We all like to think that we are completely tech savvy and clued up these days, especially when it comes to anything online.
Truth is though, it is very easy to be lulled into a false sense of security and to just assume that everything is OK because it ‘looks’ OK.
There are a few basic rules that you can follow to make sure your shopping experience is going to be awesome, and everything that you hoped it would be.
Let’s take a dive into what you need to know.
You’ve heard it a thousand times, and you know what I mean right?
Always, always, check the address of the site you are buying from. Make sure you’ve not mistyped it and double check that you have a green padlock next to the address of you’re using Chrome. Other browsers may vary, but make sure your address says https. With the ‘s’. Always with the ‘s’.
Https means that all the information you send and receive is encrypted so your credit card details are safe from hackers and prying eyes.
Whilst we are talking about credit cards, always use one when buying online.
Debit cards do NOT give you the same amount of protection.
Purchases made with a credit card are subject to a lot more regulation and accountability on the half of the sellers should anything go wrong.
Credit card transactions can be charged back by you should you receive faulty goods or even if you don’t receive the goods you payed for.
Check Where Your Goods Are Coming From
These days it is very common for things that you buy on the web to not actually come from the same country as the website.
Don’t assume that if you purchase from a UK site that you item will be with you in a jiffy. It may be dispatched from China or another Asian country and shipping times may be significantly longer than you expected.
So always read the ‘shipping’ section of the website. You can usually find this down in the footer at the bottom of the homepage.
If the document is ambiguous and mentions ‘shipping partners’ or ‘dispatched from global warehouses’, then you can be fairly sure that this is a drop shipping site.
There’s nothing wrong with that, but you should know that shipping times may be longer than you expected.
Check The Return Policy
Especially is you are buying clothes, you should read the return policy.
Policies vary wildly from shop to shop.
Things to look out for are ‘re-stocking fees’ and exceptions to the policy. Many restocking fees are quite high, and when combined with return postage you may well decide it’s not worth returning the item.
If you are buying any sort of personal product, clothing or packaged item that could not be resold once opened you should double check the return policy and be absolutely sure you have ordered the right product.
Do Yourself A Favour
Finally, always check for coupons before purchasing. Check on coupon sites and search the website you’re buying from as well.
Take a look at sale items and check for cheaper options elsewhere.
Take a few minutes to get these things right and you’ll save yourself a whole load of hassle later on.