Online shopping has been a fad since the popularity of the internet. It has provided convenience to consumers in more ways than one. Similar when paying for your bills thru the internet or online banking, online shopping allows shopping at the luxury of your own home. Online stores also offer to take care of your delivery needs. This is a big plus for those with no car of their own. An item purchased online gets delivered right at your doorsteps.
Before venturing into online shopping, first visit multiple online stores. Different online stores offer different packages and promotions to encourage the consumer to purchase. Discounts and free items are common promotional gimmicks. Visiting different online stores may be taxing but it is worth your while.
With the popularity of online shopping online fraud is also abundant. Online consumers need to be vigilant and discriminating when deciding to purchase online items. There are many ways to protect oneself from internet fraud.
Selecting a store is not that difficult, a consumer just needs to do a few checks to ensure eligibility of the internet store. To check if an internet store is legitimate online buyers must first do a background check. Verify if the mailing address exists. Be wary of those who only provide post office box addresses as it may be difficult to trace these stores. Also look for third party seals of approvals. These seals of approvals guarantee that the online store exists and is capable of doing online transactions. Third party companies like BBBonline, Verisoft and Truste provide seals of approval for a minimum fee. Try looking for the logos of these companies and you are assured of a safe purchase.
Another tip to prevent internet fraud is to join forums and group discussions. Know what other consumers say, learn from their experiences and verify if it is worth purchasing from that particular store.
Online shopping requires electronic payment modes. Electronic payments such as credit cards, PayPal, electronic wallet and online banking are popular modes of purchasing online. Note that online consumers need not divulge pertinent and personal information. Online shops should only require information that is relevant to the transaction. Information such as address, credit card numbers and contact information is necessary especially if door-to-door delivery is required. Social security numbers, bank account numbers or names of your family members are not needed. Be cautious of sites that require this information.
Check if the website is secured. One way to verify is to check the web address. Secured websites are preceded by https rather than http. An https website uses Extended Validation SSL certificates. SSL certificates ensure that any information requested by the website is secured. SSL certificates also assure the consumer that the website has been checked by regulatory bodies.
Lastly always trust your instincts. Even if the online shopping store are able to present SSL certificates, verifiable mailing address and attested by other consumers, if you have doubts then don't purchase. There are a number of online shopping stores throughout the internet and you are bound to find one that you trust.