By Mahvish Akhtar
To become a successful online shopper keep yourself involved. Read every fine print return policy, exchange policy and shipment details. If the deal looks too good to be true, it most likely is. If it actually turns out to be that good, don’t pay with a credit card. Try cash on delivery wherever you can.
I’m a hermit, a glorified hermit at that. I love being at home and just staying in my pajamas as much as possible. I even absolutely loathe shopping. Hard to believe_ right? Here is what’s going on in my head; I love stuff. I enjoy wearing clothes, and there is no limit to how many shoes I want to have. The problem is, I don’t want to actually get up and walk around looking for the right ones.
I don’t want to be around all the people. I don’t want to be pushed, pulled, waiting in lines, try things on again, and again. That whole process is exhausting, I don’t enjoy it at all. Take me out to a beautiful coffee shop or a fancy restaurant, yes to all of that. The hustle-bustle of people buying things and me stuck in the middle? That’s a strong nope.
Then a glorious thing happened for a glorious hermit. The Internet was invented. The people who invented the internet decided to sell EVERYTHING on the internet. People like me everywhere rejoiced. We threw little parties in our heads.
We have had these services available to us for years now, yet it still feels like we are in unchartered territory. There are new ways to shop online, new etiquettes, new items you can purchase that were barely ever available in stores before.
There is a good reason for any personality type to want to shop online eagerly, but there are many reasons to be wary of it. One can walk into a store, find out what size you are in that brand, and then know what to get every time, until you decide to bring some drastic changes to your look that is. Some online stores, though, I have seen showcased horrific shapes and styles in the name of “size.” I have been size shamed more than once. There are items in my closet still brand new that was bought to be a Medium but mock me as a which can only be described fit for a Barbie doll. If not a doll, that size is for sure most store’s extra small even though the measurements chart indicated differently. I could send it back, but there is nowhere to send it back to, that’s the problem with those of us who become too comfortable in the online buying life. We usually buy from legitimate places, but when we see something great from an “okay” place, we say, “how bad can it be? We click on it, and we’re stuck with something, not our size, with no return address.
Now that we have shimmy our way towards addiction to online shopping, let’s give it a serious thought for a minute. Like I said earlier for a hectic life, a genuine solution, it’s excellent. Nevertheless, we do need to be extra vigilant about our habits when it comes to being on the internet. It is so simple for someone to take advantage of us. All you have to do is put in your credit card information. So convenient. It’s like the whole world is on our fingertips if you think about it for a moment…it kind of is. Also, if you think about it for a moment, it also is the same feeling for the person who is involved in fraudulent activities and is fooling us into giving up our information to them. They only need to get us to do it just one time. We like that vase so much, that little violin is so beautiful. I am sure to learn this year. I didn’t make this up. I almost bought a violin, honest. Point is if the sight is not reputable, the price too good, you haven’t heard of the brand, and you are about to put your credit card or home address; DON’T. We live in a crazy world. Our heart says, “what could go wrong? Don’t be so paranoid.” The brain says, “BE FREAKIN PARANOID, THAT KEEPS YOU SAFE.” To be very blunt as online shopaholics, we usually listen to our hearts and click the buy button, and we have consequences like low-quality products, different colors, entirely different fabrics, my stitched suits arriving as unstitched completely different prints. You will not believe it, but during the process of this article, I ordered a case for my phone, and I only received half of it. It was packed correctly, sealed, but the top part was missing. Just perfect. It makes my story more compelling, though, so there’s that.
In every respect, in my opinion, of all the things that can go wrong online, these are our better options.
Okay, less scary things coming up. Not everything is terrible. The world is not out to get us. If we do our research right and go to the well known and reputable companies, we should be okay. What’s important is to control those impulses to click on anything and everything. Usually, known brands and reputable companies have a decent system in place, and they don’t involve themselves in fraudulent activities. Accidents do happen, however, to avoid or tackle such a thing read up on their policies before you order. That way, you will be safe, and you will know your rights. Some places don’t have any return or exchange policies. It is better to stay clear of those websites. A better strategy is to either go to online stores where you can return by post, or you can go to the store to return or exchange. This option is popping up now, which for returns is faster and more comfortable in my opinion. Keep yourself involved. Read every fine print return policy, exchange policy, shipment details. If the deal looks too good to be true, it most likely is. If it actually turns out to be that good, don’t pay with a credit card. Try cash on delivery wherever you can.
I am not going to advise you against online shopping because my hermit nature cannot tell you not to avail such a useful tool given to us by technology. I will, however, warn you that as for everything else, there are negative aspects of everything, and there are several people/companies out there ready to use our lack of knowledge and want for things for their benefit.
These ideas may not save your wallet, but they might preserve your dignity at least once in a while.