Online shopping is on the rise. In 2016, 1.66 billion people made a purchase directly over the internet. According to Statista, this number will rise significantly in the next few years to reach 2.14 billion in 2021.
If you’re planning your first online purchase, the following are a few tips to make the process smooth and trouble-free;
Make sure it’s not a phishing website
The buzz around digital commerce has resulted in widespread fraud in the sector. Several imposters now create fake websites and offer fake products to steal from unsuspecting shoppers. So, the website you’re visiting could be a scam to steal your credit card information and the shoes you’re paying for might not even exist after all. These are known as phishing scams. You need to be aware of them and keep yourself safe.
Know the merchant and their reputation
It also helps to know about the merchant as brand new sellers and service providers can be difficult to trust. You never know if that shiny new seller is an imposter. Additionally, some have a reputation for not following security and privacy requirements. If this is the case, your credit card and personal information could easily end up in hackers’ hands. To this end, it’s advisable to conduct due diligence and choose sellers who have a track record for delivering positive buyer experiences.
Price comparison can help you save
Whether you’re buying an electronic book (e-book) or a house, price comparison is critical. Don’t stop at the first seller you come across. Instead, take a look around and, where possible, use price comparison tools to find the seller offering the best features at the best price. Insurance, real estate, and auto sale industries all have tools you can use to compare prices from different sellers. Even if there are no such tools for the item you’re looking to buy, checking the websites of multiple sellers should help you find some value.
Always read the “Terms and Conditions”
Do not make the mistake of paying without knowing the terms of the sale. From shipping to refund policies and security to privacy, all the details will be in the “Terms and Conditions” section. So, read this section carefully and see whether you agree with the conditions. Are you comfortable with the e-store’s refund policy? Are you satisfied with their privacy measures? Only if you’re happy with the terms should you proceed to checkout.
Use Your Credit Card or PayPal, not the Debit Card
The reason is simple – debit cards don’t have the same security features as credit cards and PayPal. PayPal is known for its exclusive original content and their privacy measures are unrivalled. Credit cards, meanwhile, limit your liability to no more than $50 of unauthorized charges in case of a financial breach, and the money in your bank remains untouched. With debit cards, however, whenever your card runs out of money, your bank account is charged!
Of course, this isn’t the whole list. However, giving these five tips a serious thought should be a great first step in ensuring a smooth online shopping experience.