Saturday, January 27, 2007

Tips in Online Shopping

Here's a list of tips you should consult when shopping online:

1.Trust your instincts
If you don't feel comfortable buying or bidding on an item over the web, or if you feel pressured to place your order immediately, maybe you shouldn't.

2.Be knowledgeable about web-based auctions
Take special care to familiarize yourself not only with the rules and policies of the auction site itself but with the legal terms (warranties, refund policy, etc.) of the seller's items that you wish to bid on.

3.Double check pricing
Be suspicious of prices that are too good to be true. Also consider carefully whether you may be paying too much for an item, particularly if you're bidding through an auction site. You may want to comparison shop, online or offline, before you buy. Make sure there are not extra shipping or handling costs.

4.Find and read the privacy policy
Read the privacy policy carefully to find out what information the seller is gathering from you, how the information will be used, and how you can stop the process

5.Review the return, refund, and shipping and handling policies as well as the other legal terms
If you can't find them, ask the seller through an e-mail or telephone call to indicate where they are on the site or to provide them to you in writing. See Legal Terms.

6.Make sure the Internet connection is secure
Before you give your payment information, check for indicators that security software is in place. See Security.

7.Use the safest way to pay on the Internet
Pay for your order using a credit card. See Payment.

8.Print the terms
You should print out and date a copy of terms, conditions, warranties, item description, company information, even confirming e-mails, and save them with your records of your purchase. See Record keeping.

9.Insure the safe delivery of your item
If you're concerned you may not be home when your package is delivered and that someone may take it if it is left on the doorstep, ask whether you can specify that the shipper must receive a signature before leaving the package. Or, it may be safer to have the package delivered to your office. See Delivery.

10.Inspect your purchase
Look at your purchase carefully as soon as you receive it. Contact the seller as soon as possible if you discover a problem with it. Tell the seller in writing about any problems you have, ask for a repair or refund, and keep a copy of your correspondence. See Legal Terms.

11.Do you know to whom to complain or contact if you are not satisfied or have a question?
Check the site for a customer service page, "contact us" link, e-mail address, or phone number to get your complaint addressed or questions answered. If you have a complaint, ask for what you think is fair – even if it’s more than the legal terms stated. A merchant isn’t forbidden from doing more than required to make the customer happy.

Online shopping can be a real delight when everything goes smoothly. Check the Online Downloads for more information.