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Ever since this pandemic, we’ve had no choice but to online shop for everything from Q-tips and self-rising yeast to tie-dye sweatshirts and matching pajamas. (Yes, it’s safe to say our doorbell is getting the most action at our house.) But now that we’ve all accepted our Fed-Exed fate, it’s time we become e-commerce experts. Here, four mistakes to avoid when online shopping (besides, ya know, spending your savings all in one go).

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1. Mistake: Checking Out as a Guest

We know, it can be super annoying to keep track of all your shopping accounts. But you’re missing out on earning loyalty points (especially at places like Sephora and Nordstrom) and discounts by not signing up at checkout. Sign up (password tip: use the Apple keychain suggested passwords if you have a Mac or use Google Chrome) and get the welcome bonus (usually the discounts range from 10-20% off). Then, set your email preferences so you’re not bombarded from the site.

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2. Mistake: Not Using PayPal

Heaven forbid you’re the person who wastes precious minutes typing in your credit card info each time. Fly through the online checkout and feel secure about your transaction by using PayPal for your online purchasing needs. Because your shipping and billing information is already stored in your PayPal wallet, you can quickly checkout across millions of retailers that accept PayPal without having to enter your info for each transaction. You can also enable faster PayPal checkout to skip entering your account login information on your device.

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3. Mistake: Skipping Search Filters

Raise your hand if you’ve scrolled through dozens of pages looking for the perfect item instead of just taking the time to set your search filters. We thought so. Using Google Shopping or any e-commerce site’s checkboxes to drill down to the category, color, cut and brand of the garment or item you’re hunting for will save you time and frustration. Today, more websites are adding super-specific parameters, like neckline, hemline and even by “cause” (cruelty-free, sustainable, organic, etc.)

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4. Mistake: Forgetting the Return Policy

Ever dropped a pretty penny on some much-needed retail therapy only to find out those denim bermuda shorts are final sale? Avoid the dreaded buyer’s remorse by double-checking the site’s and product’s return policy. You can also enjoy peace of mind through PayPal’s Purchase Protection and Return Shipping On Us programs. If your purchase doesn't arrive at all or is totally different than what was advertised, PayPal will reimburse you for the full purchase price plus any original shipping costs for eligible purchases. Also, if you aren’t happy with your order and want to return it, PayPal will refund the cost of sending it back on eligible purchases. Huzzah!

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