The proportion of holiday shoppers who will buy from their laptop or mobile device is growing. Nearly half or 44 percent of shoppers will stay close to home to shop. And, that brings its own set of issues.
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The Internet savvy know that web merchants change prices on high-demand goods nearly constantly, which means the onus is on you to get the best deal. What’s more, after last year’s Target debacle over the holidays, consumers are concerned that retailers – online or otherwise – will be hit by hackers, and customer financial information will go to the bad guys.
Fortunately, there is a good side to online shopping. It’s convenient and fast. And, even if you worry that the item you are buying isn’t just right, you can often chat with a live sales associate to ask questions. What’s more, many merchants will offer some of their best prices, especially for electronic equipment on the web.
To combat the downsides, Kinoli consumer analyst Andrea Woroch suggests comparing prices with apps like PriceGrabber, Google Shopping and The Find. Also, clear your browser’s cookies. By doing that, you can stop retailers who track your purchasing and browsing patterns so they can target you with higher prices.
Get the promotions by following your favorite store brands on social media, where you’ll be offered exclusive coupons and can track prices. You can even Tweet a brand or send a Facebook message to get a coupon extended.
To keep your private information just that, private, be sure to use different passwords for every shopping site you use. Check your credit card website frequently – and I mean daily during the holiday season – to make sure someone isn’t using your card without your knowledge. And, keep the debit card in your wallet. Fraud on your debit card is a far more serious matter than fraud on your credit card.
Bottom line; keep track of your purchases. Remember, when you are roaming around online it can be difficult to remember exactly what you purchased and for how much.