A little while ago I wrote about shopping traps that lead to clutter. I promised to write again about on-line shopping traps as a lot of us now shop on-line for just about everything. In fact in 2014, 76% of Canadians ordered at least once on-line totalling $136 billion. One-quarter of those people are frequent on-line shoppers placing between 4 and 10 orders a year on-line.
But, there are a lot of tricks that can be played on you when shopping on line. Here are the most common to watch out for so you aren’t adding to your clutter
1 Clear your cache or use pop-up blockers
The biggest trick that I have seen and is really taking hold is having items that you have recently looked at pop-up when you are looking at other sites. Have you ever wondered why, when you’re on Facebook or another social media site or playing an on line game and you see an item pop up that you were looking at recently?
These tricky people know what you looked at and target you with the same or similar items. It can be quite irritating or irresistible to some. Clear your cache and use a reputable pop-up blocker to eliminate as many of these as you can and reduce the temptation.
2 Know the shipping costs
This is an area where a lot of on line stores make money. Due to the volume of shipping, these companies are able to negotiate low shipping rates but will charge you the fully listed shipping costs plus a service charge a lot of times.
I have seen a lot of sites advertise free products if you pay for the shipping. The shipping cost is bound to be way above the value of the free item.
3 Know the return policy
Most major retailers extend the same return policy on line as they do in their brick and mortar stores. Always check to be sure. If you are shopping elsewhere know the return policy and the return freight costs prior to making your purchase. Quite often I see items in a client’s home that were bought on line, received in poor shape or was not what was expected and there is no recourse to make a return.
4 Exercise self-restraint
On line shopping is so easy with many retailers and on line stores saving your credit card information or using services like PayPal. Often you won’t realize what you have purchased until your credit card receipt comes in.
Know what you want or need and stick to it. Set a budget for whatever it is you’re buying and stick to it. And when you see the list of items that other people like and bought similar to your own, don’t go there!
5 Things to be wary of
Obviously, know who you are giving your personal information to. Make sure they are reputable. Check your credit card statements every month. Not only is it a reminder of how much you have spent on line shopping but you can see the currency exchange cost to you if you’re shopping outside the country. When shopping on line never use public Wi-Fi. This is a prime area for credit cards to be compromised.
On line shopping is convenient and easy but does have it’s own traps. Be careful and practice self-restraint in order to keep clutter in the home to a minimum. Don’t forget that we’re always available to help you reduce the clutter at home no matter where it came from.