0 6 min 1 week

Millions of people every day shop online. You can join the millions of people, even though you might be reluctant to try. Once you get the hang of how easy it is, and how you can protect yourself, you might find you prefer shopping online than any other way. Here are some tips to get you going.

When shopping online, it is critical that you spend a little time looking into the site that you are considering buying from. You can find information about the site from other sites and the Better Business Bureau. Not researching them could lead to you getting the products you did not order or getting billed more than you should have.

Make sure that when you make a purchase online, you are aware of if the site is secure or not. You do not want your information being compromised in this day and age. Identity theft is quite common, and you must protect your information at all cost so that you wish to keep making purchases online.

When you look at a store that’s new online, make it a point to read over any terms and conditions they may have up along with their privacy policy. These explain to you what the site does with your information. Get in touch with the merchant prior to making a purchase if there is any aspect of these policies you aren’t in agreement with. Never buy from a merchant who has terms you are not willing to agree to.

Never try to shop directly from a link someone sent you in an email, unless it’s a widely known and respected site, like Amazon.com. Too many consumers get tricked into scams via hyperlinks in questionable emails. Visit the URL of the site mentioned in the mail, instead of clicking the link itself.

Before buying from a new online retailer, do some research on them. Check online reviews from other customers to see how it handles items like customer service, shipping, and its overall buying experience. You can also check the BBB to see if it has any disputes and whether those disputes were resolved professionally. Try contacting the company via email and phone number, if it’s posted to ask questions about its business before you buy anything.

When you enjoy the convenience of frequent online shopping, it’s very important to keep changing the passwords you use for each account. Every couple of weeks or so, make up a new password for your bank and the shopping sites directly. Use abstract words, combined with numbers and other odd characters for the strongest passwords.

Always save copies of your orders and receipts from online purchases. Many stores will redirect you to a page after you’ve submitted an order detailing everything that was bought, customer information, the prices, etc. You should either print a copy of this or save a copy to your computer in case any issues arise before the end of the return period. Make sure to save any emails about your items’ status or correspondence with the company regarding your orders, too.

Get familiar with the shipping facts of an online retailer. Their shipping policy should be outlined in a separate section to describe the average time you should get your items, geographic restrictions, shipping choices, possible shipping insurance, and what their shipping and handling fees are. Use all of this information to decide if these costs and options fit well for you, your budget, and your area before you place an order.

Make sure that you check your credit card bill will a fine tooth comb if you make a lot of purchases online. Many people fail to do this and they end up paying hundreds of dollars a year on charges that they did not authorize. This is easier to do if you use just one card for online purchases.

If you do a lot of online shopping, it would be a great idea for you to download an anti-phishing toolbar to your computer. This will help weed out any sites that may be asking you for information with the intent of scamming you. You can find this software all over the Internet for free.

Remember that when you are shopping online, there could be significant costs associated with shipping your item. Always take these costs into account when you are looking for your best price. One website may have a high price, but includes free shipping. The same item on another site may be priced lower, but by the time the shipping costs are added, it is more expensive than the first site.

You might be hesitant to start shopping online, but there’s really no reason to be. This is something that more and more people are doing, with good reason. Make sure you try each of the tips to optimize your shopping experience. You may one day decide that you’re only going to shop this way!