Friday, 14 March 2014

Tips for Online Shopping

There are many benefits to be enjoyed when using online shopping, two of these are convenience and cost reductions for consumers and businesses.  While more people are becoming confident with online shopping it’s important to know what your rights are and how to stay safe on the Internet. Here are a few tips that will help you with your online purchasing.
  1. Make sure the business or website you’re using is a genuine one. There are many websites that are designed to take your money and offer you nothing in return. Check the company is real online, read their terms and conditions and do your research.
  2. Check the product is legal in your country and that all the warranties and guarantees will still be valid if you’re buying goods from outside your country.
  3. Before you buy check to see what the returns policy is. Will you have to pay for the cost of the returns? How long do you have to return goods and will you have a replacement item sent or have the choice of a full refund?
  4. How much is the item going to cost you in full? Check to see the delivery charges and look to see if you might have to pay any duties or taxes on top. You might be able to reduce the cost by choosing an alternative form of delivery, but often the cheaper rates will take longer for your goods to arrive.
  5. Only share your information on secure websites (look for the SSL certificate and a padlock in the search bar on your browser) and read through their privacy policy. You want to stop your information being shared with third parties or sold on.
  6. Look at the various ways you can contact the company. If problems do occur you want to know you are able to get in touch with them to sort things out quickly. Look for their email address, social network profiles, live chats and phone numbers.
  7. Keep all the records of your online transact ions. Create a folder on your desktop and in your email to store all communications and the invoices/receipts you receive.
  8. If the deal seems too good to be true or the website looks suspicious it probably is. Don’t get conned, look for an alternative source for the goods or services you’re looking for.
These tips should help to keep you shopping happily and confidently online. Remember if in doubt walk away!

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