(NBC) - Over the next four years, web based retail sales will reach nearly $250 billion dollars. People think online shopping is easier and like be able to shop from the comfort of their homes.
"I think consumers have turned to online shopping because it's so convenient, and the deals can often be better online than in stores," said shopping expert Julie Rome.
What many people don't realize is that shopping online could cost you more time and money, if you decide to return your purchase. Shopping expert Julie Rome says there are a few sites to watch out for.
She likes Victoria's Secret's website because they have a lot of choices. However, you cannot return purchases to their stores. That means you get stuck paying for shipping charges both ways!
"Shopping for electronics can be challenging at stores like Best Buy or Target.com because they will often charge you a restocking fee," said Rome.
Those fees can be as high as 25% of the purchase price. However, most sites now have policies that favor the consumer.
Kelly Whalen of thecentsiblelife.com recommends Amazon.com.
"They have a fantastic interface. It's very easy to return things," she says.
Julie Rome really likes Kohls.com. She says it's one of her favorites because "they have a 'yes we can' attitude which means the consumer comes first."
Even if you don't have your receipt, they can use your bank card or your charge card to look up the item and give you back your money. She also gives her stamp of approval to Nordstrom's.com, citing their customer service.
"They have an unbelievable return policy. Very, very, very liberal. Their shipping promotions are often fabulous -- anywhere from flat rate shipping to free. And you can easily, very easily return any item to the store," says Rome.
The bottom line for online shoppers is to make sure you know the store's return policy before you purchase anything.