STEPS TO START SHOPPING ONLINE
Let us start with payment which is the most important thing in online shopping. If you dont have a credit card it is time to get one. If you want to buy at online shops outside India and pay in foreign currencies then get an international credit card. There are other ways of paying like virtual cheque, sending a cheque or demand draft by post. Personally I find credit card as more convenient. You may find others also good depending upon your way of usage. Sending by snail mail is not a very good idea. This is because the shipment of the products you wish to buy will start only when the merchants are sure that they get the money. In this case the shipment will start only after the cheque/DD is encashed which will cause a lot of time delay. Now onwards let us assume you got a credit card or a method for paying the online merchants.
Now browse around our shopping guide and find out some products to try out. Or else find out which sites are offering things you want to buy online. Then compare the sites with respect to the information available. Some of the important things with which one would compare e-commerce sites are
All most all sites accept credit cards. If they are not accepting online payments then it is going to cost you time.
Compare the charges and times across the merchants and choose the one which is best for you. Most of the major cities will not have any problem in delivery. If you are not in a city then check whether the delivery is possible to your place before ordering.
If they are taking credit card numbers online it has to be through a secure line so that no body else in the internet would intercept and get your credit card information. Though such interception on your particular transaction is highly unlikely it is better to be on the safer side. Check in the website’s FAQs and help services whether the secure service available.
Other general comparisions which you do on normal shopping apply here also. Like price/discount comparision, brand names etc. Choose the one which is best in all ways for you. Do a lot of window shopping.
If you have already browsed through a standard ecommerce site you can skip this part. After choosing the website go to the site and locate the item you wanted to purchase. Most of the ecommerce sites have the standard shopping cart. If you see any sign of shopping cart symbol/link nearby click on it to add your item for purchasing. You can browse around the site if you want to look at other products. Generally all the sies should have the price tag immediately next to each item.
Once you decide to buy the item go to their payment page choose the payment method for you. Then verify the total amount you are supposed to pay. If you are paying through credit card fill in your credit card details. After this the site usually verifies the validity of credit card information which will take 2-3 minutes of time. If this step is completed without any problem the site may offer an order number for tracking. This number can later be used to see at which stage your order is in. For eg. it could still be in payment waiting for credit card payment approval from bank, or procurement of the item if not in stock or delivered to you by post.
After this just wait for your item to reach home and thats it. You have done your first online shopping. Sometimes it is a good idea to register at a site if you are going to be a regular online shopper. For some sites it is a must to register before you order anything. It may get you some discount or points with prices etc.
More articles are to come. We invite articles from users also.
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