As more of more of our shopping is being done online, I thought I’d dedicate today to making sure that when you shop your hard earned money is being maximized and getting a fantastic bargain.
To help me do just that, today’s guest is Michelle Stinson-Ross, social marketing manager for Offers.com. If you want to find out more about Offers.com or get answers to your shopping questions, please reach out to them on Twitter and Facebook.
In this episode we’ll go over:
- how to safely shop online
- finding the best deals online and,
- making sure you get the customer service you deserve
5 Tips for Safe Online Shopping
Shopping online can be convenient, but it’s always smart to take a few precautions to protect your finances and identity.
Shop at Home
With public Wi-Fi widely available users should remember that it is not secure and hackers can access the connection to steal your information.
For the same reason, you shouldn’t log into private accounts or enter confidential information when using public computers at locations such as libraries and hotels.
Pay with Credit Cards
There are a couple of reasons to use credit cards when paying for your internet purchases. There is only a $50 limited liability for unauthorized purchases with a credit card while it can become unlimited after 60 days with a debit card.
Additionally, if you do not receive the products or services purchased a credit card issuer will investigate a disputed charge and usually refund your money.
Review Before You Buy
Before making the actual purchase, review the amount and all charges. Are there any “hidden” fees you weren’t expecting? Make sure all coupon or promotional codes are applied.
I’ve had the browser error when making a purchase and didn’t know if it went through and not. When you get your bills, make sure the transaction matches and there are not any unauthorized charges.
Keep Records of Your Shopping
Keep all correspondence related to a transaction until you at least receive the merchandise or service. I don’t leave the site until I either get a confirmation email with the details or print out the page.
For larger purchases, make sure you have a copy of the terms. For example, does that vacation package include meals or not? What is the cancellation policy for the hotel reservation? These are important details that can end up costing you money if you don’t know.
Be Careful with Your Website
Don’t click on links from search engines unless it is a URL you recognize. Scammers work to get their fraudulent sites returned by search engines with the goal of phishing your personal information.
Make sure the site accessed includes a security indicator such as a lock (depending on browser) and the URL includes https before entering personal information. Be suspicious of unsolicited emails even if it appears to be from a known retailer. Go to their site directly to make sure it’s not a scam message.
Do you have another tip for safe online shopping?
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