To shop is to live, to live is to shop – that’s what a shopaholic truly believes! Do you?
If you lead a busy lifestyle, you may not have time to buy the things that you need, let alone the things that you want. If you spend a lot of time on the internet, you are in a good position. That is, of course, when you can shop online without the travelling and waiting time. You can browse online stores at a speed that you could never do at the shopping mall.
Yah yah yah, this is another post about online shopping. If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll probably know that I’m an avid online shopper. I receive parcels on a weekly basis. The Husband always cringes whenever he sees a parcel delivered to me.
Based on my own experience, here are some tips for a safe online shopping experience.
# 1: Look for the customer service contact and warranty information
This is the first thing that I check! Any online store should have a reachable contact number and e-mail address. It will be a bonus if the product that you’re buying has a warranty, because this may be the only way to gauge its quality.
Recently, I came across this online store that sells Fitflop shoes at discounted prices in Singapore (it says save up to 50% – 60% and free shipping too!). At first glance, there isn’t anything suspicious with this website. It has many good reviews from its customer too.
Later on, we Googled about it and we found that this store is not an authorized retailer of FitFlop shoes. Again, as we read in Fitflop Sg Facebook Page, it is likely to be selling replicas too. Last but not least, this online store does not operate in Singapore. The name of store – BuyFitFlopSingapore – really mislead the customers.
If you look at the website carefully again, you can’t find any contact person or number. Now, I wonder if the reviews are fake too.
# 2: Check for a Security Certificate
When shopping online, we must ensure that the website asking for credit card information is secure. How do we check this? I’ll check the website’s URL – it must begin with “https” where the “S” represents “Secure”. Then, I’ll look for the padlock symbol in the status bar at the bottom of the browser window.
When you’re accessing confidential information such as online banking or a payment transfer (i.e. PayPal), you’ll notice the format change above and you’ll know that your information will most likely pass along securely.
# 3: Check for the final charges, including shipping and packaging costs
In general, please check for the return policy, shipping method, shipping and packaging costs. If you’re buying products from overseas stores, please take note of the currency and exchange rates too.
# 4: Ensure that all the information is correct
To avoid delay and other problems such as wrong size / colors etc, please make sure that all the information is entered correctly before you submit the order.
# 5: Always keep a record of all your purchases
After every purchase, I always print out the invoice or confirmation page as a record. I’ll do a check against my credit card statement. Any unauthorized charges or discrepancies should be reported to the bank immediately.
Are you an online shopper too? Do you have any other tips to share? I love to hear them! 🙂