Shopping online has become something we take for granted in the years since Amazon, Buy.com and Yahoo Shopping hung out their online shingles. academictask I have found some great bargains online but like you, I sometimes wonder whether the site I am using is completely safe. Here are a few things I do to make my online shopping as safe as I possibly can.
Stick to the familiar
I tend to buy from a short list of sellers where I have found the shopping experience to be easy and the service prompt. My purchases include items from auction sites and I limit them to sellers who have 99% or above approval ratings. Any online seller with a lower rating prompts me to look at the complaints from previous shoppers. If too many online buyers grouse about delivery times, return policies and charges to their credit cards, I usually move on to the next seller.
My short list of online shopping sites include well known brick and mortar stores who have a known policy for addressing issues. buycbdonline Otherwise I purchase from highly regarded online sellers who have been around since internet shopping was in its infancy. I find it never hurts to take my time reading the fine print and on the one occasion I failed to do that, I ended up paying too much for an item that was, to put it mildly, not properly displayed.
Sweat the details
You may also want to read the return policy of some shopping sites as you may end up paying a restocking fee if the order you placed was not what you intended. Make sure you understand the charges for shipping and handling just in case the total bill turns out to be less than the stellar bargain you envisaged.
You may want to pay attention to the site’s security measures. Look for a padlock display in your toolbar to tell whether the seller is using secure server technology to protect your credit card information before you enter it. It also helps if the seller displays endorsements from security rating providers at the bottom of the page. While security measures do not guarantee your private information won’t be hijacked in transmission, they do offer some measure of protection. betechsoul Of course there is no protection if you are lured by a phishing site that mimics the intended online seller and trick you into making a “purchase” on a site that is almost a carbon copy of the legitimate sellers’.
Once you have decided that the coast is clear, go ahead and hit the submit button (remember to click only once) and by all means, print a copy of the order you just made. influenciveaffairs I have found it useful to download rebate forms at the same time and I usually start filling these out as I log off the online shopping site.
Paying by credit card
Some protection is offered from deceptive sellers if you pay by credit card as you are usually only held liable for the first $50 of your purchase. Your credit card company will investigate any complaint you may have with respect to charges or deceptive representation of goods you bought. I prefer to use an online payment site as a proxy for my purchases from new sellers. rumpletec I am fairly confident in the measure of protection they offer and I haven’t been disappointed yet. With that being said, it’s a prudent move to check your monthly credit card statement carefully, to ensure you aren’t being slammed with some questionable charges.
Registering with a seller
Most online stores require you to register before you make a purchase. If you don’t want to be nagged by emailed offers later on, look for the opt-out box that most sellers provide. I have found it useful to use an email address that I call my junk box and that is usually loaded up with nonsense offers from online sellers of all types.
Whether you are likely to return to the site or not, make sure you use a reasonably secure password made up of both numbers and letters. And try to avoid using easily remembered numbers like your social security number or drivers license.
You never want to assume anything when shopping online. Make sure you take as many safety precautions as possible. If you find yourself in a predicament, call the Federal Trade Commission or visit their website and fill out a complaint form. As in the brick and mortar world, it pays the buyer to beware.