Tips on how to avoid online shopping returns

Tips on how to avoid online shopping returns

From ordering the wrong item, or receiving the item you wanted but in a different colour, we’ve all made mistakes when it comes to online shopping. And, while a number of South African eCommerce retailers offer an easy, flexible and hassle-free returns policy, several still do not, meaning the logistical headache of getting the product back to the retailer. We’ll help you shop like a pro with these 7 essential tips to help ensure you receive the right item and avoid the hassle of online shopping return.

Double & triple check your order

This may sound fairly obvious, but it’s happened to the best of us. We’re so excited to purchase an item, that we rush the process and click buy before we have ensured the right items are in our cart. It’s so easy to add the item we want to a cart but in the wrong size or colour.  Always double and triple check your order to make sure you receive what you want.

Not checking product descriptions

In today’s fast-paced world, everything we do is rushed. From work to gym, to family, finding a work-life balance can be tough. And when it comes to online shopping, many of us skim through product details and don’t take the time to properly check sizes and product descriptions.  So, whether you’re shopping for clothing, appliances, furniture or homeware items, always make sure you thoroughly read through the product descriptions to help ensure you receive products that match your expectations.

Not reading consumer reviews

Reading customer reviews is a golden rule when it comes to online shopping. Apart from being a great way to get a fuller understanding of whether or not a product is right for you, reviews will also give you a better sense of product quality.

Avoid discount traps

Who doesn’t get excited by the prospect of a sale? And how many of us can say we’ve bought an item we didn’t want or need in the spur of the moment, just because the price was discounted? When encountered with an online sale or special ask yourself, “Would I buy this at full price?” Don’t just add to cart for the sake of it.

Rush purchasing

We live in an age of instant gratification.  When we want something, we want it now, often buying without even thinking. Instead of rushing a purchase, take a minute to decide if you really need or want the product.

Price comparison

Often, we’ll buy a coveted pair of sneakers at an online store, only to see that very same pair on sale for even cheaper on a competing online retail store With endless amounts of eCommerce sites selling the same products at our fingertips, you are losing out if you don’t take the time to compare prices. Always do your homework and make sure you’re getting the best deal, especially if it is a big-ticket or more expensive item.

Make sure you can afford it

Often, in our rush to purchase a product we really want online,  we end up buying items we can’t actually afford.  This not only puts you under significant pressure but pushes you into an unwanted debt spiral due to high-interest payments. Whether it is a new winter jacket, a fresh pair of kicks, or a beautiful item to spruce up your apartment, consider flexible payment options like Payflex, which allows shoppers to pay over 6 weeks in 4 interest-free instalments.


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While you can certainly try your best to avoid online returns, sometimes they are inevitable. So, when shopping online, make sure you carefully check the online store’s returns policy to ensure you can return an item that may not be suitable. This is especially important when it comes to sale items, with many websites not offering returns on discounted products.