6 Safe Online Shopping Tips In Philippines You Didn’t Know

Online shopping has exploded in popularity across the Philippines in recent years. As an avid online shopper myself, I want to provide you with in-depth online shopping tips in Philippines to help you embrace this trend while avoiding potential pitfalls.

In this extensive article, we’ll go over how to select the best e-commerce platforms, secure your payments, find Philippines deals and discounts, protect your personal information, recognize scams, use reviews, and much more. Follow these tips for online shopping in Philippines to become a savvy, informed online consumer!

Tip 1. Choose Trusted Online Shopping Platforms 

When getting started with online shopping, it’s crucial to stick to established e-commerce platforms that are well-known and trusted here in the Philippines. There are a few major players that most consumers flock to. Let’s explore the top options in depth:

Lazada and Shopee are likely the two most widely used online shopping sites by Filipinos today. Both platforms offer an absolutely massive range of products from top brands and sellers across all categories. 

I personally find the interfaces of Lazada and Shopee very easy to navigate. They have clearly laid out product categories and intuitive search filters to help you find exactly what you need out of the millions of listings. You can seamlessly shop using the Lazada and Shopee mobile apps or desktop websites.

Some key factors I consider when evaluating an online shopping platform include:

  • Number of users – you want a site with an active user base for more selection.

  • Product range and categories – broader is better to meet all your needs in one place.

  • Consumer reviews and ratings – this helps gauge the quality of products and sellers.

  • Built-in security features – like verified sellers and escrow payments.

  • Return policies and consumer protections – for peace of mind in case of issues.

  • Payment options – variety of payment methods offered.

  • Mobile app features – having a companion app improves convenience.

Both Lazada and Shopee excel across all these criteria, which explains their tremendous popularity in the Philippines. However, there are other excellent online shopping options to consider for specific needs:

  • Zalora– for fashion and beauty products. Huge range from top brands.

  • BeautyMNL – specialized cosmetics, skincare, and beauty site. Authentic products.

  • SHEIN – known for global fashion and beauty products.

Take some time to browse and create accounts on one or more of these platforms to find the right fit based on your personal preferences and shopping habits.

Create Accounts And Get Familiar With Platform Navigation

Once you’ve selected one or more preferred online shopping sites, it’s time to set up your accounts. The process is quick and easy:

  • Go to the website or download the mobile app for the platform.

  • Sign up by providing your email address or mobile number and creating a password.

  • For security, make sure your password is strong and unique using a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols. Consider using a password manager app.

  • Enter your basic personal details like name, address, and contact info as requested.

After account creation, take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with how to navigate the platform:

  • Explore the homepage, product category listings, and main site menu. See what sections interest you.

  • Try out the search and advanced filtering functions. Test searching for a few sample products.

  • Understand how to access your account, profile, orders, wishlists, payment methods, and other settings.

  • Go through the checkout process with a test item to understand the ordering flow before committing to buy.

Spend some time getting comfortable with the platform navigation – this will make your actual shopping experience much smoother.

Installation And Usage Of Companion Mobile Apps

A major benefit offered by shopping sites like Lazada and Shopee is having companion mobile apps available. Here are some tips on using their apps effectively:

  • Download the app from Google Play Store or Apple App Store onto your smartphone. Search for the shopping site name (i.e., “Lazada App”).

  • Allow necessary permissions like notifications access during app setup. This will allow you to get alerts on deals.

  • Browse the app and get familiar with the design. Create your account if you haven’t already. 

  • Enable fingerprint or face recognition login for quick, secure access every time you open the app.

  • Allow notifications to be turned on so you don’t miss out on Lazada Flash deals, promotional alerts and Lazada coupons.

  • Learn to easily switch between app and browser access if you want to shop across devices. 

Having the mobile apps makes online shopping super convenient anytime, anywhere. I highly recommend downloading the apps of your favorite platforms to amplify your experience.

online shopping tips in Philippines - A photo of a Filipino couple using a credit card on a laptop

Tip 2. Secure Your Online Payments 

You want to make sure your payment information stays protected if you want a safe online shopping experience. Here are some top online shopping tips and strategies in Philippines to keep your finances secure:

Review Your Payment Options  

The major online shopping platforms like Lazada and Shopee offer customers a variety of payment methods to choose from, including:

  • Credit or debit cards – Pay directly with your Visa, MasterCard, etc. Easy but less secure.

  • Mobile wallet – Link e-wallets like GCash or PayMaya to pay securely. Recommended method.

  • Cash on delivery – Pay with cash when the order is delivered. Only for reputable sellers.

  • Bank transfers – Direct bank-to-bank transfers via Instapay or PESONet.

  • Over-the-counter payment – Pay at convenience stores, payment kiosks, and banks. Provides receipt.

I highly recommend using mobile wallet services like GCash or PayMaya as much as possible when shopping online. These services let you generate a disposable virtual card number to use specifically for one transaction, adding a great layer of payment security versus entering your actual credit card details directly on sites.

Keep a close eye on your mobile wallet balance as you shop and pay using GCash or PayMaya to easily track spending. Top up your wallet as needed and avoid linking your main bank account or cards to mobile wallets for isolation.

Identify And Avoiding Payment Scams 

As online shopping grows in popularity, payment scams and fraud tactics have unfortunately arisen as well, making us ask ourselves is online shopping is safe in Philippines. Some common examples include:

  • Phishing links – fake login pages asking for account or payment info. Always verify URLs.

  • Malware downloads – files infected with viruses or info-stealing programs. Never download from unverified sources.

  • Fake shopping sites – scam websites dressed up to look like legitimate stores. Research carefully before purchasing.

  • Invoice scams – emails with fake payment notifications or invoices to obtain data. Carefully check the sender address and site legitimacy before clicking any links.

Some general red flags to watch out for are unsecured website URLs without “HTTPS,” suspicious discounts that seem too good to be true, pressure tactics to act quickly or risk missing out, and payment options limited to direct bank transfer or cash on delivery only.

If you ever have suspicions about a payment request, DO NOT PROCEED. This is one of the online shopping tips in Philippines you must remember every time.

Remember: It is always better to miss out on a deal than risk your financial information being compromised by a scam.

Sulit Online Deals

Manage Your Payment Settings And Options

Once you complete an online purchase, I recommend going into your account settings on that website to remove any saved payment options if you do not plan to shop there again soon. This gives an added layer of security. 

You can easily re-enter your payment details next time you use the site. I also advise enabling multi-factor authentication or login approvals on all accounts whenever available for extra security.

In general, try not to save payment information across too many websites or accounts unless completely necessary. The less credentials stored, the better for payment security.

Be vigilant in monitoring all your financial accounts routinely for any unauthorized charges or suspicious activity. Take prompt action if you detect any potential fraud. Enabling transaction notifications via SMS or email can also help catch issues early.

tips for online shopping in the Philippines - A photo of a voucher on a laptop screen

Tip 3. Find Sulit Online Deals, Discounts And Promotions

One of the big advantages of shopping online is getting access to great online deals Philippines through discounts, sales, promo codes, and more. Here are some savvy strategies to maximize savings:

Hunt For Coupons, Discount Codes And Voucher Deals

It is well worth spending a little time hunting for the latest promo codes, online coupons, and discount vouchers before making purchases. There are many coupon aggregator sites and deal blogs specifically focused on collating Philippines e-commerce offers across major platforms like Lazada and Shopee. 

I suggest browsing a few of these sites to discover available promo codes and voucher deals before buying. Just be sure to double-check that any coupons are verified and active before attempting to use them at checkout. Some key online shopping tips when hunting for coupons and vouchers are:

  • Actively search for relevant terms like “Lazada promo code 2024” or “Shopee discounts beauty.” Include the current year or month.

  • Check whether any posted codes have an expiration date and avoid expired ones.

  • Read the fine print for any usage terms and conditions, like minimum purchase amounts.

  • Look for coupons that can be stacked on top of existing discounts or sales for maximum savings.

  • Search for both general site-wide promo codes as well as category or product-specific codes.

  • Once applied, screenshot voucher codes for your records in case of issues at checkout.

  • Be cautious of unfamiliar coupon sites. Stick to reputable deal blogs that are known and regularly updated.

Dedicated persistence in searching for the best promo codes before every online purchase can lead to huge savings over time.

Identify Seasonal Sales And Major Shopping Events

In addition to hunting for coupons and discount codes year-round, another online shopping tip in Philippines is to keep your eye out for special mega sale periods and annual shopping events. Mark your calendars and prepare in advance to grab the best deals during these peak retail seasons:

  • 11.11 (November 11) – Also known as Singles’ Day, the massive 11.11 sale regularly offers 50-90% discounts across Lazada, Shopee and other sites. It’s the biggest shopping day of the year in the Philippines. 

  • 12.12 (December 12) – Very similar offers as 11.11, giving a second chance for huge year-end deals and Christmas shopping savings.

  • 8.8 (August 8) – Mid-Year Mega Sale event, great for scooping up deals during the back-to-school season and clearing older stock.

  • Month-long Sales – Such as Lazada’s 8th Birthday Sale every March or Shopee’s 9.9 Sale in September. Deep discounts all month long.

  • Sulit Sweldo Sale – A special sale event offering fantastic deals and discounts, perfect for making the most of your paycheck.

  • 10.10 (October 10) – Linked to double digits for big savings, popular for tech and gadget purchases.

Create deal alerts and wishlists on your preferred shopping platforms well in advance so you are notified right away when big seasonal sales open for registration.

Be strategic in how you shop – have a spending budget in mind and focus on buying discounted necessities first before splurging. The more prepared you are, the bigger savings you can score during the peak shopping periods.

Compare Prices Across Multiple Sites

Another useful online shopping tip in Philippines to ensure you get the absolute lowest price on an item is to use comparison shopping. Check pricing across multiple online stores for the exact same product. 

There are a few handy tools and techniques to enable quick price comparisons:

  • Use Google Shopping tab – Easy price checking across Lazada, Shopee, and other sites.

  • Browser extensions – Apps like PriceTrackr show price history and comparisons automatically.

  • Cashback portals like ShopBack – See aggregated product listings and lowest prices.

  • Join online shopping Facebook groups – Facebook profiles like Good Vibes often post price checks, good online deals, and even articles to make your online shopping experience to the top level.

  • Manually search the product on 2-3 major sites – Tedious but effective.

When comparing prices, be sure to factor in:

  • Base product price – Obviously, lower is better. 

  • Shipping fees – Some sites offer free shipping above spend minimums. 

  • Platform vouchers and promo codes – These can make an otherwise more expensive listing cheaper.

  • Credit card discounts – Some cards offer Lazada or Shopee rebates.

With a bit of extra effort, using price comparison tactics can help you score the absolute rock-bottom pricing.

how to online shop in Philippines safe - A photo of a hacker in a hoodie

Tip 4. Protect Your Personal Data And Online Security

Safeguarding your personal privacy and account security should be a top priority when shopping online. Follow these best practices:

Secure Your Accounts With Strong Passwords

Your online shopping accounts contain valuable personal information like addresses, payment details, purchase history, and more. Keep them locked down by:

  • Using unique, complex passwords for every account – at least 8 characters mixing letters, numbers, and symbols without dictionary words.

  • Avoiding password reuse across different sites to limit the impact of a breach. 

  • Changing passwords routinely every 60-90 days.

  • Using a password manager app to safely generate and store login credentials. 

  • Enabling two-factor authentication for accounts whenever available – requires an extra code from your phone upon logging in for added security.

Following these practices will help prevent unauthorized access to your online shopping profiles.

Cautious Personal Data Sharing  

Be very selective about which personal details you share while creating accounts or making purchases. Provide only what is absolutely mandatory, such as:

  • Legal name – Needed for account setup and delivery

  • Mobile number – For order and payment confirmation through SMS 

  • Email address – Account login and order details 

  • Delivery address – Required to receive purchases

Avoid providing unnecessary information like birth dates, government IDs, contact lists, and so on unless explicitly required for verification. Limiting unnecessary data exposure reduces risks.

Adjust Your Privacy Settings 

Check your account and browser privacy settings. Look for options to limit data access, such as:

  • Disabling location tracking 

  • Blocking cookies from advertisers

  • Opting out of marketing communications 

  • Restricting profile visibility to others

  • Removing saved payment options and login credentials

The more privacy settings you activate, the more data stays safe from potential misuse.

Follow General Online Safety Habits

Some other good security habits include:

  • Access the internet only through secure WiFi networks to avoid MITM (man in the middle) attacks intercepting your data.

  • Use comprehensive and updated antivirus software to prevent malware infections.

  • Avoid clicking on suspicious links in emails, messages, or unreliable websites which could be phishing attempts or malicious files. 

  • Routinely check your bank accounts and credit card statements for any unauthorized charges or suspicious transactions – report any detected immediately.

What To Do If Your Account Is Compromised

Even with the best online shopping tips and precautions in Philippines, online accounts still remain vulnerable. If you experience an account breach, be sure to the the following:

  • Report unauthorized activity to the site and your bank right away.

  • Initiate password resets on the compromised account plus any other accounts sharing that same password. 

  • Enable enhanced security settings like multi-factor authentication and email alerts going forward.

  • Monitor your credit reports and financial statements for any indicators of identity theft.

  • File police reports regarding the breach if needed to facilitate recovering losses via banks or cards.

Being proactive about security minimizes the chances and impact of any potential personal data theft through online shopping accounts.

safe tips for online shopping Philippines - A photo of a hacked girl buyer looking surprised

Tip 5. Avoid Online Shopping Scams

As e-commerce activity grows, so do the online shopping scams designed to take advantage of unsuspecting consumers. Stay alert to avoid falling victim to these fraudulent schemes.

Recognize Common Online Shopping Scams

Some prevalent scams to watch out for include:

  • Phishing – Fake e-commerce sites or login pages specifically designed to steal user credentials and payment details. Often uses URL typo-squatting and official branding illegally.

  • Bait pricing – Extremely low prices are used to attract buyers, only to claim the item is now unavailable and push more expensive alternatives after you contact the seller. 

  • Social engineering – Manipulative communication tactics to manufacture urgency or pressure you into unwise purchases or payments.

  • Triangulation – A third-party account used to make the main scammer seem more legitimate through association.

  • Invoice scams – Emails impersonating shopping sites with fake payment confirmations or unpaid invoice notifications meant to harvest your data.

Red flags to recognize potential online shopping scams in Philippines include prices that seem too good to be true, limited payment options like bank transfer or cash on delivery only, seller urgency tactics, poor or nonexistent website reviews, and broken English grammar or spelling mistakes.

Protect Yourself From Online Shopping Scams 

Here are some online shopping tips in Philippines to avoid falling victim to prevalent e-commerce scams:

  • Verify legitimacy before purchasing from unfamiliar sites – search for reviews, business registration info, Google Maps location, etc. 

  • Avoid wire transfers, remittance transfers, or direct bank deposits unless buying from reputable sites like Lazada and Shopee. These offer little recourse. 

  • Don’t click unfamiliar links in random chat messages, emails or websites advertising deals – common phishing tactics. Manually navigate to trusted sites only.

  • Use credit cards for payment when possible – easier to dispute and reverse fraudulent charges.

  • Don’t fall for high-pressure sales tactics like time-limited offers. Walk away instead.

  • Trust your gut instinct – if something feels questionable, it probably is. Better to miss out on a deal than become a victim.

Report Online Shopping Scams

If you encounter a definite scam attempt, take action quickly to have the fraudulent site blocked or shut down:

  • Report the online store URL, name, and details to Lazada and Shopee to blacklist if impersonating their platforms. 

  • Submit the site to the National Privacy Commission, NBI, and DTI Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau for investigation of business violations.

  • File police reports regarding the scam for documentation to help trace the fraudsters behind it. 

  • Warn friends and followers on social media about new e-commerce scams targeting shoppers to prevent others from being duped.

Being proactive helps curb the spread of online shopping scams, protecting more consumers.

online shopping tips in Philippines - A photo of a man reading online reviews using phone and laptop

Tip 6. Leverage Online Reviews And User-Generated Content

Reviews from fellow shoppers provide additional online shopping tips in Philippines and you can gain helpful insights when deciding what to purchase online. Let’s explore getting the most value from user-generated content:

Evaluate Product Reviews On E-Commerce Platforms

Lazada, Shopee and other shopping platforms allow customers who purchased an item to leave ratings and reviews visible to all site users. When assessing these, I strongly recommend:  

  • Sort reviews by most recent, relevant, and highest rated first to see the latest experiences and top opinions.

  • Check how many total ratings an item has – more is better for confidence in consistency.

  • Read both positive and negative reviews to understand the full spectrum of experiences with a product’s pros and cons.

  • Watch for potential paid or incentivized reviews that skew overly positive. These often lack details.

  • Pay attention to review details like photos, videos, and specific use cases described.

Research Seller And Store Reviews

Beyond individual product reviews, it’s also a good idea to check feedback on the seller or store selling that item. Here are some online shopping tips that will make an expert seller hunter:

  • Look for seller rating indicators on the product listings on e-commerce platforms – shows reputation based on past sales.

  • Search for the seller or store name reviews on Google to uncover additional external feedback on social media or review sites. 

  • Check Facebook and forum discussions for that seller or site to identify recent customer complaints, if any.

  • Steer clear of sellers with very low or negative reputation scores to avoid headaches.

Share Your Own Reviews Post-Purchase

To give back to the e-commerce community, be sure to leave your objective thoughts after receiving your orders:

  • Leave fair product ratings and reviews based on your first-hand experience, listing pros and cons.

  • Upload photos of the actual product to provide other buyers with helpful visuals. Unboxing videos are also popular.

  • Keep reviews constructive – report issues privately to the seller first before posting negative comments publicly.

Your reviews help guide other consumers interested in those items or stores and also help them spot fake products online in Philippines, which can definitely save them time and their hard-earned money.

Online Shopping Tips In Philippines: Conclusion

Online shopping opens up a world of possibilities but also comes with inherent risks if precautions aren’t taken. Use this comprehensive guide to steer clear of pitfalls. Follow the strategies outlined across choosing trusted platforms, securing payments, finding deals, protecting data, avoiding scams, and leveraging reviews.

Apply these online shopping tips in Philippines to confidently purchase goods on the internet, maximizing convenience while minimizing the chances of issues arising. I hope you found this overview helpful. Stay tuned for more online shopping tips to get the best sulit online deals in Philippines. Let me know if you have any other online shopping questions!

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