Online retail therapy is second nature to many of us, but it’s rare that we actually stop to think about what we’re doing and where we’re spending our money. However, before you next sit down at your laptop and dig out the credit card, take a moment to think about where you’re spending your cash. There’s every chance that you could be saving more money or making less of an impact on the planet through the way that you shop online if you keep these five things in mind…
Check your delivery options
Tracked and name day delivery services can make it far easier to get your hands on the items that you’ve ordered quickly. Some carriers allow you to track your package in real time as the van drives towards your house and will even give you a one-hour time slot for delivery. Others may only tell you when it’s out for delivery and may give a delivery window of 10 hours or more. Find out who’s delivering your stuff before placing your order and you could save a whole lot of trouble.
How can you return products?
Sometimes stuff just doesn’t fit, or we come to regret buying that thing at 2 am after we got in from the pub. An easy and cheap returns policy means that these mistakes can quickly be forgotten. A tricky one could set you up for weeks of frustration. Check ahead and know what you’re getting into.
Think of Mother Earth
Some companies do more than others to protect nature. For example, in 2018 Debenhams ensured that 97% of its waste was diverted away from landfill sites. Other online retailers are not as sensitive to their environmental responsibilities so it’s well worth spending a few minutes doing a little research before you commit to a purchase.
How good are their reviews?
There are all sorts of review websites such as Trustpilot which allow you to check out how well other people have been served by your favourite retailers. While any company can have a few unhappy customers, it’s worth checking that there aren’t any patterns or signs of recent customer service problems before you order. Don’t take any one review too seriously, but try to get a feel for the retailer before you click that order button.
Check the site is legit
Don’t get drawn in by that unbelievable price – it may well be too good to be true. If you are uncertain about a website, try to pay using a payment provider you trust, like PayPal, so that you’ll be protected by them in the event of problems. It’s often far easier to get money back from the company that processed your payment than it is to go chasing after the customer service of the retailer you’ve ordered from.