In countries around the world, it is anticipated, dreaded, feared, and revered. The Holiday Season or “the holidays” is characterized – among other things – by a dramatic increase in retail sales by shoppers eager to find the best deals. Increasingly, more of these enthusiastic shoppers are finding the best deals of the season online. Even for those like me, who long ago made a personal choice not to celebrate secular holidays, the season is a wonderful time to find fantastic shopping deals. Unfortunately, not everyone has good intentions when it comes to offering you great bargains. There are those who take advantage of this time of year. How can you shop smartly and still enjoy your bargain hunting? Keep a few practical tips in mind, and your shopping experience won’t be tainted by cheaters.
A Few Tips for Shopping Online
- Limit the emails! Spam is more overwhelming than ever right now! Is your inbox inundated yet? Don’t be surprised at the sheer volume of the offers you’ll receive this time of year. To combat this deluge, stop giving out your email address – at least temporarily. You’ll do better to visit retailer’s websites on your own to see what specials they’re offering rather than waiting for en email. You can also organize the flood by creating folders in your inbox. Have a folder for “Check these later,” “Coupons to print,” “Expires December 15th,” and so on.
- Open emails carefully! If you opened your emails carefully before, be even more cautious now. Spammers are counting on you to open your emails hastily, being too distracted to notice any inconsistencies. But don’t fall for that – follow the same advice you know to be best: Don’t click on links you don’t recognize, and don’t open emails from retailers you’re not familiar with. If you are interested in an unsolicited offer, just look up the name of the merchant before you accept. This will allow you to check for any online ratings and verify that there really is a store.
- Keep track of your purchases! Although you might be shopping up a storm, you can still remain organized with your purchases. When you receive an email confirmation of your online order, save it in an easily accessible folder, and print it as soon as you can. If you keep accurate track of the online stores you visit, it will be much easier to find the source of a virus should one hit you.
According to Consumer Reports, American shoppers plan on spending an average of 700 dollars during this time of year. On the other hand, people will be also robbed of millions of dollars by online scams during the same period! So be cautious and spend your hard-earned money the way you want to, rather than having it taken from you.