Bargain hunting is a real fun. You won’t be able to save a fortune by collecting and using coupons but you will save a precious penny and what’s more important you’ll make a smarter shopper: by learning how to find and organize coupons you’ll broaden your outlook:
- You get to know more places where you can buy anything you need;
- You become aware of broader product range and less popular manufactures;
- You learn to compare prices and estimate what the offer is really worth;
- You make contacts with people who shop online and know a lot; etc.
There are plenty more benefits, however there are a few issues as well. The worst thing that may happen to you when hunting for freebies and bargains is getting scammed. The two things that may happen after that are:
- Your private information can be stolen (and used to send you spam for example);
- Your money may be stolen (which is actually worse).
This post looks at 3 effective ways to research any product or deal reviews to keep your privacy and money safe:
Twitter is a widely popular site where people come to share opinions on anything, including shopping. Using Twitter search you can find conversations about any product or special offer you want to research. One trick that always comes in handy is using sentiment search to find negative reviews or bad experience shared:
! Use a smiling icon in your search that reflects negative emotion
Example: [:( amazon]
The best advice I have ever got regarding online shopping was that I only need to use trusted sources of deals and freebies to keep myself safe from scam. I know there are quite a few but here’s what I am personally using (and tested by experience):
Buxr.com is an online community where shoppers meet to exchange deals and freebies they came across and had some luck with. The resource have three huge advantages:
- Deals are submitted by real shoppers who also review each others’ submissions;
- Submissions are pre-moderated (administrators check deals before publishing them);
- Members rate deals, so you can easily identify most useful and trusted ones:
ListFreeSamples: you won’t find actually reviews at this site but I had to mention this one for one reason that it only uses official sources of freebies and deals; so if you are serious about your privacy, this resource should be in your list:
There are a few useful specialized forums which will help you check if the merchant you are considering has ever been involved into scam.
Scam.com is one of those places (and actually one of the best of them). It is very active and has a huge database of scammers in a number of categories (MLM / Pyramid scams, Internet scams, etc). The forum has a robust search feature for you to quickly look through the mentions of the offer or seller’s name:
And how do you try to keep your privacy safe when shopping online? Please share your thoughts!
The guest post was provided by Ann Smarty, a search blogger and online shopper. If you are looking for guest posts, create your profile at Ann’s forum called My Blog Guest – the place where bloggers and guest posters can meet to exchange posts and help each other.