Dos & don’ts when shopping online for homeware


This the season of sales, the year-end sale, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday! Don’t get carried away with discounts and ignore these online shopping rules, though.

Here’s how you can score at those sales without spending too much or buying the wrong items.

1. Do: Read reviews

Product reviews are a vital part of online shopping; they provide useful information that retailers fail to mention. When there aren’t any reviews available, look into similar products on the site or search other sites for a similar product and comb through its reviews.

If it’s a pricey purchase and you can’t seem to find a review, we suggest you don’t jump into that investment.

2. Do: Read the fine print

terms and conditions

© Kaspars Grinvalds | 123rf

Terms and conditions are often written in fine print and we often just skim past them. It’s important to note that this is where important information like item warranty, validity, authenticity, and such can be found. To avoid being duped, read all the information in the fine print before proceeding to purchase.

3. Don’t: Leave your credit card details

Woman hand paying on line with credit card

© Antonio Guillem | 123rf

Many of us make this grave mistake by clicking that “remember my details” after filling in your credit card details. This mistake can lead to late night binge purchases or worse, security breaches!

Never leave your card details saved onto your device, as, you can easily be the victim of fraud or theft. The instances of online theft have increased throughout the years, so don’t join the statistics just because you’re too lazy to key in your details for your purchases.

4. Don’t buy from non-secure sites

Encryptions are key to making sure your purchases secure and are a good sign of a trusted e-commerce site. One way to tell if the site you’re on is encrypted iskey or lock symbol on your web browser during transactions. Don’t make transfers or purchases via sites that that are not secured.

One other way to know if the site you are shopping on is secure or not, is by checking if your browser says https:// (secured) instead of http://.

5. Do: Check material details

It’s often hard to tell what quality the product you are purchasing is made off. It’s especially difficult with furniture, that often arrive looking different from what we imagined. It’s always best to be able to look at and feel a piece of furniture before you buy it. Many items sold online can often be found in physical stores that may carry them at higher prices. If that isn’t possible, and you’re short on time, then it’s best to pay attention to written description.

Read more: 7 kitchen cabinet materials to choose from

6. Do: Clarify colour

Just like material, it’s always best to read the description for a more accurate colour depiction. What may seem like black to us can actually be a dark brown or navy. You should never fully rely on what you see, as pictures can be misleading lighting and exposure can drastically change the look of a product.

7. Don’t forget about size

Impulse purchases often show up looking either bigger or smaller than we pictured in our heads. Just like size and material, you should never fully rely on what you see. Pictures can be deceiving, so product description is important. Be sure to always check measurements before purchasing, since some items arrive assembled and may not be able to make it through your door!

Read more: 11 online homeware stores like IKEA

8. Do consider assemblage

Woman hand accepting a delivery of boxes from deliveryman

© comzeal | 123rf

Many sites selling furniture and homeware deliver unassembled goods. The description and review section of the item will often indicate how the product arrives. This might affect your purchase decision as a complicated piece of furniture might require the hiring of external services, adding to the cost of the item.

9. Do: Read shipping and return policies

You should always take into account shipping and return costs and policies. Often when items are on sale, the shipping costs remain the same and can be more expensive than the item itself. Although most items on sale have a no-return policy, certain electronic goods and other items are returnable under certain conditions or circumstances.

10. Don’t: Buy if it’s too good to be true

We often get pulled into outrageous discounts, some turning out to be real bargains, and others are just too good to be true. It’s always best to check the authenticity of the sale and all the terms and conditions that come with it.

Read more: 7 unique local furniture stores you need to know about

This article was originally published as Dos & don’ts when shopping online for homeware by and is written by Lydia Lohshini.