Online shopping is the new normal in our lives, but there are several things you can do to make sure that you are shopping wisely and getting the best deal while staying safe. Here are three tips to help you increase your savvy shopper quotient.

Wait for Sales

When shopping online, patience is key. The one drawback and plus of online shopping is how easy it is to buy exactly what you want when you want it. However, just because you can buy something right away doesn’t mean you should. To be a smart online shopper you should wait for the inevitable sale whenever possible. Usually, most online retailers will have sales around major cultural and national holidays, including Memorial Day and Labor Day. And you will also see online stores put seasonal items on sale when that season is coming to an end. Having a little patience can save you a lot of money in the long run.

Beware of Scams

Shopping smartly online also means looking out for possible scams. Even on trusted sites like Amazon, scams are present. A very common scam involves selling merchandise or products that are counterfeit or not as advertised. According to Park Savers, you should be careful with classified websites like eBay or Craigslist as it’s often difficult to tell the authenticity of products. Usually, if the price of a product is too good to be true, it is probably not what it appears to be. Also, if you’re shopping on lesser-known sites, then you should be on the lookout for scams that attempt to steal your identity or credit card information. Be sure to check the URL of websites and makes sure it starts with “https,” as that will be a secure site. Last, you never want to shop anywhere online that only accepts bank wire transfers or money orders—you will have no protection in those cases.

Comparison Shop

Last, according to Frugal For Less, comparison shopping is a must when it comes to buying anything online. Now, that doesn’t mean that you have to spend endless hours going through various websites to find the best deals. There are a ton of online comparison tools that can help you get the best price. Along with tools such as Google Shopper, there are also sites like NexTag, PriceGrabber, and Shopzilla that can comb the internet for you, giving you information on what an item costs across multiple websites.

With the increasing popularity of online retail sites, it’s ever more important to be vigilant when shopping online. You don’t want to get stuck paying too much or getting your identity stolen. Following these tips will ensure that you are a wise shopper and can greatly improve your online shopping experience.