In support of Financial Capability Month, the Receivables Management Association International (RMAI) presents the following information. RMAI also provides resources on the Consumers webpage of the RMAI website and at FinancialLiteracy.Rocks. Additional information on this topic and more is available online from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. 

Shopping online has become a way of life and major convenience for many Americans. From grocery delivery to same day delivery, knowing what is essential is an important step to making sound financial decisions.

Five Tips for Online Shoppers

Algorithms are the mathematical programs running 24/7 behind your internet searches that are responsible for presenting you with ads they think you will like.

Marketers use algorithms to figure out what you like, when you like to buy, and the exact price point that triggers your decision to go to your cart and make the purchase.

Here are some tips for when you do decide to shop online.

  • Ignore the pop-up ads. They are designed to appeal to your interests. They rarely present you with deals on the essential items you need such as food to feed your family or gas to fill your tank.
  • Understand the promos. BOGO (buy one get one free), two for one, 50% or more, and family size are just a few of the example’s marketers use to lure you into making a purchase. The truth is, they only amount to savings if you discipline yourself to not impulse shop for other items that are not on sale.
  • Avoid website links: Most reputable online companies do not provide shoppers with any reason to click a link or move to another website. This is why you should only buy from well-known, established companies.
  • Always place orders from a secure connection: Know the merchant and their reputation. Avoid offers that seem “too good to be true.” If you are buying a gift card, read the terms and conditions and never buy from a store that requires more information than necessary to make the sale.
  • Plan for Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) if you use it: BNPL is an option that allows you to take possession of an item immediately and pay over time. It is essentially a loan. If you use BNPL, be sure you can make the payments and know whether interest and fees will be charged in addition to the cost of the item.

Shopping online can be an excellent way for you and your family to avoid brick and mortar shopping and to save time. But the costs of using the delivery services can add up. If you need to have your online purchases delivered, make sure you buy as much as you can afford at a time. Reducing the number of deliveries can help you save money on delivery charges.

About Receivables Management Association International

Receivables Management Association International (RMAI) is a nonprofit trade association representing more than 600 businesses that support the purchase, sale, and collection of performing and nonperforming receivables on the secondary market. The RMAI Receivables Management Certification Program and Code of Ethics set the global standard within the receivables industry due to the rigorous uniform standards of best practice which focus on protecting consumers.

More information about RMAI is available at