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Your Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Smart Online Shopper

Don’t you just love it when you’re able to buy something you want online at a really good price? We’re talking about great deals, cashbacks, flash vouchers, exclusive perks, and many more. You know the drill.  

Online shopping destinations like Lazada and Shopee have become a mainstay in the lives of many Filipinos now. Their famous and most-awaited 12.12 Big Christmas Sale would normally draw thousands of online shoppers looking to find the hottest deals and discounts offered on a variety of items and merchandise during the holiday season. Today, anything you need is literally right at your fingertips. But at the same time, you need to remain vigilant and smart as an online shopper. 

So, before you add to your cart and check out, here are a couple of tips to keep in mind.

1. Only shop from trusted online e-commerce websites.

It’s pretty easy to get carried away when you’re online shopping. But the very first thing you need to make sure is that you’re only using trusted or familiar websites. We know that this should be a no-brainer. However, you’d be surprised by the number of people who still get scammed. If something feels off right off the bat, then there’s probably something fishy going on. Steer clear of websites that don’t have the SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) installed—always look at the URL and make sure it’s https:// instead of just http. Be wary of online shopping websites or e-tailers that ask you to share more information than normally needed. 

2. Avail of free vouchers and other discounts as much as you can. 

One of the biggest charms of online shopping is the great deals you’re offered. A few days before big sales, e-commerce websites would usually promote all their exclusive offers, vouchers, and discounts to attract online shoppers. When going through these references, take note of the conditions attached to these deals. For example, it’s a good practice to clarify if several vouchers can be used for one order or if it’s one voucher per item purchased. Knowing these things will help you get the most out of the discounts and deals available. 

3. Be sure to read the ratings and reviews of previous buyers.

Unlike when you’re mall shopping, you don’t really get to see or touch the product until you’ve already purchased it and it has arrived at your doorstep. Checking the ratings and reviews of a product will help you get a sense of the quality of the product and the reliability of the sellers/stores. Doing this will help you avoid purchasing defective or low-quality products. Be on the lookout for fake online reviews too as those are also very common. 

4. Read the product description, limitations, and warranties carefully.

On the off-chance that your product is defective or wrong, you’re going to want to know where to go to replace it or have it repaired. It is important that you review the product quantity, price, and delivery fees and check out the seller/ supplier location as more often than not, this will determine your waiting time for deliveries. The more details you know about the product you’re buying, the less likely you’re going to run into problems. At the same time, you can compare prices of the same item from different suppliers to get the cheapest price without compromising seller reliability and product quality. 

5.  As much as possible, pay through COD or a mobile payment app. 

The biggest mistake you can probably make when paying for something you bought online is using your debit or credit card. Both cards can easily be compromised. It’s usually a red flag when an online seller asks you to pay using a different mode of payment, like one that involves your savings account. Nowadays, many online shoppers have shifted to mobile payment. Among the most widely-used mobile payments by Filipinos are GrabPay and PayMaya. Besides the convenience, paying through mobile ensures that your money is safe and secure. One-time authentication codes keep your account safe from skimmers. 

6. Maximize the use of the apps of your trusted retailers.

In addition to their online e-commerce websites, many online retailers also have apps. Whenever possible, it is better to go mobile and to purchase items directly using the apps. Shopping apps were made and designed with the buyers in mind. All the convenience and usability for online shoppers are in these apps. The most popular e-commerce sites like Shoppee and Lazada both have their own apps which you can download from the Play Store or App Store. 

7. Secure your accounts.

It should go without saying that you need to have strong passwords for your online accounts, especially your banking and online shopping accounts. Always keep a record of your passwords. Also make sure that your device is protected from malware and viruses. It’s always better to be safe than sorry and to be on the constant lookout for spam and phishing emails. 

With all these tips in mind, you can start going crazy on those great deals online! To maximize your online shopping experience, mobile service provider Smart Communications, Inc. brings to you their Giga Work data pack which offers access to a variety of productivity apps. It offers open access data allocation, plus 1 GB for Work and Study apps every day for the promo duration. With just a few taps, online meetings, collaboration with peers, online shopping, and mobile payment has never been this easy. You can shop all you want on Lazada and Shopee and equally experience the same payment convenience with GrabPay and PayMaya. To learn more, visit this page