1. If you are shopping online, never give out your Social Security number. There is not any website that needs this number for you to buy something. If you are being asked for your Social Security number during checkout, perhaps you are on a scam website. Leave this site and discover one that includes a better reputation.
2. If you're making an online purchase, don't hesitate to contact customer support if you have a question. By contacting customer service before making your order, you'll discover how helpful customer care is and how quickly they respond. This really is useful information to have when something goes completely wrong after you've made your purchase.
3. Sign up for the website's newsletter if they have one. Many times stores will give you a discount or some kind of deal when you sign up for their newsletter. Find out if there is a deal associated with registering for the newsletter at any store you want to shop at.
4. Be sure that you're entering your payment details on a good site. Try to find "https://" inside the URL in the site that you're trying to buy something from. If you don't see that or no symbol of any website security, then it's probably a good idea not to trust those people with your account information.
5. Turn it into a habit to register for price alerts. This goes even for purchases that you've recently made. Price alerts will let you know when a product has dropped to some price you prefer. And if you've recently purchased at full price, you can ask for a price adjustment to fulfill the new deal.