Back in the day, shopping meant driving downtown to different stores or to the mall. Today, however, many people conduct most, if not all, of their shopping from the comfort of their homes on their computers and smart devices.

There’s no doubt online shopping is convenient, and it can also be fun. But by following the five tips below, you can feel more empowered and ensure you get the most bang for your buck.

1. Start with a Budget

It can be easy to rack up a huge online shopping bill. When you visit site after site and scour the available inventory, the only barrier is the available credit on your credit card or bank balance backing a debit card. To that end, avoid unconscious purchases by starting off with a budget and being realistic about how much you can afford to spend.

2. Compare Before Buying

Whether you shop online or in-person for just about anything, comparison shopping always tends to be a smart strategy. One online retailer may offer similar merchandise at a better price than another, or your favorite brand-name items might be available for less on one website versus another.

Sites like shopping.com or pricegrabber.com contain a wealth of information about a wide range of products. That’s why it’s especially important to research companies with which you’re unfamiliar. Reading expert reviews can also be helpful; however, buyers should be mindful that influencers are often compensated for their reviews, which might affect their objectivity.

3. Resist Sale “Bargains”

Everyone loves a bargain, and it can certainly feel great to land a solid deal on an item that you need or want. That’s fine. What isn’t fine, though, is buying something just because it’s on sale. Vouchers, rebates and other sales offers are designed to make shoppers spend more money, not less. No matter how inexpensive an item may be, it’s no bargain if it goes unused or gathers dust in an unopened box.

4. Check Customer Reviews

Reviews from paying customers can provide a candid assessment of items that can enhance the online shopping experience. In particular, online customer reviews can reveal information like whether garments run true to size or if a merchant provides excellent customer service. If reviews contain multiple references to potential scams or complaints about deceptive practices, consider shopping elsewhere.

5. Buying Undies Online

Buying undergarments in a store can be an embarrassing and frustrating experience. After all, who wants to strip down in a store dressing room to try on a bra under harsh fluorescent lights that reveal every bump and bulge? Plus, buying underwear in a store can be a guessing game, especially when it comes to bras.

That’s why it may be surprising to learn that it can be easier to find a well-fitting bra by shopping online compared to a store. Customer reviews are often helpful because they frequently contain information such as the woman’s age and height and weight, which can be used for comparison.

In addition, online retailers typically offer a wider range of cup and band sizes online than in brick-and-mortar stores. Thus, a woman who is a 38 DD will be just as likely to find a bra that fits than a woman with smaller proportions. Online sites provide a one-stop shopping experience for women to buy everything from pretty bra and panty sets to bodysuits and accessories.

The Joys of Shopping Online

While online shopping can be convenient and a lot of fun, setting a budget reduces the risk of unconscious clicking that can run up a huge bill. Additionally, doing some comparison shopping and checking out customer reviews provide valuable information to reduce the risk of being stuck with a poor-quality item or getting poor customer service.

With abundant online information, including detailed customer reviews, even buying underwear online can be surprisingly easy — and prevent you from having to enter any store fitting rooms. Let the online shopping spree begin!