Thanks to the Internet and personal computers, you no longer have to sort through catalogs or run around town to find the supplies you need to try or complete craft projects; you can simply buy craft supplies online! Use these tips and suggestions to make sure you get your money's worth.
Names You Know
When looking to purchase anything online, I start out by checking to see if stores I usually shop at off line have an online store. If I don't find a familiar name I won't hesitate to ask others; you can find many helpful people online in chat rooms, forums, or mailing lists. You can ask for references or see if a site has any customer comments posted. You can also check the Better Business Bureau to see if there have been any complaints filed against a company.
Read EverythingOne of the most important things - read all the information you can find about the specific products you are ordering. The last thing you want to do is receive an item that is the wrong size, color etc. Do not rely solely on pictures provided. If the online store does not have enough information about a product you can try to email or call to see if they can clarify for you, or you can see in the manufacturer has a Web site... Many do!
Check to see what kind of payment a site accepts. The most common way to buy anything online is to use a credit card, which is very safe these days as long as a site has a secure connection (learn about about this by following the link below). Some sites will let you pay by check or money order. With this option, you usually place your order and then mail in the payment, and the store will hold onto your order until the payment is received. Some sites also accept payment through online services such as Pay Pal.
Cost of Shipping
One of the deciding factors for me when it comes to ordering craft supplies online is the cost of shipping and handling. In some cases, the shipping charges may be more than the cost of your purchase; again, read everything carefully! I do sometimes bite the bullet when it comes to shipping charges simply for the convenience of getting items shipped directly to my home.
How About Returns?Make sure you check out the site's return policy. Some places have very strict policies and also charge restocking fees. You should be aware of what you are up against in case the need should arise.