6 Smart Shopping Tips When Buying Gadgets Online
Although brick-and-mortar stores offer customers the advantage of having devices tested before they purchase these, buying mobile phones online has its fair share of perks.
Aside from eliminating the need to travel to different stores (which is both time-consuming and exhausting), online shopping also allows you to check and compare several different models of a specific gadget with just a tap or a click. Plus, these shopping platforms make it easier for you to find the best deal available on the specific item you wish to buy.
Since buying gadgets like tablets, mobile phones, and laptops involve a significant amount of money, you need to be careful when making any purchase. To help you with this, here are six smart shopping tips you should remember before clicking “Buy Now” in your favorite e-commerce app or website:
1. Only Use Reliable Platforms
E-commerce has come a long way since Amazon and eBay made their debut in 1995. In fact, it has grown into a $1.8 billion industry and is continuously working its way up to the predicted $4.8 trillion sales it can reach by 2021.
Although the two e-commerce platforms mentioned above are the pioneers in the industry, there are plenty of other websites and apps you can choose from. However, not all of these are made to offer customer satisfaction.
Because of this, it is crucial that you only use platforms with excellent customer feedback. Some phone brands indicate the name of accredited online resellers on their official website. You can check this to ensure that the platform where you wish to buy your smartphone from is authorized to do so.
Do make sure you don’t fall victim to scammers. Remember to verify the information presented in e-commerce websites, including their address and contact information. Checking their privacy statements on third-party information sharing is also recommended.
2. Check the Seller’s Reviews
Most online shopping platforms offer products from different merchants. They serve as a kind of bridge between small- and medium-size businesses and clients located in different parts of the globe.
Because of this, checking the e-commerce platform’s reviews alone won’t cut it, especially if you’re spending your hard-earned money on gadgets.
Make sure to read reviews posted by previous customers on a seller you’re interested in. This will help you know what to expect in terms of product quality and customer service. Also, doing so will help you avoid getting ripped off or scammed.
3. Review Warranty and Return Policies
Branded or not, brand-new gadgets should always come with a warranty, so make sure to look for it before shopping for electronics online. It should cover service for factory defects, at the very least. You can also ask for a replacement warranty that is applicable for a limited time.
You would also need to read the merchant’s and the platform’s return policy. This will help you get a good idea of how long you can test the device bought online to determine its quality and to check whether you can get your money back or not if it doesn’t meet your expectations.
4. Consider Promotions and Sale Events
Most online selling platforms organize site-wide promotional events and offer coupons as an incentive for new users and referrals. Since you will be buying relatively expensive items, you should try to save on costs by timing your purchase during these sale events.
Looking for promo codes, rebates, and coupons on other websites, as well as free shipping promos, is a great way to get better value for your money.
5. Choose a Secure Payment Method
When purchasing online using credit or debit cards, you have to make sure that your payment information is secure. This is why you have to check if the platform you’re using has an SSL certificate.
If you’re buying secondhand, try to ask whether the seller can offer a cash-on-delivery payment method or agree to personally meet you instead. This will give you the chance to check the item you purchased before handing your money over, and to ensure that you don’t regret your purchase later.
6. Track the Item’s Price History
Often, knowing the history of the price of an item can help determine the best time to make the purchase. You can use websites or apps that provide recommendations on whether to “buy” the product immediately or “wait” for a better price based on the price history.
A Final Word
Purchasing smartphones, laptops, and other devices online has become a trend. Make sure you make the most out of the experience by following these smart shopping tips. Also, don’t forget to leave online reviews for other customers to use in making their own online buying decisions.
George Azar is Co-Founder and CEO of HiCart.com. He has extensive work experience with blue chip multinational organizations on both regional and global levels. George is also the founder of companies in the fields of advertising and media buying, professional trainings and development.