Thursday, 23 August 2012

Tips for shopping safely online

More and more people are choosing to shop line rather than in physical shops.  I often do most of my shopping online.  As a mum with children I know the pain of having to take them shopping with me.

So here are my top tips for shopping safely online:

  1. Choose a reputable retailer - If you haven't heard of a retailer before, read reviews to find out what other consumers thought of their service.  Check if it is a bricks and mortar shop with an online presence and ring them to confirm this.
  2. Antivirus Software -If you don't have an antivirus program installed on your computer, that should be the place to start before you shop and give out valuable personal information like your credit card number. 
  3. If you don't feel comfortable buying or bidding on an item over the web, or if you feel pressured to place your order immediately, maybe you shouldn't. 
  4. If it seems too good to be true, it often is!  Check the prices for individual items such as Latest Pandora Charms in local shops as well as other online retailers.
  5. Pay by credit card - Paying by credit card will give you extra protection for anything you buy over the value of £100.00. So in case your product arrives damaged or you have problems, your credit card company will help you rectify the problem.
  6. Padlock - Always ensure when you are entering card details, you can see a locked padlock or unbroken key symbol next to the address bar or at the bottom of the page.  Double clicking on the padlock symbol will display further security information for the site.
  7. Review the return, refund, and shipping and handling policies as well as the other legal terms . If you can't find them, ask the seller through an e-mail or telephone call to indicate where they are on the site or to provide them to you in writing
  8. Print the terms. You should print out and date a copy of terms, conditions, warranties, item description, company information, even confirming e-mails, and save them with your records of your purchase.
  9. Print and save confirmation documents - Once you have made an online purchase, you will receive a confirmation order number or email. It is important that you print and save this information in case you need to chase up the order.
  10. Ensure the safe delivery of your item. If you're concerned you may not be home when your package is delivered and that someone may take it if it is left on the doorstep, ask whether you can specify that the shipper must receive a signature before leaving the package

The office of fair trading has a great information document about shopping safely online

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