Online Shopping: Getting the most out of your money

This is a guest post from Music Magpie.

The internet has rapidly changed our way of life over the last few years in many ways. It’s simple to meet like-minded people and stay in touch with loved ones, travelling is made easier and all the information you need is only one click away. This also applies to shopping: last year’s statistics show that online retail sales worldwide have hit a total revenue of more than fifty billion dollars. The average online shopper spends about £1,500 on forty items a year and these numbers are increasing day by day. Here are some tips to get the most out of your money.

1. Always compare prices

Don’t buy the first thing you see, even if it’s something you really want to buy. If you do a quick internet search, there’s a high possibility you will find the same items being sold for cheaper elsewhere as sellers are constantly lowering their prices to stand out from the competition.

2. Buy your bi-weekly purchases online as well

If you buy your cosmetics in bulk online every month instead of buying them at the grocery store, you will save yourself a lot of money. This also applies to technology and different media, such as eBooks, records and games. Don’t just buy fancy things online – buy things online you would’ve bought at the mall anyway!

3. Don’t just buy – sell, too

It’s incredibly easy to buy items online and equally easy to sell them. Why not profit from that? A good point to start is at www.musicmagpie.com, a site where you can sell your old DVDs, CDs and games to others. You’ll find out that it’s kind of addictive to get rid of your old belongings and making money off them by doing so.

Note from Forest: I’ve used Music Magpie personally and for me it was an extremely convenient way to get rid of a lot of unwanted DVDs and CDs. Maybe I could have gotten more selling them individually but it suited my needs at the time.

4. Buy responsibly

As it’s so incredibly easy and tempting to order stuff online by the click of a mouse and the filling out of a form, make sure you don’t get too crazy! Don’t buy items that you can’t afford and don’t take out loans to buy an item that stole your heart. Set aside a monthly budget for your online spending.

5. Always check if the site is legitimate

A great risk when buying your items online is that anyone can set up their own site and pretend that they’re a legitimate online shop. Lots of banks will cover any actual financial damage that will be done in the case this happens, but be aware of the fact that there are a lot of shady shops around. It will save you time, stress and energy. Don’t buy from them if you don’t trust them and don’t let them give your credit card details to stores that aren’t a part of a major chain. If you don’t trust them, opt for PayPal: the only information they’ll get from you is your e-mail address and it’s easy to reverse a payment.

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