There are certain times of the year that shopping is just plain dreadful. The parking lots are full, the lines are long and the prices are through the roof. You can now shop from home using your computer and get better prices than you ever could if you went through the torture of going to the store. When searching out the best price for a big ticket item, be sure to check the store reviews to see if other customers had a good experience with them. It is also a good idea to check with the Better Business Bureau as well. You want to be sure that the business is legitimate and values you as a client. Never try to shop directly from a link someone sent you in an email, unless its a widely known and respected site, like Amazon.com. Too many consumers get tricked into scams via hyperlinks in questionable emails. Visit the URL of the site mentioned in the mail, instead of clicking the link itself. If you are going to be doing some shopping online, make sure you understand the liability for each credit card you use online. Many credit cards have automatic fraud prevention built in while others offer it for a minimal fee. You do not want to get stuck with purchases made on your card if the number is stolen. Keep an eye on your bank and credit card accounts. If you are shopping online, dont wait for the end of the month to review your finances. Check your account online periodically to make sure that there are no extra charges. If you notice anything amiss, get in contact with your bank or credit card company as soon as possible. Although it may seem tedious, make sure you read the contract and terms before you purchase at a website. These documents have valuable information on what you can and cannot do when you have an issue with the item that you bought. Read them thoroughly so that you do not have an unwelcome surprise when trying to return items. Many websites can offer you the ability to view competing websites prices on the one day car insurance uk day insurance cheap temporary car insurance identical item which can save you money in the long run. Many websites will "pricematch" an identical item if you can show them where it is offered at a lower price at a different website. Learn which websites offer to pricematch and use it to your advantage to make the most of the savings. Dont supply too much information. It should be no surprise that a shopping site will need your credit card information in order to bill you, and your address so that you can receive your items. However, use caution if more information is asked. No shopping site should ever need your social security number, and even your birth date may be too much information. Those pieces of information, combined with your credit card number can be used by an identity thief to wreak havoc. Look for clues that the small online shopping site youve chosen is reputable. Is there online store powered by Amazon? Thats an obvious sign that its legit. Is it a secure website (look for https instead of http)? If so, its another great sign. Do they show customer feedback? Another excellent sign. If you see none of these, you should do more research prior to making the decision to buy through them. You should know that refurbished items also refer to surplus inventory. If you find an item thats been refurbished, see if that item says if it was fixed or if the item came out of overstock. You can find great deals on surplus or refurbished items. You should be able to access your credit card statements online. Get in the habit of checking them at least once a week, particularly if you shop online a lot. If a charge pops up that you dont recognize, you will be able to dispute it right away. However, if you dont check it soon enough, you may not have any recourse. Browse websites devoted to sharing coupons and promotional codes as the first step in your online shopping experience. They have coupons for brands or online retailers, all of which will provide huge discounts. The trick is to peruse the site before you set foot in a store, virtual or otherwise. Trust your instincts when it comes to deals that seem too good to be true online. Shopping over the Internet is much different than your local brick-and-mortar store in that you cant just go in and speak to the manager. Once youve submitted your credit card or bank information, you cant take it back, so read all the fine print before buying. Fortunately, it is no longer necessary to wait in long lines when shopping. Thanks to the digital age, you can conduct all of your shopping online in your own home. Be sure you are smart and make use of this articles advice so that you avoid making common mistakes and enjoy shopping online.