Despite the great popularity and millions of products on the web, online purchases are still a relatively new phenomenon. The number of people starting to purchase on the internet is huge and growing every day, creating great conditions for fraudulent activities. Basic online shopping safety tips can be very useful for beginners and can help you avoid the most common mistakes. Let’s start.
1. Always buy only from reliable stores or sellers. You can easily check their reputation, using any search engine. It’s best to shop in large and well known online supermarkets.
2. Always be suspicious if the price of an item is far below the average market price. This advice may seem obvious, and yet there are still thousands of sites offering the newest phones, cameras, computers and other products at incredibly low prices. And, unfortunately, these “stores”" find their customers. After receiving payment, such store will never send you the product you ordered. Except for the total deception of the customer sometimes such stores sell fakes. Therefore, if an official dealer sells a telephone for £500, and you found a store offering the exact same phone for £200, chances are it’s a fraud.
3. If you bought a product and expect your parcel, the seller should no longer contact you. Therefore, if after the purchase the seller suddenly contacts you and asks for an additional payment for whatever reason – we do not recommend doing this. The reasons may be different. Usually the victim is told that the parcel is held by the customs, and asked to “cover the customs duty.” Remember, after you pay for the order, the parcel must be delivered to you and you should not pay the seller anything else. If there is a need to pay the customs duty – you will be contacted by the customs or postal service representatives, but definitely not the seller.
4. When purchasing in unknown small shops, the service often takes a very long time and the orders are often cancelled. This is not to trick the customer, but be prepared. The reason for the delay and instability lies in the fact that these stores sell goods without having them in stock. A store states that a product is “available,” but in reality orders it from the supplier only after your payment. This category of stores in fact do not sell their own, but resell someone else's goods. Hence the delays and cancellations.
5. During payment, make sure that the connection is encrypted. Any normal site that accepts payments uses encryption. The sign that the connection is encrypted is a blue or green bar in the browser address bar.
6. If you are not 100% certain about a seller, do not pay via bank transfer, Western Union, check or postal order. If you face a fraud when using one of these methods, getting a refund will be almost impossible.
7. Use only recorder mail with the Internet tracking option. For this purpose, before placing the order make sure that the seller or store sends goods via recorder mail. This greatly improves the reliability of the delivery.
8. Always try to insure the parcel. This will help avoid losses if the postal service damages the parcel during the delivery.
9. Upon the delivery, make sure that the parcel contains what you ordered. Do not sign for the parcel, if it does not contain your order. Reject to accept a parcel and get a certificate from the postal service. In case, if the parcel is damaged or its weight differs from the weight stated by the sender – the parcel can be accepted if it is in a satisfactory condition, but it is highly desirable to draw up a statement signed by the delivery service employee with a list of any discrepancies or damages. This will help to get insurance from the service if the contents of the parcel are damaged or there is a shortage.
We hope that these tips will help you. And remember – online shopping can save a lot of money and give you the opportunity to get the exact product you were looking for at the lowest price! And just like in any transaction, compliance with the basic rules (shopping hygiene) will help you avoid a negative experience!
Good luck shopping!