Ordering Online -- Tips
If you haven't shopped online yet but you would like to, before you
buy that first product, take some time to educate yourself about
Grab a cup of coffee or other beverage and settle down to read the
SafeShopping.org. You will
find information about security, privacy, the seller, and more. Here
are a few highlights from the SafeShopping.org site:
- Security -- only enter your credit card information over a secure
connection. Typically you can tell that the connection is secure by
checking the URL in the Address or Location box at the top of the browser
window (in IE and Netscape). If the URL begins with https (instead of just http), the
connection is secure.
- Privacy -- only do business with companies that have posted a privacy
policy and read that policy before you buy. If you don't agree to the
terms in the agreement, take your business elsewhere. Also, look for
any "opt-in" boxes for newsletters and other offers and uncheck any
that you are not interested in.
- Seller -- do not do business with a company that has SPAMed you.
Reputable merchants do not spam.
- Ordering -- if you do order online, before you click that last
submit button, double check your order. Make sure you have entered
the correct quantities, billing and shipping address, credit card
number, etc. Print out a copy of your order.
- Delivery/Warranty/Liability -- before you buy look for the policies
of how to return an item, etc., and read the terms.
- Customer Service -- identify how you get in touch with the company
if you have a question or a complaint before you buy. Write the
information down and keep it with a copy of your order if you do
Again, the above is just a summary, so please stop by
Another site that provides useful information about online shopping
is the Better Business Bureau. Stop by
Shopping Safely Online
and review the tips. Here are a few items from that page:
- Be careful of offers that urge you to BUY NOW. Reputable merchants will give you
time to make an informed decision rather than merely an impulsive one.
- Know your consumer rights. The same laws that apply when you shop by mail or
phone apply to online shopping.
- Don't rely on a glitzy-looking website as a way to judge the trustworthiness
of a merchant.
Shopping Safely Online
page to get the rest of the BBB's helpful information.
Ordering online can be a great convenience and fun, too. If you do order online, remember
to be smart. If you are particularly nervous about
ordering online, your best bet is to use merchants you have heard of before, like
Amazon.com. Or use the website of a merchant you like from the "brick-and-mortar"
world. Also, you can ask your friends and family about their experiences with ordering
online and try the merchants that they have had good experiences with. Follow the advice
of the two sites mentioned above to help avoid potential problems with online shopping.