out-maneuver those downfalls and have a happy, successful online shopping experience:

1. Make sure that the online store is legitimate and has a phone number and physical address listed on the website.

2. To tell if a website checkout is secure, make sure that the url begins with “https” rather than “http.”  For example, my own website begins with https so that you know the site is secure.

3. Be aware that the location of the store will determine how quickly you receive your order. If you are located in California and order a gift from New York, it will take much longer to receive it than if you ordered from an online company located in California.

4. Many online shopping sites have production partners that ship from locations different from the company’s home location. If the website does not state clearly where the gift is shipping from, ask. It can make a difference as to how fast you receive the order.  This can be ideal, however, if you live on the west coast and need a gift delivered to someone else who lives in the eastern part of the country.

5. If you are unfamiliar with the product, research it as much as you can.

6. Check out the return policy if you are not happy with the gift when you receive it. If you are ordering food products, you most likely will not be able to return them for safety and health reasons.

7. Consider the shipping costs. Be aware that there is no such thing as FREE SHIPPING. The company that offers it has to pay tor the shipping and simply adds the cost of shipping to the cost of the product. Oftentimes, you will pay more for a product that offers Free Shipping than for one that you add the stated shipping cost onto the cost of the product when ordering.

8. If you are having a gift sent directly to the recipient rather than to you, make sure that an invoice or credit card receipt will not be included.  And also make sure that a message will be included that tells who the gift is from.

9. After you place your order, print out the receipt so that you can follow up if the order fails to arrive and you need to follow up.

Shopping online can be a rewarding experience and much easier than shopping locally. But be aware of the downsides as well and remember them when ordering from a website that you are not familiar with.

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