In 2021, most of us have become comfortable in purchasing goods online and during the COVID19 pandemic, it’s also become a necessity for many to get the goods and services they can’t go to retail for. From gaming consoles, phones, speakers, computers and a rang other electronics, we shop online without having to step outside your home.
As comfortable as we are buying increasingly more expensive items online (I bought my car online), we do still need to to be careful as to avoid wasting hard-earned money on a faulty products or from unknown sources, where the product may not even be delivered.
First, you’ll want to research the type of product you want to buy, especially the model. If you’re looking for a product without a specific model in mind, you’re likely to consume more time than necessary to reach the checkout. If you can’t decide on a product, it can be helpful to use buying guides like the JB HI FI Catalogue, which you’ll find useful, especially when they include special offers.
Now, if you choose to purchase electronic goods online, there are two things to consider: online safety measures and getting the best price possible. Below are some useful tips and tricks for shopping electronics online:
Validate the website and company
Before you begin typing in your credit card details to complete an online purchase, you should first confirm the company and its website’s authenticity to ensure that you’re purchasing from a legitimate business. Look for the lock icon beside the URL address to confirm if the website is secure. A lock icon means that a website has an SSL certificate, which secures customer information by encrypting every data that they use in their transactions. This will ensure that your card details are protected and kept confidential.
Aside from checking for an SSL certificate, it’s also advisable to search for verified user reviews online outside the company’s website. This is something you’ll need to do if you’re buying from a new online shopping site that isn’t as established as the popular ones.
Check user reviews
If you’re looking to buy a model that’s new in the market, always check for product reviews (from sites like techAU). No matter how popular the product, or how good the marketing is, if their product is faulty or doesn’t meet expectations, you’ll only be wasting money.
When you shop online, you won’t be able to test the product yourself, as you would in-store. All you can rely on is what you see online. But that shouldn’t be a problem. If you can find unbiased reviews of the product you want, you can make an informed decision before you spend.
The good thing is there are now plenty of product reviews available online for almost any gadget, particularly with new product releases. Take the time to go over the specifications in detail and look for reviews that show the product’s performance especially in aspects that are useful to you. For example, if you’re buying a laptop for work as a video editor and are eyeing a certain brand and model, look for reviews that show how that brand and model performs in video editing tasks.
Look for discounts
Who doesn’t love discounts? If you’re going to buy from popular shopping sites, it may be worth it to wait for a sale or promo. If you have the luxury of time, waiting shouldn’t hurt, especially if it’ll save you a lot.
You can also look for vouchers or promo codes that can take a chunk off the regular price. Also, if you can compare prices between different websites, you might find a good deal that’s as good as getting a discount.
Confirm the warranty
New electronics always come with a warranty whether you’re buying them in-store or online. Before you get too excited about making the purchase, check the warranty that comes with the item. A warranty will protect you as a consumer and cover potential issues such as product defects and damages.
Ask how long the warranty is and what it covers in detail, including how to arrange for a return or repairs when needed. If there’s a warranty card, make sure to keep it in a safe place along with the official receipt.
Some sellers also offer refunds for a certain period after purchase. If you’re buying a particularly expensive item, this is something you should look for.
Purchasing electronics online can be a bit of a challenge especially if you’re new to online shopping. Not being able to test the product before purchase may also make you think twice.
However, e-commerce technology today has made it possible to make most online shopping experiences convenient and safe, especially if you’re buying from a reputable company.
As long as you know what to look for and what to avoid, buying electronics online should be a safe, convenient, and fun experience, something I certainly do weekly and at times, multiple times per day.