There are thousands of online stores selling everything, and giving you access to a wider range of goods and services than ever before at your finger tips - and at way lower prices than your corner store. But as the number of on-line shops grow - so does the number of people trying to make the “fast buck“.
While the majority of stores offer a great service, consumers should exercise care when shopping on-line with a new site for the first time. There are a few simple guidelines to follow which should make your shopping experience rewarding and profitable.
If you are dealing with a company for the first time make sure you read the terms and conditions of the on-line store.
Also check their web site for a postal address and a telephone number - most genuine companies have no problem publishing their postal address on their website and should have a contact page with their address and company details on it.
Within the European Union, customers are entitled to a full refund when shopping on-line, if the goods are returned within seven days of purchase and the seller must state this on their on-line store. If a company does not state this, a customer is entitled to a full refund if they return the goods within thirty days.
The safest way to buy on-line is by using your credit card or paying by cheque. Cheques must to be lodged into a bank account to clear, and credit card payments can only be made into a company’s bank account. If a company seeks payment by any other means, be wary - when you buy on-line you want your payment to be traceable.
Most reliable retail sites offer a ten to thirty day, full refund, but postal charges are normally not included in this. Standard practice is that the customer pays for the postal charges if they are returning an item.
When you do shop on-line, check your credit card statement. If you do notice unauthorised transactions, notify your credit card company. Credit card companies will follow-up your complaint and refund your card.
Every day there seems to be new reports of shoppers getting ripped-off when shopping on-line. A common way is where someone transfers money through a cash transfer company to pay for an object; the seller receives the money but fails to send the buyer the item.
Be very wary of these rogue scams. A reliable shopping site will have a credit card billing system, such as Paypal built into their website.