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4 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Buying Electronics Online

With the global health crisis came strict social distancing guidelines and even stricter stay-at-home measures. And with little opportunity to go outside, people turned to the online sphere — communication apps, digital workplaces, and of course online shops. Adobe’s Digital Economy Index revealed that e-commerce sales for electronics jumped by 58% between March and April of last year. Clearly, people have been busy with their gadgets. But there are precautions that online shoppers need to take, especially when planning to buy something as important as a new phone or laptop. So, here are five mistakes to avoid when shopping for electronics online:

1. Buying hastily or on impulse

Online purchases come with a whole slew of extra rules and agreements — payment terms, shipping fees, return policies, and more. Make sure to read through all of them before you check out your item, and consider whether the arrangements will work. For example, if you’re out of the house often, make sure the supplier has flexible delivery policies.

You should also take time to sift through gadget reviews. A new PC or a gaming device is a major purchase for most, and you need to make sure you’re sold on its features and value before paying for it. There could be a new release waiting around the corner, and you could get more bang for your buck if you wait.

2. Not using discount codes

You can save hundreds of dollars just by taking the time to look for discounts. And it only takes a couple of minutes, so it would be a waste not to. To help you out, The Seattle Times shares a couple of strategies for hunting down promo codes. There are plenty of websites that list working discounts for different e-commerce sites, such as RetailMeNot, DealsPlus, and Slickdeals. You could also download browser extensions, like Honey, that can automatically look up available promos before you check out.

3. Paying with a debit card

Electronics tend to cost a lot, so it’s generally safer to pay with credit rather than debit. And it’s more difficult to dispute charges with a debit card. With a credit card, Petal Card points out that you won’t have to pay off charges if they end up being fraudulent. On the other hand, debit card purchases are more difficult to contest as your money has already been used to pay for the goods. If you do end up getting scammed when buying tech gadgets online, it might amount to hundreds or even thousands of dollars lost. So by paying with credit it acts as an extra safety measure.

4. Not prioritizing cybersecurity

Online shopping is a quick and convenient way to shop for goods, but it also makes you more vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Landing on the wrong site could unleash all sorts of viruses on your device. Tripwire cites some telltale signs that a website isn’t safe to navigate. For one, getting multiple prompts to update your browser or download an application is fishy. To stay on the safe side, stick to reputable sites, like the official store of the brand you want to buy.

As such, anytime you’re online to shop for electronics — or any other product, for that matter — you need to prioritize the safety of your data. Should it be compromised, you stand to lose money and even your digital identity. We at New York Computer Help recommend deleting your browser history, especially after you visit a dubious site as they are often filled with computer viruses. You should also refrain from logging in to any of your accounts through a public Wi-Fi network because cybercriminals can hijack them and use them to spy on you as you type in your password. Finally, make sure to keep all of your important data — passwords, bank details, etc. — to yourself. The less people that know your personal information, the better.

Avoiding these common mistakes should make your shopping experience a lot smoother. Not only will you be able to save money, but you’ll also keep your data safe. All you need to do now is find the gadget you want!

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