Online shopping is a very convenient way to buy stuff. It allows comparing prices easily, you can find rare items on niche sites while still being in bed with your pj’s, and order anything you want with a click of a mouse.
But, how do you know if that stuff that you’re ordering is really good? Is it really what you’re looking for? How to make sure the representation on the site is reliable and the site itself is not a scam?
One word: Reviews.
Read the reviews. The more reviews you read – the more information you get. Apply critical reading skills, of course, and always take everything you read (either pro or con) with a grain of salt. Some of the reviews might be paid for by the seller, others – by the competition. But most of them are real, and can provide you with invaluable insights.
Look for example at this review, and the comments people left to the reviewer:
This reviewer literally saved tens and hundreds of dollars to each and every commenter, and many others! And that’s just an example, one of millions of short and simple reviews that can give you that small tip which can save a lot. Money, time, effort, you name it – you can save it by just paying attention at what other people have to say.
Also, there are some sites that provide “editor’s” reviews – professional, usually fairly objective, sometimes comparative reviews.
1. CNet – Editor’s reviews of software, hardware, consumer electronics, and many more.
2. Amazon – Users’ reviews of items, including bad and good, tips and tricks, and many more.
3. DPReview – Reviews of everything related to digital photography.
4. GlassDoor – Reviews of employers and work places (Yes, even that you can find on the net!).
5. Engadget – Reviews of gadgets and new electronic products.
There are many more reviews sources. Almost any online merchant allows submitting a product reviews (like Amazon, NewEgg, and others), you can also find reviews of merchants themselves (Look at sites like Google or Pricegrabber). Any travel site will provide reviews for your potential destinations and hotels, etc.
So shop smartly, and get as much information as you can!
Your Little Advisor.