Top Tips for Internet Shopping
February 4, 2013 1 Comment
With the increased use of the Internet, shopping is becoming a truly global experience, with more and more consumers turning to their computers to buy CDs, computers, clothes and even groceries. Like mail order, people appreciate the convenience of not having to traipse around the shops, and can browse among a huge choice of goods in their own time.
But shopping on the Internet can bring its own problems too.
Our Top 10 Tips for safer on-line shopping.
1) Be very careful when you give your credit or debit card details on the Internet. Always find out whether the company has a secure payment system.
When you get to the point where you’re asked for your personal details and card number, look for the “HTTPS” at the start of the company’s web address and the padlock symbol on your computer’s task bar, this indicates that the web page is using an encrypted system that keeps your details much more secure.
2) Ideally, try to trade with well-known companies, those that you have done business with before, or companies that have been recommended to you.
3) Try to get an actual address and telephone number for a company, not just their E Mail or web address, otherwise you have no way of tracking them down if things go wrong.
4) As with any other type of purchase, shop around for the best deals and prices.
5) Watch out for high postage rates and for other hidden costs, such as VAT and other duty payable, particularly if goods are being sent from abroad.
6) Remember, goods being sent from abroad may take some time to be delivered. Check with the trader how long this will take, and set a delivery date that you must have them by, if that is important.
7) Check what the company’s policy is on returning goods that you don’t like or have changed your mind about. Again, if they have come from abroad, you may be faced with a hefty postage bill to return them.
8) On the subject of buying from abroad, remember that if you have problems like faulty goods or non-delivery, it might be very difficult to get your complaint dealt with. Your contract will be in the country where the trader is, and it obviously isn’t very practical to have to take legal action abroad.
9) For that reason, only buy very expensive items from companies outside the UK or Europe if you know them well – that way, if things do go wrong, you limit the risk.
10) Most importantly, always print out a copy of the order, and keep any terms and conditions that appear on the web site, just in case of any disputes or problems later on.