1. Although it may look tedious, make sure you read the contract and terms before you purchase at a website. These documents have valuable information about what you can and cannot do when you have a concern with the item that you bought. Read them thoroughly to ensure that you do not have an unwelcome surprise when trying to come back items.
2. If you're purchasing clothes or shoes online, be careful using the sizing. Some items typically run smaller or larger than normal. Some shopping sites will advertise if an item runs true to size. If the site doesn't list anything about sizing, glance at the reviews. In most cases, if an item is running larger or smaller, the reviewers will let you know.
3. If you have questions while shopping, search for a live chat function in the online store. Many big brands (and even some boutique stores) now have this functionality. It is possible to chat immediately with a customer service representative to repair any issues or answer any questions before buying. That can provide you with a lot of reassurance.
4. If you are making a purchase online, make certain you use a credit card to pay for the transaction. Bank card users are protected against fraud by federal law and they are only responsible for $50 in these cases. Some card agencies will even go so far as to wave the $50 for you, which means you will not be out of pocket.
5. Read customer testimonials before you buy anything. People are more than happy to complain about bad service online, so look for sites and testimonials which can be terrible so you know what you're getting into. You need to take bad reviews having a grain of salt, but if you see many, you know there is a problem.