Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Online Shopping Tips

The pandemic has changed so many things about the way we live our lives. Even for someone like me who tends to stay home often, being at home and not leaving the house at all has been a huge change. Apart from the one day that I have to report to the office per week, there is no motivation to go out, and even if there was, I often try to find ways to just stay home to be safe. The number of daily new cases in our municipality has not gone down so I feel the need to stay home as much as possible since I am one of those with at-risk conditions. Because of that, most of my shopping for my daily needs has been made online.

My sister usually takes care of the fresh produce that we need at home since we can usually buy them in our neighborhood. We do not even have to leave our street to buy vegetables, meat, and seafood, which is a good thing. As for our other needs, groceries, other food items, and home essentials, we have taken to purchasing them online via Lazada.

Image by Mediamodifier from Pixabay

Some of the people I know have been hesitant about buying online and I cannot blame them. There are a lot of bogus sellers out there and it can be difficult to figure out who is trustworthy or not. In the past few years that I have been purchasing items online, I have had my share of hits and misses with it. But, as they say, you can learn from your mistakes and that is something that I want to share with all of you.

Here are some tips for online shopping, particularly when using Lazada. I hope these tips will help you when you make your online purchases. Happy shopping!

Buy from the Official Store

If you can, it is best to buy from the official stores that are on Lazada. For example, if you need toiletries, go straight to the Procter & Gamble or Unilever store. You can school supplies? National Bookstore has an official store there too. The same goes for when you need gadgets. Apple and Samsung have official stores on Lazada as well. I could go on and on with this one. 

You can be assured that you are getting the real deal when you are buying from the official store. These stores also pack their products very well for shipping so you can be assured that they will arrive in good condition.

Use the Filter

I always use this option. Whenever I search for an item, I filter to 4 stars and up items to make sure that the ones that are shown during the search are the items with trustworthy sellers. I have to point out though that some may have 4 stars and up reviews but only have one reviewer so it’s best to check out only the ones with a lot of positive reviews. 

Buy Local

There are so many items on Lazada that are from their Global site. Buying from a seller overseas can be a hassle if you are not satisfied with the item. It is so difficult to have them replaced and sometimes the seller seems to have difficulty conversing in English that it is hard for the person complaining to get a positive response. I haven’t experienced this personally, but I have seen reviews where the buyers were complaining, then the seller responds in broken English in a way that seems like they did not quite understand what the buyer was talking about.

There is always a risk with buying online. There’s an even bigger risk if you buy it from an overseas seller with very little English comprehension.

Check the Reviews

The star ratings are not enough to be sure that you are buying a good item. I prefer to read the reviews and see if those stars were trustworthy or not. 

I have noticed that there are items whose reviews seem scripted. Some are in Tagalog but are obviously only from someone only pretending to be Filipino (this is usually with some of the Global products, the reviews seem to have been translated through Google Translate). It can be time-consuming but reading reviews will give you an idea of whether the product is good or not and if the seller is worth taking the risk for (if it is not a big name, official store).

Check the Seller Profile

Another thing that I have discovered that helps is checking the seller profile. When you see the item, go to the seller profile, and check their seller ratings, chat response rate, and if they ship on time.  That would give you an idea if the seller is easy to deal with in case you have any issues.

Start Small

If there is an item that you really like that is from a store that you are not familiar with, it may be best to start small. Try to buy an item that is not that expensive from the store to test the quality of the product and their service. If all goes well, then you could buy the more expensive item you were interested in from the same store.

Know Your Rights

One of the most important things about online selling is to know your rights. When I purchased a bedside table, the item delivered was missing the drawer from the table. I sent it to the seller and posted photos as proof and I got the item replaced. Most recently, an item was labeled as delivered when it was not received so I contacted both Lazada and the seller/store itself immediately for help. My purchase was refunded the following week.

Make sure that you take note of the names of the people delivering your orders and the notifications you get regarding deliveries just in case you have issues like mine regarding orders that never arrive. It also helps to save the phone numbers of the delivery person when they send you an SMS for deliveries just in case they are the same person who will deliver next time (because they usually are).

Anyone out there with additional tips? Leave me a comment and share them here!


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