Without a doubt, the Internet has dramatically changed the way people do their shopping. At one time, online retailers were just an outlet for unique items. Today, online shopping has increased credibility and it is reckoned that half of consumer shopping is done online. Online purchases of heavy items as domestic electrical products, furniture, computers and even cars, have obviously brought about a world of convenience.
The tremendous pluses involved in online shopping outweigh the negative aspects. However, anyone who is new to the world of online shopping should be aware of certain risks. Here are ten major traps that an inexperienced and overly trusting online shopper can fall into:
Trap One: You’re spending real money
Online purchases made with a credit card can bring with it inherent dangers. Online shoppers can suffer from what can be known as “shopping blindness”. That describes spending too much money on things that they don’t really need because they have momentarily lost touch with reality, especially when online retailers have deals that seem so hard to pass up.
Trap Two: Be cautious about buying anything that is too good to be true
Any online shopper looking for a specific product would be very wise to check prices across several online retailers that sell the same or similar product. If they come across a site that is selling the same item at a cheaper price, it’s worth taking a few steps back, checking out the credibility of the site before plunging in, especially if the site is applying pressure to purchase “while stocks last”.
Trap Three: Check out the fine print
Once the online shopper has decided on a particular product that they want and decided which of the many online retailers they want to buy it from, it is no less important to look into such issues as delivery time, delivery costs and, if applicable, warranty. If you leave overseas, checking if they ship international and how much it costs is a must. However, if they don’t ship to your country, not having a US address for shipping shouldn’t stop you. Just open an account with us and start shopping!
Trap Four: Be very careful when giving personal details
The greatest bone of contention when it comes to shopping online is the exchange of personal information. Any online shopper must be assured before passing on personal details that they are dealing with a legitimate company who will not pass on the information to any third party. Before passing any credit card details, the customer must make sure that every transaction will be made through an encrypted gateway. If you don’t want to take the risk, you can choose using our buy for me service that will take care of everything for you, from payment to international shipping.
Trap Five: Never transfer any personal details in public
Many people browse products they want to buy while they are in a public place with Wi-Fi connections. Often, they succumb to the temptation to complete the transaction unaware of the dangers involved. Even the least talented hackers can access the information you’re transmitting. It’s always wise to save the information and complete online purchases when you have a more secure connection. Thankfully, many online retailers now have a Save for Later option.
Trap Six: Beware of e-mails that offer unbelievable prices
Although tremendous efforts have been made to reduce the amount of spam there are still thousands of hackers working behind the scenes trying to catch people out. Online shopping aficionados make it a practice to automatically delete any e-mails that look suspicious, especially ones that contain links. For every one genuine offer that will filter through, there will be thousands that can only do damage.
Trap Seven: Be cautious of e-mails from previously visited online stores
Even an e-mail from a familiar name can sometimes mean danger. There hackers that specialize in making replicas of online sites, even going as far as buying a domain that is very similar to the one you get your online purchases from. If you’re unsure of any e-mail delivered under these circumstances, check out all the details thoroughly before clicking on any link.
Trap Eight: Be aware of Facebook risks
Facebook is no longer just a social network. It is now a vehicle for many legitimate online marketing companies to promote their products. However, always lurking around, will be the cyber hackers looking to latch onto the unsuspecting. Before you make online purchases through any company on Facebook, use all of the methods at your disposal to check them out, before passing on any information.
Trap Nine: Be aware Twitter risks
Using Twitter is also a good way of receiving information on good deals in real time. However, Twitter often shortens URLs which means that you don’t really know if the online retailer offering the deal is genuine or not. Even if you want to buy the product and the price is right, take the time to check out if the offer and the link are legitimate.
Trap Ten: Don’t be afraid to buy online.
After reading such a long list of all the inherent dangers of buying online, don’t be afraid of taking the plunge -just tread warily and look out for the warning signs.
Allan Williams has been an active blogger for the last 4 years specializing in frugal and online shopping tips. He has published articles on numerous blogs. When he is not writing Allan enjoys spending time with his family.