1. Read customer testimonials before you buy anything. People are more than pleased to complain about bad service online, so search for sites and testimonials that are terrible so you know what you're getting into. You ought to take bad reviews using a grain of salt, but if you see many, you know there is a problem.
2. Pay close attention for potential sales online starting around Wednesday. Many brick and mortar stores do sales on the weekends, and to compete, many online stores have moved their sales days up by a couple of days. You can often find exceptional mid-week bargains with just a little online research.
3. Sign-up for any identity fraud protection your credit card company offers, particularly if you shop online often. No matter how safe you are or how diligently you believe you are able to protect your information, it's never one hundred percent guaranteed. Take full advantage of automatic ID protection and know you will have back-up, should the worst occur.
4. When you're shopping online you should be sure that you know who you're buying from. If you're buying upon an online auction site, only purchase from people that have positive feedback. On other sites look to see when they are a reputable company by trying to find reviews upon them online.
5. Look for the right times to shop online. Often the stores that you frequent will have online sales that follow a time pattern. Many, for instance, schedule sales for the beginning of the month or at the end. If you notice there's a pattern, hold off on buying anything until the upcoming sales period begins.