Five things to do to make your online shopping as nega-free as possible

I’ve been an avid online shopper since the (now dead) Multiply platform became a popular place to shop for hard-to-find items. Today, I still purchase a good deal of my beauty hauls from online stores. It’s particularly convenient for makeup and skincare addicts like me, who look for more budget-friendly prices as well as brands and products that aren’t available locally. 

My experience as an online shopper has actually inspired me to put up my own store, so seeing posts about disgruntled buyers and angry sellers definitely make me cringe! Actual scams aside, many of the situations I’ve read about are a simple result of a failure in communication. Knowing and understanding each other’s expectations can make the transaction pleasant and hassle-free for everyone involved, so here are a few tips to guarantee a fun (and easy) shopping experience!

Tip #1: Take the time to read the terms and conditions

While some online sellers don't put every detail as a strategy to establish communication with buyers, many provide the necessary information for efficiency and customer convenience. Check the post for information about the item for sale, and browse the website FAQs for instructions for payment and shipping. Seeking out information allows you to decide on making a purchase faster, as you won’t need to wait for the seller to reply before placing a reservation and end up missing out on limited stocks because you waited too long. 

Tip #2: Do your research on the product

My problematic, acne-prone skin has led me to try many different skincare sets so I've had my fair share of disappointments. Some purchases made me feel ripped off but in hindsight, now that I know more about skincare and understand my skin better, they didn't work because I didn’t read up enough about the products before putting in my order for them. It’s so much easier now that the internet makes it possible to read reviews and interact in forums but always make sure to get your info from credible sites with real reviews (like Project Vanity!). If you never want to miss a story, just sign up for our weekly newsletter to have them delivered to your mailbox.

Tip #3: Pay on time with the correct amount

Once you've settled on a price and placed your order, makes sure to agree on a due date for the payment and honor this commitment. Bigger e-commerce sites usually accept credit card and Paypal payments, which are easy enough to use, but smaller stores are often restricted to just receiving bank deposits. Set a reminder on your phone so you don’t forget, or if you don’t want the hassle of lining at the bank, consider enabling a mobile banking account for quick transfers. As a seller, I appreciate buyers who take the time to scan or take a clear photo of their payment confirmation slips with their name written on it for easy reference. 

Doing a meet-up and cash on delivery payment option is a common practice when high value or bulky items are at stake. If you choose this option, make sure to arrive on time and keep communication lines open with the seller so they can easily contact you if they are running late or have had a change in plans.

Tip #4: Share the task of tracking your order

Many disagreements have stemmed from delayed shipments, leading the buyer to suspect the seller of being bogus. While a responsible seller should notify the buyer of the date and waybill number of the package, tracking its shipment progress is a shared task between both buyer and seller. Most courier companies have tracking features in their websites that allow you to easily find a package as long as you have the number, so if delivery is taking a while, check its status first before throwing an angry fit. The seller might not have been able to monitor every order sent out, especially if there is a large volume of orders. 

Tip #5: Patience, please!

Convenience is a top reason why people love online shopping, and the same goes for online sellers as well. Many do it on the side for extra income, and thus may not always be online to respond to queries immediately. It doesn't mean though that they've forgotten about you or are ignoring you, so give them some time to reply. Patience is also important for pre-ordered items as shipping takes time and delays can be unavoidable. 

Do you shop online? How do you maintain a good relationship with your suki?