Wednesday, 19 March 2014

What You Need to Know About Online Shopping – Part Three

Today is the final part of our online shopping series, please remember to look back over part one and part two if you’ve missed them for our complete guide.

What’s the Safest Payment Method?
Using a credit card is the safest method of payment when you shop online. If something goes wrong you’ll be protected and you have the right to dispute any charges that are made. You could also use a debit card, check card or ATM card, but these will provide potential thieves with details of your personal bank account, which is something you’ll want to avoid.

To prevent the slightest possibility of transferring money over to someone committing fraud, avoid any company that uses money transfer services (e.g.: Western Union, MoneyGram) for online purchases. Legitimate sellers seldom ask for payments using this method because it is difficult to trace. These types of transfers should only be used when sending money to trusted friends and family but not for shopping online.

Returns, Cancellations and Complaints
Sometimes you may need to return an item or decide to cancel an order, so it’s important to know what the policies are before you confirm your order. Check for:
  • Who is responsible for paying for shipping?
  • Are there restocking charges for return or cancellation order?
  • What are the time limits for returns and cancellations?
  • How long has the company been in business?
  • What are their contact details for complaints?
  • Will you be fully refunded or provided with a replacement or store credit?
  • Is there a warranty on the products and who has to honour the guarantee?
Shipping Facts
Check the way the company intends on shipping your goods. You should be informed of how long the shipment is expected to take. If you aren’t provided with a shipping time frame the company will need to ship the product within a 30 day period or give you an opportunity to cancel the order for a quick refund unless you agree to the delay.  Look for the shipping facts on the website or call the company if you’re unable to see:
  • If there are various shipping options?
  • Who pays for the shipping?
  • If there are shipping restrictions
  • Shipping insurance information
  • The fees for shipping and handling 
If in doubt call the company but always trust your instincts. If you have a bad feeling about a website look for a different merchant that is more trustworthy. 

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