5 Painful Mistakes People Often Make When Shopping Online

Do you feel that you spend too much on your shopping trips and that you always buy more things than planned every time?

Do you find yourself sometimes buying the things which you actually don’t need and end up regretting your actions?

If your answer is yes, then you don’t understand the psychology of buying and that’s why you’re committing some shopping mistakes.

But before I delve into these mistakes, let me explain some key influences on your shopping behaviour.

Factors That Trigger Your Buying Activities

There are certain factors that trigger buying actions and which most frequently results in bigger purchases.

While many of these elements influence shoppers’ behaviours, some of these elements could produce more direct responses which the little impact on their thinking, feeling and body comfort.

The factors I’m talking about are scent, music; and lighting. You’d notice that most of the big supermarkets employ these 3 things to get you to feel relaxed and buy from them.

For online stores, it is the graphics display of products, mouth-watering offers or discounts, and the visible display of products.

If you’re used to buying from an online marketplace such as JumiaKonga, or even AliExpress, you’d immediately notice these 3 key elements when you land on their sites.

When you visit an online store, what do you notice? You notice flawless images of new products on the market at mouth-watering prices and the sense of emotion is triggered especially if the offer lasts for a limited period.

Before you know it, you’d have clicked on the product to see the full description with the intention of buying. In this case, the desire to buy is influenced by the beautiful features you’ve seen.

All these factors, when used in a particular way, can influence your shopping behaviour even if you don’t notice.

Shopping Mistakes to Avoid

Here are the 5 painful shopping mistakes which if avoided will make you spend within your budget. Avoiding these mistakes every time you buy online will eventually make you a smart buyer.

1. Impulsive Buying

Impulsive buying is when a customer purchases goods from an online store without planning to do so initially. According to Brandongaille, over 90% of people who shop today make occasional impulse purchases that they didn’t intend to buy initially.

This is how it works: a customer sees an advert, clicks on the advert, discovers a product that he/she likes, and then buys it right on the spot without any consideration.

I’m sure that this must have happened to you once or twice online with the resultant effect that you waste valuable money on items that you do not need.

Let me tell you a little secret: e-commerce companies love impulsive buyers. But it hurts you as a consumer. So whenever you want to shop online, make sure you know what you want to buy. If possible, prepare a list of items and tick them off as you buy them. This would prevent you from buying what you don’t need.

2. Not Taking Advantage of Offers

Offers come in form of discounts, price slash, coupon or promo codes. These offers could be seasonal (during festive periods, back to school etc.) or once in a year.

For example, Jumia just finished celebrating their 5th anniversary as an online marketplace in Nigeria. To commemorate this achievement, they offered crazy discounts of up to 50% off on many of their products. Did you take advantage of this?

Really, you don’t have to you pay a full price when you can’t pay less for something. What most people do not know is that paying full price doesn’t show class; it only shows that you aren’t smart enough to take advantage of what’s beneficial.

So before buying anything at all, do check if you could get a price slash either by using promo codes are available or by taking advantage of time-bound discounts. But then, you should not also fall into the error of excessive buying simply because there’s a discount. You just might get burned.

3. Not Comparing Prices

Hastiness often leads many people to buy expensive products when they could have bought it lower prices. Once you have made your decision to buy a product, the next step is to conduct a brief research. Basically, you would want to see if you can get a better deal before finally settling to buy from an online store.

Once you’ve found a product, ask yourself if there are other stores selling the same item. You can compare from different stores online by checking from close competitors offering similar products.

You may even be shocked that the first price you saw for a product might be doubled the amount you’ll eventually buy it. So there’s no need to rush and window-shopping isn’t a crime. So if you’re used to buying from only one store, you’re definitely leaving too much money on the table.

4. Not Paying Attention to Reviews

The essence of online reviews is to ensure that you’re buying a good product from a trusted seller. Most times, people give good and honest reviews on products they’ve used. On other occasions, bad reviews come as a result of a bad experience customers have had with a product or a seller.

Now ask yourself who you would buy from between someone whose overall rating is 3.3 of 5 and someone who has a rating of 4.8 of 5? I’m sure it’s the latter. Therefore, the goods you buy from the latter will give you an assurance of quality or value.

Lastly, I’d advise you to stop buying from online stores who don’t use ratings for their sellers. It’s potentially dangerous to do so.

5. Not properly checking the product descriptions

The essence of the product description is to help you pick the most suitable product to buy. Since you’re not seeing the products in 3D, you’re only bound to make assumptions. But product descriptions will give you an idea of what they’ll look like in real life.

Chances are you’ll pick the wrong size of a cloth if you don’t check the size chart before buying.

When it comes to apparel, you should know that there are different sizes for different countries. For example, a 175cm size in China is definitely smaller than the 175cm of Nigeria. When selecting a dress on AliExpress, for example, always add 2cm – 3cm to the dimension you see on their site.

Checking size charts can give you a better idea of how different garments fit, thus allowing you to order based on your measurements rather than your usual size.


The mistakes made by online shoppers are quite numerous but here are the mistakes that often lead to spending more online or even buying the wrong products.

So when next you want to shop for some items online, always try to avoid these painful mistakes. It doesn’t matter whether you’re shopping on AliExpress, JumiaKonga or any other marketplace, the rule remains the same.

Go ahead and become a smart shopper.

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