Online shopping could be a hassle, sometimes even for those who are seasoned online shoppers. Add to the fact that not all sites are the same (payment wise) then you’ll probably get the beginning of a headache. But I’ve simplified some tips and signs to watch out for based on my experience, for those who are new/not used to/beginning to shop online.
I started shopping online around the time I was leaving middle school to go into high school, well, I began asking my mom to buy things online that is. But it’s been a good few years since then, and I’ve learned quite a bit based off my experiences. I’ll be sharing them here in a few categories, and I might extend it to another blog so it won’t be a super long blog post.
First of all, things you should know about the site before you even start considering shopping from it, are: Do they charge in USD? Is there a free shipping minimum/do you have to pay for shipping? Are the products/purchases subjected to custom’s fees?
Why do we need to know if it charges in USD or not?
For some people, being charged in USD rather than local currency (i.e. CAD) won’t be a big deal. But for others (like me!) it’s not ideal, especially if you could get it somewhere else for about the same price. In my case, if an item is $18 USD it’s actually $23.58 CAD. Then plus whatever percentage your credit/debit card charges for foreign currency, let’s say it was 3% for this example. That makes the final price $24.29, when I could get the product somewhere else for $19 CAD. However, you also have to consider different factors as well, such as if you only want that one item or if you want more.
Different types of shipping options (the uncomplicated version)
Free Shipping minimum:
it’s exactly like it sounds, you will get free shipping if your overall order is either $(amount) and up. For example; on yesstyle, you’ll get free shipping to Canada on orders $45 CAD and above. *This doesn’t necessarily cover customs fees so be prepared*
Flat Rate Shipping: This means that you’ll only pay a flat rate to ship the items, for example $5.
Pay for Shipping: You’ll have to pay for shipping, but it will also be based on how heavy your order is. Not many sites will use this method, but some still do. So if the online store uses this, you may want to wait to see if they have a promotion for shipping.
Customs fees are another part of the online shopping cycle, one that no one can really avoid. Typically, the amount you are charged is the tax on your order’s total. For example, if the order is $24.29 CAD and is tacked with a custom fee, I’ll need to pay my province’s tax percentage for that. In this case, it’s 13%, so I’ll end up paying about $3.16. This amount is small I know, but it adds up over time. Not to mention, it’s like the last kick to your wallet if you need to pay for everything else too.
Now this isn’t supposed to scare you off from shopping online, but to help those who are shopping for the first time. I didn’t pay attention the first time I placed my order and went about scrambling to make sure I did everything right, and that no extra costs would be charged. So rather than you having to run around the internet looking for half helpful forums, here’s just a few tidbits I’ve compiled from my experience shopping online.
If you have any questions regarding shopping online, feel free to ask them in the comments and I’ll try to help to the best I can.