Shopping online has become a common practice. It has made the life of consumers easier and faster. Now, while sitting on a sofa in your living room, you can order for any goods and services from around the world. You can compare prices, get discounts, find better qualities and many more with ease.
However, if not careful, you can fall as a victim of online scams or end up wasting money on things you don’t really need or spend more than you would have in a physical store. Here are steps you should take to ensure a safe and satisfying experience.
1. Shopping on Unsecured Sites
There are hundreds retailers selling the products you want online. Each will advertise, offer discounts etc. to make sure you buy from their websites. However, not all these websites are legit, some can be downright sketchy. You may end up getting stolen from if you don’t take the time to check a site’s security credentials and reputation.
To avoid this, ensure that:
- Look for URLs that begin with https rather than HTTP, because the added ‘s’ indicates it is a secured website.
- Look for a padlock icon in the address bar which means that the site uses encryption to ensure security.
- Review the retailer’s privacy policies to find out if they are designed to protect your credit card information or other confidential data. Check out the Ultimate Guide to online shopping here
2. Saving Your Credit Card Information
The idea of saving your personal information, including your credit card information for easier future purchase, could seem ideal. You might just be a click away from making your next purchases with less hustle., However, there can be a lot of risks associated with it. Avoid saving your personal data to ease your future transactions as when the hackers hit your account, stealing your money might be just a click away too.
3. Ignoring Consumer Reviews and Return Policy
One of the biggest setbacks for online shopping is that you cannot inspect your product before purchasing it. You only see the picture and description then pay for it. Chances are, the product might come differently in size, color, quality etc. from what you expected. To avoid this, take a cue from the experiences of other consumers. Furthermore, it is essential to read the return policy before purchasing the product online as well. You will be able to understand who is going to pay for return shipping (incase you won’t like the product), how long a window you have to return an item etc. Sometimes the cost of returning the product may be expensive and force you to use the product even if it is faulty.
4. Not Comparing Prices
Another mistake you can make while shopping online is straight purchasing a product without comparing competitor’s price. You can easily miss out on saving a lot of cash. The same product could be available on the competitor’s website. There are apps and websites such a as ZoomTanzania where several sellers advertise different products by different prices. If you are shopping on social media sites such as Facebook or Instagram. Do not rely one seller before making purchaser else you could miss the best deals as retailers often have incredibly varying prices across the net.
5. Using Public WiFi for Shopping
Shopping over public WiFi at the internet-cafe or airport might seem like a good day to pass time. But this could turn out to be a dangerous move as information sent through insecure or public connections can be easily compromised by hackers. The best idea is to use your private network to send your credit card information.
Although online shopping is super convenient, first ensure that you are doing it safely to protect your hard earned money.
Have you encountered bad experience when shopping online? Share with us in the comment section below.