Tips before you click

Online shopping is convenient, often fun and has become increasingly enticing.

But it’s always good to think before you click, to ensure you get the most out of your online shopping trip. Here are some of the ways that can help you stick to buying what you intended and to avoid spending more than you planned.

Buying something online used to be a struggle but today you can search for an item, compare prices in seconds and pay with just a click.  No bad thing in itself, but Intrum Justitia’s European Consumer Payment Report reveals that the ease of online shopping does make one in four of those surveyed buy more than they planned. Among 18 to 24 year-olds, the figure rises to 36 percent. And one in four of those surveyed have no issue with buying consumer goods like TVs or computers with a payment plan, on credit, or using borrowed money.

No-one is saying that you need to give up buying things completely. After all, credits are a necessary function in society and nothing to be afraid of, and who doesn’t want to treat themselves from time to time? But things paid for on credit must have a lasting value and you need to be able to pay off what you’ve bought at the required rate and time; otherwise that easy credit can become very expensive.   

If you feel like you are someone who is at risk of overspending online, here are a few simple and helpful tips to help you shop responsibly:

Buy what you need – Sales are attractive and half-price can seem like a bargain. But: do you need it? Make a shopping list, set a limit and try to stick to it.

Research and compare before you buy – This reduces the risk of impulse buys, giving you the best price for what you actually need.

Give it a day. If you still feel like it’s a good idea – go ahead. But maybe that extra day will make think twice about the necessity of that purchase.  

Emergency exit - If you have second thoughts when your purchase is delivered, you can always return it. EU rules say that all stores, including those online, must accept returns and refunds within 14 days, regardless of the reason.

If you think about these tips before you click you can ensure you are well prepared for happy (and careful) shopping!