​5 mistakes students always make when shopping online

Not checking exactly what you’re ordering

It’s happened to all of us; we’ve bought something online and it’s turned up looking nothing like the photo. Or so you thought. Then you check the actual description of the product and it turns out you were wrong all along. You actually did order a pillow for a dollshouse, no wonder it was so cheap!

Always try and scope out the product dimensions and specifications before clicking “buy” to double check you’re getting what you think you’re getting.

Missing out on voucher codes

It’s infuriating when you’ve just checked out online, and you’re happy with your purchase - only for you to spot a juicy voucher code in your inbox or on social media, just a few minutes too late. You’ve missed out on an easy discount and it feels pretty unfair.

However, there’s a really convenient solution to this problem - a free browser extension called Pouch. When you click onto a site you’ll get a little notification pop up automatically that’ll tell you what voucher codes are available for you to use. At the moment it’s exclusively available on Chrome for desktop, but they’re working on having versions for Firefox and mobile browsers.

It works on all sorts of websites, everything from fashion to takeaway food, and we wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who’s even a tiny bit forgetful - download it here.

Shopping while intoxicated

According to a Student Money Saver poll a third of us have shopped online while drunk, and it’s not always just for an early-hours-of-the-morning kebab delivery. The list of purchases is seriously weird, and we highly recommend you take a look.

Not only are you likely to end up with something that sober you neither needs nor wants, but you’re probably not going to get a good deal for it. I don’t know about you, but I can’t imagine using price comparison sites or searching for voucher codes after a few tequilas.

Missing out on the returns window

Our rule of thumb when it comes to ordering online is that when it arrives, if you don’t love it, you should send it back. We’ve lost out on a pretty hefty chunk of cash by forgetting to send back clothes that didn’t quite fit - you’re never going to recoup the full RRP on eBay!

Once you’ve umm-ed and arr-ed over your order for over 14 days some companies won’t accept your return, so it might be worth setting a calendar entry reminding you make your mind up.

Not checking site reviews

When ordering from a site you’ve never used before, it’s always worth a cursory glance at sites like Feefo and TrustPilot, just search “[site name] reviews” and something should come up.

Some online stores go to great lengths to hide the fact that your order will be coming from Asia, or that you’ll be charged a fee for sending things back, but review sites should give you a reasonably reliable idea of whether the site is legit, and if there are any pitfalls you’re likely to encounter.

If absolutely nothing comes up when you search for reviews, it’s probably best to stay on the safe side and avoid ordering from them.


This article was sponsored by Pouch.

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