1. Be wary for any emails you receive, even if they appear to be coming from a retailer you trust. Never click on a link that directs you to a web site other than the main one you shopped on. Should you, you may become vulnerable to a scam. Rather than simply clicking an email hyperlink, just go as much as your browser and type in the web site you need to go to. It is much safer that way.
2. When you are searching for a place to buy a specific thing and none of the results appear to be from familiar retailers, you should be hesitant about entering your data. Look for security signs from Verisign or Cybertrust, so you know the retailer is not in the market to take your hard earned money.
3. 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 see there's a pattern, hold off on buying anything until the upcoming sales period begins.
4. Pay close attention for potential sales online starting as early as 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 few days. You can often find exceptional mid-week bargains with just a little online research.
5. Before shopping from a store that is unfamiliar with you, discover what the store's reputation is much like. You can usually do a web-based search and find out what others think of the business. It is best to do this so you do not find out the tough way and lose your money.