Shopping online from the convenience of your own home is one of the miracles bestowed upon us by the internet. We can easily buy anything from our weekly groceries to our automobiles with just the click of a mouse. However, with the ease of online shopping come some risks–identity theft, false advertising, and scams to name a few. Keep reading to learn how to reap the rewards of online shopping while protecting yourself and scoring great deals.
When shopping online, it is critical that you spend a little time looking into the site that you are considering buying from. You can find information about the site from other sites and the Better Business Bureau. Not researching them could lead to you getting the products you did not order or getting billed more than you should have.
Before buying from a new online retailer, do some research on them. Check online reviews from other customers to see how it handles items like customer service, shipping, and its overall buying experience. You can also check the BBB to see if it has any disputes and whether those disputes were resolved professionally. Try contacting the company via email and phone number, if it’s posted to ask questions about its business before you buy anything.
Don’t give out your SSN when shopping online. No shopping websites should ever ask for this extremely personal piece of information. If you are asked for it, you are being scammed. Leave this site, and find one that has a better reputation.
When you’re shopping online you have to be sure that you know who you’re buying from. If you’re buying on an online auction site, only buy from people that have positive feedback. On other sites look to see if they are a reputable company by looking for reviews on them online.
When you enjoy the convenience of frequent online shopping, it’s very important to keep changing the passwords you use for each account. Every couple of weeks or so, make up a new password for your bank and the shopping sites directly. Use abstract words, combined with numbers and other odd characters for the strongest passwords.
If you are going to be doing some shopping online, make sure you understand the liability for each credit card you use online. Many credit cards have automatic fraud prevention built in while others offer it for a minimal fee. You do not want to get stuck with purchases made on your card if the number is stolen.
If you’re making an online purchase, don’t hesitate to contact customer service if you have a question. By contacting customer service before you make your order, you’ll find out how helpful customer service is and how quickly they respond. This is useful information to have in the event that something goes wrong after you’ve made your purchase.
Try to make online purchases only with companies you are already familiar with. Chances are, a store you go to on a regular basis probably has a safe website. But, if you go to a website you know nothing about, you are putting your personal information, like your credit card info, at risk.
Make sure you read the return policy before buying online. Some online purchases can have different return policies than you normally see. This is especially true if you are buying from an online auction store like eBay. Take the additional time to look into what your return rights are so that you aren’t surprised later.
Many companies offer promotional codes that can get you free shipping or a certain percentage off your total, but you may have to do some searching to find these codes! Do a search for the name of the company plus ‘promotion code’ to see what you can find – you could wind up saving a few bucks with one simple click!
If you haven’t noticed the little padlock in the address bar as you shop for trusted sites, start paying attention. This will keep you very safe when you are going through the process. Although nothing is fool-proof, this safety mechanism does help.
No reputable company should ask for or need your social security number simply for shopping purposes. Therefore, make it a practice never to give out your SSN online. If you are making a purchase and you are asked for this number, do not continue. You are probably on a scam site, and you should not complete the transaction.
Choose an online store that offers fast shipping. Some stores might take up to a week to ship the product you ordered. You should be able to find more details about shipping if you read through the FAQ section of the online store or contact the customer service before purchasing a product.
Sign up on coupon sites that will send you alerts if coupons of your favorite retailers are available. This is a great way to not miss out on any deals that you can take advantage of. These deals usually come in the form of a digital coupon code good for a limited time only. So, sign up for alerts to take full advantage of them.
Online shoppers can often take advantage of terrific end-of-season deals. As is the case in regular stores, online venues must get last season’s items out the door to make room for new items. For this reason, they will charge less.
As you are well aware, shopping online from your home computer or mobile device is highly convenient. You don’t have the hassle of dealing with traffic or lines at the store. However, certain risks come with online shopping. You now know how to avoid these risks and fully enjoy the online shopping experience.