what do you look for when buying on line

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by kountrycritters, Jun 5, 2006.

  1. kountrycritters

    kountrycritters Active Member

    Aug 23, 2005
    pike county, ms
    we are in the process of building our website and I would like your input on
    what makes you decide to purchase something from one website rather than another site offering the same item.

    such as:

    1) price

    2) a website owner being a small guy/gal trying to keep things running
    rather than a big business.

    3) a site being direct & to the point

    please post what steers you to choose

  2. AngieM2

    AngieM2 Big Front Porch advocate

    May 10, 2002
    I order for myself, and have ordered for a large corp via online.

    I look for clear product information, clear contact information (phone and e-mail), and how easy to navigate from search for product, put in a basket and then review the basket and complete order. I also appreciate an e-mail confirmation of order with deltails and when to expect the package.


  3. Dahc

    Dahc Don't Tase me, bro!?!

    Feb 13, 2006
    I require fast shipping, a good price, easy navigation of the site, clearly marked price and a secure transaction. Most of the time, I am already familiar with the products I buy online and don't require a lot of info, but if I have never bought it before, I do.
  4. ladycat

    ladycat Chicken Mafioso Staff Member

    Oct 18, 2005
    N. TX/ S. OK
    What they said above, but also a professionally designed site. I'm very put off if the site looks amateurish and sloppy.
  5. halfpint

    halfpint Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jan 24, 2005
    In addition to most of the above comments, I won't buy from a site that doesn't have any contact information (address and phone number), but I prefer a street address to a PO box.
  6. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jan 13, 2004
    I would agree with what has been mentioned so far, and also that I won't order if I can't figure out the shipping cost without giving them my personal identification. Some websites won't figure shipping until you have completed the order, sometimes including credit card info, and I just leave them be. I want to know the total cost before I give any info past my zip code.
  7. frogmammy

    frogmammy Well-Known Member Supporter

    Dec 8, 2004
    As mentioned before, easy to navigate pages, no hangs, FAST loading pages (which means no music, no "cute" stuff...all business!)...remember not EVERYONE has DSL. Spelling is important..blatent errors, wrong usage (to, two, too) and the feeling that the person just graduated 3rd grade won't convince me to buy.

  8. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Guest

    Pretty much what I look for as well.

  9. via media

    via media Tub-thumper

    Jun 3, 2005
    Don't forget a clearly stated return policy!

    Pictures are important; thumbnails on main pages with the option to click on them to view a larger picture. Make sure pics are optimized for the web.

    Also, make sure they're professional-looking pictures. A picture of a mirror that shows the reflection of you taking the picture detracts from the mirror you're selling and looks amateur-ish.

    When the site is complete and before it's officially launched, ask some friends who have never seen the site to find five specific items. Ask them to find your phone number, the price of a specific item, the shipping cost, etc. Watch but don't help. Use this feedback to make improvements to the site. (For example, you may have the link to contact information in the footer but several people all looked for the link in the top banner.)

  10. DownHome

    DownHome Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2006
    If it is not a big company with a recognizable name (sears, jcpenneys, walmart...) I look for Paypal. I won't buy if I have to give a company I am not familiar with my credit card info. I have even email small companies to see if they accept paypal and they did, but it wasn't listed on their web page.
  11. SquashNut

    SquashNut Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2005
    I agree I'll pay another site a little more for a product rather than deal with a site that requires I give my information too soon.
  12. WildernesFamily

    WildernesFamily Milk Maid

    Mar 10, 2006
    Northern Missouri
    What everyone else said about ease of navigation, contact info, good return policy, etc. As for me, if the site ONLY takes paypal I won't be buying since I no longer have a paypal account. Great idea to offer it though because many people would rather use that than giving out their info.

    And if I'm using my CC info, I look for their payment pages to be secure, I've seen a few of the smaller sites that expect you to give out your details without any security :help:

    Oh, one more thing!!! I like to know what shipping charges are BEFORE I have to put in payment details. Nothing irks me more than having to go through the whole process only to find out that they want far more shipping than I'm willing to pay! I understand they need an address first to figure shipping, but they shouldn't make you submit CC info before letting you know what shipping will be.

    If you could give even a *general* idea of what shipping will be without entering the ordering process at all that would be great!
  13. kountrycritters

    kountrycritters Active Member

    Aug 23, 2005
    pike county, ms
    thanks for all of the input, i will be offering pay pal or than will be able to send check or money order directly to us with everyorder i will confirm w/ a phone call or email

    thnaks again for some great info.
  14. KindredSpirit

    KindredSpirit Well-Known Member

    Feb 15, 2006
    One thing I do when ordering online from a small company is to look for a toll free phone # and actually call to see if someone is there and they answer with a company name. Then I ask them about the product. I may still order it online but I at least know it isn't just a front for a scam.
  15. NCGirl

    NCGirl Well-Known Member

    Jan 5, 2006
    YES !!! I have backed out of a site before if they make me give my CC information before giving me the total.

    I look for price, quick shipping and contact info including a phone # even though it is very unlikely I will actually call.

    I like it when they give you a timeframe for shipping such as saying all orders are shipped within 24hours.

    I LOVE it when they give me a link so that I can follow the progress of my package thru UPS or FedEx.
  16. Reauxman

    Reauxman Well-Known Member

    Sep 14, 2002
    I look for everything I need on Ebay first.

    I use Ebay because I don't have to fill in contact info every time, payment is made easy and it is the largest online store. I also get to see honest opinions from people who purchased the product.

    Rarely do I need to go further than Ebay.
  17. Qwispea

    Qwispea Well-Known Member

    Jul 6, 2005
    Near Walhalla Michigan
    I always look locally for the things I need..but if something isn't available locally..I'll usually check out e-bay first.

    If unable to find locally or on Ebay..then I do an online 'google' search. Because sometimes things have to be searched for..such as a wick for my kerosine heater..as it is an older model and not readily available. For items that I can only find online like that..I'll do the google search..and locate a company online.. which stocks and sells what I need.

    Here are some of the criteria that I find important:

    1. I have very little patience for a site that takes too long to load.
    Because I am currently limited to dialup..no broadband access at home..so if the page takes more than a minute or two to load up..I'm outta there. I move on.

    2. Do not overprice your items..but at the same time..do not underprice your items.
    Like most people..I like a competitive price. Not necessarily the lowest price..because if it is ridicuously low..I won't trust it. But be competitive with the majority of similar sellers. Of course..I will also not buy the highest..not if I have a choice in the matter.

    3. I want to know the shipping cost right up front..I do not want to have to guess.
    Furthermore..the shipping cost should be reasonable..plus provide a choice of shipping method such as USPS or UPS. (I hate Fed-Ex, so it that's your only option..you've lost a potential customer). I also do not want to have to pay too much for 'handling'. Keep it reasonable.
    (BTW: On Ebay..if a seller does not provide shipping cost right up front..then I typically suspect they are going to add excess handling charges. Sometimes..I will email the seller for shipping costs..but most times, I won't even bother to bid)

    4. Make the site easy to navigate.
    It has to be easy to find the desired items. Nothing worse than being unable to find an item or to get lost navigating a site.

    5. Make sure colors don't interfere with each other.
    Some sites display absolutely hideous color-schemes..and sometimes the colors are so close to each other that it is nearly impossible to read. Additionally, different browsers display differently..so you might want to try your web pages under a variety of different browsers..just to be sure they all display like you want them too.

    6. I'd prefer to pay with PayPal.
    If paypal is unavailable..then I prefer to pay with credit card (in which case a secure site is a must.) I will never send a check to an unknown company. My credit card is protected..a checking account isn't.

    7. I like e-mail confirmation that the item has been shipped..and includes a detailed invoice.

    8. Make it very clear that all information will be kept private..do not be selling my name and address for marketing purposes.