1. Pay close attention for potential sales online starting as early as Wednesday. Many brick and mortar stores do sales on the weekends, and to compete, many online retailers have moved their sales days up by several days. You can often find exceptional mid-week bargains with just a little online research.
2. Get familiar with the shipping facts of an online retailer. Their shipping policy should be outlined in a separate section to explain the average time you should get your items, geographic restrictions, shipping choices, possible shipping insurance, and what their shipping and handling fees are. Use all this information to determine if these costs and options fit well for you, your budget, as well as your area prior to placing an order.
3. Read customer testimonials before you buy anything. People are more than happy to complain about bad service online, so search for sites and testimonials which are terrible so that you know what you're getting into. You need to take bad reviews with a grain of salt, but if you see many, you know there is a problem.
4. Discover the online store's return policy. If you are considering creating a purchase on an item that you might like to return, ensure you find out if returning the item is definitely an option. Sometimes when you shop online, items can not be returned and you may not want to be stuck with an unwanted item.
5. Be skeptical of overdoing it. It is much easier to overspend when you find yourself shopping online. You start to rationalize that you can spend more for those shoes because you saved money on gas and the food you would have gotten should you went to the mall, for instance. Give yourself a restriction and stay with it.