Have you ever bought a product or service on the Internet?
Yes? I also. You’re not alone …
Some of the reasons most people buy online are: they can buy anything at any time because Internet shopping is available 24/7.
You can buy from the comfort of your home. You can avoid traffic and crowds in shopping centers.
Shopping online is one of the best ways to locate hard-to-find items that are not available in your local stores.
Everything you buy can be mailed to your home.
Most online stores and businesses offer great values and discount prices because they don’t have to pay the overhead of owning a brick-and-mortar business that will cost them insurance, employee pay, taxes, and more.
VeriSign, Inc. says online sales during the major holiday shopping season were approximately $ 2.2 billion.
According to a study by Forrester Research Company, by 2010, online sales will reach $ 331 billion.
Today, more consumers shop online than a year ago. The range of products they buy are many: software, hardware, electronics, digital products, music, toys, e-books, books, programs, DVDs, flowers, pets, jewelry, clothes, airline tickets, insurance, cars, prescription drugs, comics, games, gifts and more.
They are flocking to buy from online bookstores, software stores, online computer stores, destination stores, pet stores, liquor stores, drug stores, music stores, furniture stores, fabric stores, the Disney store, retail stores. outlet, surplus stores, discount stores, thrift stores, gift stores, candy stores, lingerie stores, sports stores, video stores, sex stores, department stores, game stores, clothing stores and others .
Be a smart and savvy online shopper. Buy wisely and safely.
Here are some tips to help you shop safely online.
(1) Shop the websites of companies you know and are popular offline.
If you are unsure about the company, ask for their catalog or brochure first.
Make sure they have a physical address and phone number, as well as an email address. Call them and talk to a human first.
Check the yellow pages and Better Business Bureaus to make sure the business is legitimate.
Please read all the fine print and refund policy before placing an order.
You can read about product reviews and what other buyers have to say about a business at:
http://www.epinions.com, http://www.consumersearch.com, http://www.productopia.com, http://www.deja.com
Here are some internet buying agent sites:
[http://www.comparenet.com], [http://vo.infospace.com], http://bottomdollar.com
To read reviews on shopping stores, regarding ease of use, pricing, selection, and service, go to:
http://www.gomez.com, http://www.bizrate.com, http://www.ratingwonders.com
To read about commercial scams on the web and get help avoiding being a victim, go to:
http://www.fraud.org, http://www.bbbonline.org, http://www.webassured.com
(2) Keep a record of all your purchases.
Most people are disorganized by nature and cannot keep records. Learn to keep records of all your online purchases. This will help you keep track of your spending and purchases.
Print all receipts or save them on your computer in a folder called “receipts”.
This will help you locate the orders that you placed but were never delivered.
The more organized you are, the less negative online shopping experience you will have.
(3) Keep all your important personal information safe.
Do not give them to strangers who may call you on the phone or request them by email.
Personal information includes: your address, email address, phone number, social security number, driver’s license, age, information about your family.
Don’t give them to strangers, and also teach your kids not to.
(4) Keep your passwords private.
When creating a password, avoid using phone numbers, dates of birth, or social security numbers.
Be creative. Use a password that is not easy for others to guess and yet is not easy for you to forget.
Change your passwords frequently. Use phrases to help you remember them.
Do not reveal passwords to anyone.
(5) Use a credit card (but never a debit card) to make your payment.
Be sure to save all receipts for credit card payments. Check your credit card account statements to detect any unauthorized charges.
When you buy certain goods and services from some companies, sometimes they will continue to bill you thereafter. So scrutinize your statements. If you see a charge that you are unsure about, call the billing merchant and check it out.
Keep your credit cards safe.
Avoid making a payment with your credit card on a public computer.
Report any lost credit cards immediately and cancel. Do not give anyone who does not know your credit card number.
(6) Please read the return policy before placing an order.
Make sure you read and understand the warranty and return policy.
(7) Read and understand the company’s privacy statement (or policy).
A privacy statement tells you how and why a company collects your information and how that information may be used.
You can find the company’s privacy statement (or policy) at the bottom of the home page or within its “Terms and Conditions” or “Terms of Service” (TOS).
(8) Please use a secure browser and server.
Make sure the browser you are using complies with industry security standards, such as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).
This security protocol encrypts or encrypts the personal information you send over the Internet to ensure that your transaction is protected.
How to know if the server is secure where you make a payment?
If a website uses secure technology, its web address begins with https and a small closed padlock appears in the lower right corner of the screen.
(9) Check out some stores and compare prices before you buy.
Look for hidden costs like shipping and handling.
(10) Use the Yahoo search engine for all your searches.
Yahoo is still, not only the biggest online company, but also the best search engine.
Unlike the other popular search engine, which keeps companies in a sandbox for many months and refuses to give them rankings for many months, Yahoo is pro business and offers immediate rankings to companies and businesses.
Your search result is excellent too. That may be one of the reasons why 60% of people online (including me) love Yahoo!
In addition, they have the best and most reliable hosting service in the world.
For these reasons, I highly recommend that you use Yahoo for all your searches.
Happy and safe online shopping.