Q: A lot of longtime chain stores in my area have gone under in the last few years, and many of the ones left don't have the things I need. Shopping online solves the inventory problems, but you can never be quite sure what you're getting.
I've gotten used to buying things online, but it still isn't my favorite method. It's better to see what you're buying in person!
My family has been helpful to me by returning things when necessary. The problem is that I always feel dependent on them to help me with my shopping. With smaller items, I generally just eat the loss, but I don't feel comfortable with buying more expensive things online.
What are some of your tips for online shopping and returns?
A: Experienced online shoppers often wait for sales and online coupons, especially ones that guarantee free shipping.
Unfortunately, sometimes you need an item quickly and don't have time to wait.
Before buying large items, check the website's return policy. Pay attention to the return time window and method. Online stores turn large profits, so most retailers try to make the shopping process as painless as possible with things like free return shipping labels.
Large retailers generally have lenient return policies, but do the research with smaller online shops. They often have smaller return windows and may not cover the return cost.
If you are unsure about an item, keep the box! You can use it to return the item if you change your mind.
For your favorite retailers, create an account and subscribe to their mailing lists. You'll get information about sales and special discounts, as well as easy access to your purchase history and returns. -- Emma, Doug's granddaughter
Doug Mayberry makes the most of life in a Southern California retirement community. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Emma, Doug's granddaughter, helps write this column. To find out more about Doug Mayberry and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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