From 1998 onwards, I’ve occasionally bought something online, from stores all around the world. Hotel rooms from Booking.com, authentic perfume and make up for my girls from Strawberrynet.com, excellent and reasonably priced women’s underwear and swimsuits from Australian WickedWeasel.com, often from eBay.com, sometimes from Amazon.com. And I’ve never had any problems with any of those stores. Why? Simply because they are all large stores that value their reputation and have good prices and well-structured logistics.
In general, online shopping is fast, savvy and convenient – you don’t need to go anywhere and can simply compare and choose goods in the comfort of your home. Online retailers will even deliver them to you. Internet stores don’t need to pay pricy rent or wages to multiple employees, they are not tied to a particular area and can work practically anywhere in the world – all of it means better prices. So why are so many people still so afraid to shop online? There are a few reasons.
- Many people simply don’t know how (especially those of the older generation)
- Many people can’t speak the necessary foreign language
- People are afraid of the unknown, and as long as they’ve got no experience, online shopping remains an area of the unknown. What if they trick me? What if they sell me a poor-quality product?
The first two reasons aren’t as valid anymore since almost every popular online store in the world now has an interface so simple you can make a purchase with just a few clicks. Also, most large online shopping platforms are equipped with customer support services that are ready to help 24/7.
Which leaves us with the problem No.3 – how do we know if the store will deliver a high-quality product?
As I’ve said before, I’ve only shopped with large trusted stores and therefore had never had such a problem. But last year I found myself in need of buying a new phone. The official site had the model that I wanted for about $350. I though it a little expensive and went online to look for cheaper options. I used one of the sites that compares offers from a number of online retailers and shows you the best deals. I finally found the phone that I wanted for $290. ‘That’s $60 off!’ I thought to myself and ordered the phone right away.
When the phone was delivered, I didn’t have much time to examine it, it looked like a regular Samsung phone, so I paid the bill and didn’t think much of it. However, a closer inspection showed that the phone was fake. Even its interface was off. I started to look for ways to solve the problem, I even called the seller and he had the audacity to intimidate me… The whole ordeal took me over three weeks and was an overall very unpleasant experience. They only returned the money after I threatened to take our dispute to court.
The conclusion I’ve drawn from the experience was that every item has its reasonable price and if a particular car usually sells for around $20,000, be very cautious about offers to buy it for $10,000. Chasing a profit, you’ll lose both time and money. As a result, now I only shop with the largest online stores, especially dealing with former Soviet countries.
So, my main piece of advice for your online shopping is do it with large reliable official online retailers, such as Samsung.com. Stay away from smaller shops, especially those will little to none company details. Following this simple rule will help you save time and money and take full advantage of shopping online (don’t forget that online stores offer convenience as well as lower prices – your purchase will be delivered right to your door at a convenient time).
Let’s move on. Lately we’re seeing a larger and larger number of cashback services appear. Take SecretDiscounter.com for example. It works great, I’ve shopped with it multiple times, it allows you to save up to 40% on your online shopping, signing up only takes a few moments and can be done via a social media of your choice. You also need to access the online shop of your choice from the cashback website. Of course, not every store will give you a 40% cashback. You can expect it, for example, when you buy a domain or hosting for your website or computer software – that is, mainly digital goods. Unfortunately, there is no way to get 40% cashback from purchasing a refrigerator, but you can get up to 5%. It will also give you 7% of cashback when shopping with Aliexpress, 2% from Booking.com and 6% from Lamoda. Also SecretDiscounter.com offers promo codes and coupons to plenty of offline stores. All in all, using cashback services is simple, convenient and safe.
But some people still have their doubts:
1) Will I get my money back (as cashback)?
2) Is it safe to pay via a cashback site, will my bank card information be safe?
Let me answer the first question. If you use a cashback service, such as SecretDiscounter or LetyShops (my second favorite) – you’ll never have any problems with getting your cashback.
Now as for payment safety. A person asking such questions must not be fully familiar with the mechanics of any cashback platform. There is simply no way for them to leak your payment details because they don’t come into contact with the information – the final store you shop from does. You simply use the cashback website to access the store you want to shop with so that it “knows” which service brought you in and must receive its commission.
To sum up, let me say that shopping online saves you time, money and trouble. Especially when done with a cashback service. That is, if you choose your cashback platform wisely.
Have a great shopping, everyone!