To this day many are reluctant to shop online, and for very good reason too. Security concerns, merchant integrity, accurate product sizing and descriptions etc.
However if you have been able to shop online successfully and without incident then as they say the world is your Oyster! You have the ability to obtain the best prices or the best quality globally and have them delivered to your doorstep. But how does one shop safely and securely?
Here are a few tips :-
- Do the research on the merchants you are thinking of dealing with i.e. check out forums or reviews if any. Or simply doing a google search on the merchant name to see if you get any negative hits.
- Are their contact numbers, address, email, hours of operation all readily available? Better sites even have live chat available!
- More established merchants will have secure log-in and account creation, secure shopping carts and order tracking.
- Do they have a product review section? Usually bigger and more established merchants have them.
- Don’t be fooled by Testimonial sections as they can be easily self created, however some genuine testimonials sections would include those with problem resolutions.
- Accurate Sizing Charts and International Conversions should be available – Also notes and tips on sizing should be prominently displayed. I found a Tshirt site that even gets customers to review the sizes they bought and these are prominently displayed beside each and every Tshirt. egs XL for product id 2130A fits half a size smaller!
- Secure Online payment modes
What it all boils down to, is your comfort level in dealing with the merchants. I have become a loyal customer of some merchants not just because they have provided me with a hassle free shopping experience but in some cases they have great after sales customer service. Also when things go wrong, they provided me with a swift and timely resolution sometimes even beyond my expectations.
More Secure Ways Of Paying With Your Credit Card
here are some new ( i.e. new to some) and perhaps different ways:-
- Shop only at merchants who use Verified By Visa or Mastercard SecureCode
- Sign Up With Paypal and Pay using this option if available by the merchant.
- Use Google Checkout -merchants do not see your credit card details at all. Only if this option is available for the merchant.
- Sign Up For A Virtual Card and top only the amount you want to use. Then provide the Virtual Card number etc to the merchant when you checkout. There are a few available, but I currently have only tried and used Entropay and so far without incident.
Have fun shopping!…..Oh feel free to send some gifts my way if you like..*grins*