Monday, October 10, 2011
Have you made an online purchase that you regret? Tell us about it, and you could win $250 worth of merchandise and gift cards from American Express! That should go a long way towards making up for your mistake, so keep reading to find out how to enter.....
I love online shopping. You just can't beat the variety, the prices and the convenience. As recently as twenty years ago, who would have thought that you could enter the world's largest department store just by turning on your computer, then buy anything and have it delivered straight to your home with a mere click of a button!
Of course, it's important to remember that as simple as it is to shop online, you're still spending your real, hard-earned money. And just like you would guard your wallet in a department store, you need to be safe and savvy when you shop online.
To help educate shoppers about making smart online shopping choices, I'm joining American Express in an Online Savvy Shopper series of posts. For starters, I'm sharing one of my online shopping mistakes below, and reflecting on what I could have done to avoid it:
Be familiar with the site's return policy
Last summer I bought a pair of sheepskin boots online. Since the weather had not yet grown cooler when they arrived, I tried them on once and stashed them in my closet. Once fall had arrived, I started wearing them -- but it only took a couple of uses for me to realize that I should have ordered a size up, because every time I wore them, the boots rubbed my heels raw. Unfortunately, the return period had already expired, so I was stuck with them. Now I have to wear them with socks. I should have made sure they fit properly before the return period was up -- or paid for them with an American Express card, which lets cardmembers return items even though the merchant's return policy has expired (up to $300, up to 90 days).
Buy from a site you know and trust
In hindsight, I should have bought those boots from Zappos or one of my regular online shoe sites with free shipping and returns and a 365-day return policy. I was drawn in by the lower price -- so instead of spending $20 more from an online store with a good reputation, I've wasted $120 on boots that don't fit!
Use a credit card, not a debit card, when making purchases online.
The worst kind of online shopping mistake is the kind you didn't even make. Hackers steal credit and debit card information all the time -- but debit cards don't offer purchase protection. Fortunately I've never had to learn this lesson the hard way, since I always use a credit card when shopping online. I've had to report fraudulent online charges several times -- for a subscription to a "How to Make Money From Home" website, for domain name registration, even for online gaming! -- but since the hackers used my credit card, I was able to get the purchases taken off my bill.
Next week I'll be posting about my Top 5 Fall Must-Haves, and sharing more savvy online shopping tips so that my fall shopping experiences stay fab and fun, not frightful. The week after, I'll be posting about my readers' top online shopping mistakes -- so please leave a comment below with your own mistakes! Don't be shy, we've all made them. Need an extra incentive to share yours stories of shame? How about the chance to win $250 from American Express?
Win $250 in merchandise and gift cards from American Express
One lucky Bonggamom Finds reader will win $250 in merchandise or gift cards through American Express's Membership Rewards program! The winner can choose any combination of the following gift cards and merchandise, totalling $250:
* Saks Fifth Avenue gift card (denominations: $50, $100, $250)
* Zappos.com gift card (denominations: $50, $100, $250)
* Neiman Marcus gift card (denominations: $50, $100, $250)
* North Face Denali Jacket (retail $165)
* Michael Kors Hamilton Medium Messenger Bag (Retail $248)
* Dooney and Bourke Dillen II Satchel (Retail $248)
* TUMI Ducati Tank Medium Backpack (Retail $245)
Leave a comment on this post and share your biggest online shopping mistake. This entry must be completed before other entries apply.
For extra entries, you can do any or all of the following. Please leave a separate comment for each extra entry with a way to verify the entry (i.e. tweet link, blog post link, Facebook id, Twitter id, etc.).
1) Add the Bonggamom Finds blog button to your sidebar (1 entry).
2) Blog about this giveaway, making sure you include a link to the giveaway in your blog post (1 entry).
3) Write this on the Bonggamom Finds Facebook page (1 entry):
I entered the American Express Savvy Shopper giveaway! http://ow.ly/6SSyk
4) Follow @bonggafinds on Twitter and tweet this, up to once per day (1 entry per day):
RT @bonggafinds Share your biggest online shopping mistake for a chance to win $250 from @americanexpress! http://ow.ly/6SSyk #giveaways
5) Join any of the open giveaways on Bonggamom Finds (1 entry for each giveaway you've joined)
6) Leave a comment on my October 17 American Express post (Fall Fashion Shopping with American Express) with your top 5 fall fashion finds (1 entry).
7) Leave a comment on my October 17 American Express post (Fall Fashion Shopping with American Express) with your top tip for savvy online shopping (1 entry).
This giveaway ends at 11:59PM PST on October 24, 2011; I will draw a winner at random on October 25 -- the winner must reply on or before midnight PST on October 27. I will post the winner's name on my American Express post, scheduled for October 28. Winner does not need to be an American Express card holder. Continental US residents only. For additional giveaway rules, click here. Good luck!
Disclosure: This post is part of a compensated series with American Express. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.