How To Do Online Shopping Safely

I want to discuss and give you some pointers as to how to do online shopping safely.

The time available with people for physical shopping has been decreasing day by day. At the same time, the product choices have been increasing requiring people to devote more time to shopping. People are continuously getting more busy and hence the time required for physical shopping has become quite taxing. The products and services available on the internet have been increasing at a tremendous rate. People, now, are getting more and more aware about internet shopping or online shopping.

There are lot of advantages to online shopping. Let us understand what is online shopping and how to do it.

Let me give you a few advantages of online shopping:

  1. No crowds or queues
  2. Substantial time savings
  3. No need to go out of the house. Shop in the comfort of your home.
  4. Easily compare product prices and quality from different retailers. Decide on the cheapest and the best.
  5. Assured of product availability as online stores have interface with their stock positions.
  6. Read unbiased third party reviews of products rather than listening to the hyped-up sales talk of store clerk about a specific product. You get to know the pros as well as the cons of a product through these third party reviews. This allows you to make informed decisions.
  7. No need to go to the Bank or the ATM to withdraw cash for your shopping.

You should be aware of the risks involved in online shopping and what precautions that you need to take.

  1. Ensure that the internet site that you are shopping is a trusted site and should have a highly regarded reputation. These are some of the things that you can check to ensure that it is a trusted site:
    • Sites which are popular and having a good standing always display TrustE certificate on their home page. Sites with TrustE certificate are verified sites.
    • Install a program like McAfee SiteAdvisor. It is free to download and install. Whenever you are surfing a web site, this program will warn you about sites which are suspect or not trust worthy.
    • The site should have a Contact Us page and an About page clearly linking from the Home page. The website should have published the name of the website owner whether an individual or a company, the full postal address of the individual or the company preferably with their telephone contact and the contact email address.
    • The website should have a privacy policy or privacy statement and a terms of use.
  2. Ensure that the site is a secure site. You will know that it is a secure site when the website address starts with https instead of http
  3. The payment processor for the website should again be a trusted name like PayPal, 2CheckOut, etc.
  4. It is better if the retailer or the vendor distributes his products through several trusted ePortals, like, ClickBank, PayDotCom, Commission Junction, LinkShare, Amazon, eBay, etc.
  5. Whenever you make an online purchase, before you close the browser, please take a printout of the receipt and also save the receipt on your hard disk. Also ensure that you have received a confirmation in your email. If you deal through payment processors like PayPal, 2CheckOut, etc, or ePortals as mentioned above, then they will mediate in case of a dispute. Also, getting a refund is much easier.
  6. Avoid making online purchases from an internet cafe, your office or any other public computer. Always do online shopping on your private computer which is not shared with an outside party.
  7. Always use strong passwords and not simple passwords.

In the United States alone, more than ten billion dollars are spent annually by people shopping online. You can actually make online shopping a joyous experience by taking these precautions.

I will again write in the next few days and we will continue to analyze more of the precautions that you need to take while doing online shopping to safeguard your interests.

You need to spend the time doing research on what you want in terms of products, its quality and price range and make buying online a part of your everyday shopping pattern. You can save lot of time, get to spend more time with your family at home, and also you cut down on costs.