save more money

5 Expert Tips to Help You Stay Safe and Smart When Shopping Online

More and more people are doing their shopping online. No wonder: you avoid long queues, can compare prices, and read reviews from other users in peace. But online shopping also has its pitfalls: the internet is sometimes like a black hole in which your time – and your money – disappear without a trace. Because if you click aimlessly from website to website and buy things that you don’t need or that are far too expensive, that causes (financial) stress in the long term. A good reason to read our best tips for safe and economical online shopping!

Whether you always want to find the lowest price, save money on sales, or stay on budget with online shopping lists – here you will find practical tips for saving! We will also show you how you can manage your money and data securely when shopping online and how you can also shop online in the shop around the corner.

Good planning will help you avoid stress and save time and money. Whether it is about weekly shopping, Christmas gifts, or furniture for the new apartment – with a shopping list you make it clear what you really need, don’t forget anything, and stay on budget.

Our recommendation: Use an online shopping list, especially for grocery shopping. The selection of apps is large: In this country, for example, the apps “Shopping List”, “Bring!” and “outwit” are proven. With some apps you can also plan your meals: Simply upload recipes from websites and add the ingredients directly to your weekly shopping list.

Tips for safe online shopping – you should pay attention to this

Online shopping is part of everyday life for many people today. It is all the more important that our money and our data are safe at all times. Here are a few tips for safe online shopping:

  • Do not make purchases over public Wi-Fi networks as they may not be secure and your payment details could be stolen. Use a VPN or your mobile data instead.

  • Make sure the website is secure. The URL should start with “https” and have the symbol of a locked padlock in the browser.

  • Carry out regular updates on your computer and smartphone – this can close security gaps.

  • Check the return/refund policy and make a note of it. Save your order, invoice, and all other order details in case you want to return something.

  • Check your passwords – make sure you use a secure combination and change them regularly.

  • Pay by credit or debit card whenever possible. Because this payment method is the best legal protection for you in the event of unlawful charges. Alternatively, you can use trustworthy payment providers such as PayPal or Klarna.

  • Check your bank statements regularly for unusual transactions.

Sale – this is how you get the most out of the season

You can get hold of great bargains at seasonal sales promotions. Of course, they don’t always happen when you need to buy certain items at the last minute. But if you have the option to plan ahead and wait for discounts, you can save big on summer or winter sales.

Our tip: buy out of season when demand for certain products is low and retailers want to empty their stocks before the next season starts. For example, look around for a new winter coat in spring and invest in air conditioning when autumn brings cool temperatures.

You can also benefit from annual discount campaigns such as Black Friday or Cyber ​​Monday. And the big post-Christmas sales are a great time to shop for wrapping paper, cards, and decorations! Speaking of Christmas, our ultimate guide to online Christmas shopping will teach you how to create smart gift lists, stick to your budget, and dust off last-minute deals.

Shop locally: Support your region and protect the environment

Online shopping and regional shopping are not mutually exclusive – on the contrary. With a little more effort, you can shop online at retailers near you. In this way, the variety of shops in your city remains, which also has a positive effect on the economy.

More and more retailers now also have an online shop. You can find them on Google Maps, in the online business directory, on review portals such as Yelp and Foursquare, and on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.

Buying regionally also helps in terms of sustainability, because shorter transport routes mean fewer emissions. Or you can forego shipping altogether and pick up your purchase directly in the store.

Offers, rewards, and coupons

There are many ways to track down coupons and offers. Use our savings tips for online shopping:

  • You can search for the items you want to buy on price comparison or offer sites. There are even browser extensions like Honey that automatically find lower prices on other websites while you shop. Practical, isn’t it?

  • Find discounts when shopping online and enter them into the checkout process. You can receive discounts, for example, if you subscribe to newsletters from stores, search for them on trustworthy coupon websites or use our partner offers.

  • Sign up for online rewards programs and collect loyalty points that turn into discounts at the checkout.

About the Author

Frank Reid

Frank Reid is CouponKirin's senior editor. He covers a wide range of topics, including financial planning, car reviews, travel, entertainment, and lifestyle. He has an extensive journalistic background, where he's written and reported for several newspapers and magazines. Frank lives in New York, and is a native of Texas.