Now, you may be thinking to yourself, how hard can it be to buy socks online? I mean, come on. You're buying socks for crying out loud. It's not rocket science. It's not like you're buying rocket boosters. It's not like you're on the market for heavy duty processors and fan assemblies for your desktop computer.
These are socks. Yeah, that's right. Those tubular pieces of synthetic or non-synthetic materials that you've woven together to protect your feet when you wear shoes. How complicated could this be?
Now, it's very easy to think along these lines. It's very easy to develop some sort of dismissive attitude, but make no mistake about it, when you're buying something that you use your hard earned dollars for, you need to be very careful.
I know, you're probably going to be out maybe $10, $20, $30 dollars maximum, but you have to understand that those $30 can add up. $30 wasted month after month amounts to $360 a year. Do you know what you can buy with $360? Do you know how much your $360 would be if you bought biotech stocks with it?
My point here is simple. Don't think that buying socks online is so inconsequential that you can basically assume some sort of casual attitude about it. You really can't be flippant about this purchasing decision because there are many bad products out there. There are many websites that are designed specifically to rip you off.
You might be thinking that you're just going to be out $30, but believe me, $30 fleeced out of thousands of customers week after week, month after month, can add up to a hill of cash really quickly. Consider yourself warned.
Pay attention to the following tips so you can make truly informed decisions when trying to buy socks online.
Keep Design in Mind When You Buy Socks Online
Make no mistake about it, online stores are not mind readers. Seriously. Sure, a lot of them use highly complicated algorithms, many are slowly switching to some sort of machine learning or artificial intelligence product presentation platform, but despite all of that disruptive technology, they still cannot read your mind. Your design preferences are uniquely your own.
If you buy socks from one place and then change your mind because somehow, some way, they don't fit your desired preferences, it might not be worth your time and bother to put those socks in an envelope, get stamps for that envelope and put that envelope in the mailbox. It might just be too much of a bother. Instead, you just throw the socks away. You're out $10 to $30, and you call it a day.
It doesn't have to be this way. You only need to be mindful of your design preference parameters from Day One. If you don't think you have such design parameters, think again. Everybody's got tastes. Everybody's got preferences.
Now, your preferences might be goofy, but they're yours. They're uniquely yours. They are extensions of your values, your priorities, and ultimately, your character. Embrace them. Celebrate them. Make sure you consult with them when you buy socks online.
Focus on Attributes You Know You Like
The next thing that you need to do once you've gotten the design issue down cold is to focus on attributes. When buying any kind of personal wearable item, attributes of course mean color, material and size.
Focus on attributes that you have a preference for. Do you like pink? Do you like blue? Do you like wool socks or are you partial to nylon?
Now, there is no right or wrong answer because everybody's different. What's important is that you are mindful of your personal attribute preferences and you stick to them.
Read the Site's Shipping Rates at Least Twice
Now, a lot of people who claim to get ripped off online are not really ripped off. I know that sounds shocking, I know it sounds like I'm blaming the victim, but hear me out. If you try to buy socks online or other things and you don't even bother to read the website's shipping rates, the only person you can blame is yourself.
If you get sticker shocked when you check out and then you have a change of heart when your credit card bill statement comes at the end of the month, you only need to kick yourself. Seriously. There is nobody else to blame.
Those shipping rates are not going to go away. In fact, those shipping rates are put right in front of your face right before you check out or click the PayPal button. Do yourself a big favor and read the shipping rates before you begin your shopping journey so you can avoid all sorts of unnecessary drama.
Read the Shipping Guarantee or Terms at Least Twice
Now, a lot of people, I would say most consumers, don't really have a problem with shipping rates. They do have a cow when it comes to late shipping. To avoid all sorts of unnecessary headaches or misunderstandings down the road, read the shipping guarantees or terms of service at least twice.
This clues you in on the time range of delivery. This also clues you in on what to expect. As you can probably well imagine, it's very hard to be disappointed if you have the right expectations. Manage your expectations from Day One by reading the shipping guarantees or terms at least two times.
Look for Discount Codes that Apply to Shipping
If you know you're going to have issues with shipping related fees, you need to be proactive. You can't just take all of this lying down and whine like a baby when you get your bill in the mail.
You know exactly what the shipping charges are when you check out. You know exactly what you're getting into because everything is put in front of your face. Still, this doesn't prevent a lot of consumers from bellyaching when they find out that their delivery charge was actually higher than they were mentally prepared to accept. But this is all a charade because they saw all these numbers going in.
To help mitigate the pain of shipping fees, look for discount codes. Seriously. There are tons of websites that feature only discount codes. Just type in the name of the website you're trying to buy socks online from as well as the word "discount code." You'd be surprised as to the kind of deals you would get.
Now, I'm not saying that you're going to find codes that would chop off 50% right off the top, but hey, let's face it, even a buck off shipping is still a good deal. Take what you can get.
Beware of "Free Plus Shipping" Offers
I'm sorry to be the one to report this to you, but the free lunch has yet to be invented. I know that sounds shocking, but the next time you see something truly free, call me because chances are, that item is probably being worn by a unicorn. That's how rare truly free stuff is.
This is why I can't help but chuckle when I come across the phrase "free plus shipping." The item is not free. If you're going to be paying $18 for the shipping, you know that that $18 is the actual cost of the item.
Merchants who play this game with you are essentially just tickling a psychological funny bone. That's really what they're doing. People hate paying for stuff. This is why people wet themselves when they see the word "free."
But let me tell you, free has yet to be invented. So if you see "free plus shipping," the actual cost of the item is the shipping fee.
I don't know about you, but it doesn't cost $18 to ship a small, very light ring, for example, from the port of Los Angeles to New York City. That's not $18. We're talking about a couple of bucks tops. Everything else is profit.
Now, I bring this to your attention not because I hate "free plus shipping," but I just want to keep it real. I just want to keep it 100 as far as these tricks are concerned. Be mindful of this when trying to buy socks online.
Buy with the Expectation You Won't be Returning Stuff
Here is probably the most sobering piece of advice I can give you. If you are going to buy anything online, buy with the expectation that you won't be returning stuff. Seriously. You have better uses of your time.
If you feel that you got burned for $30, then move on. Get over it because you probably are going to be burning more than $30 trying to return that stuff and dealing with all sorts of customer service hassles. Chalk it up to experience and pay attention to the rest of the tips listed above.