Tips for Safe Shopping Online
When purchasing Christmas gifts online, it is recommended you stick to safe shopping habits. While the vast majority of online retailers provide fast, simple and safe shopping transactions, there are a handful of unscrupulous retailers that should be avoided. Keep reading to learn safe shopping tips that will keep you and your finances in tact through the holiday season and beyond.
Shop Safe With Secured Websites
The best retailers offer "secured" websites that help keep scammers from skimming your credit card information when making a purchase. You can verify if an e-tailer is secure by looking at the Web URL listed during the checkout process. Pages that request credit card info should start with "https." The 's' in that word chain stands for "safety." A little gold lock icon should also appear in the bottom right-hand corner of the browser.
Safe Shopping With Reliable Retailers
A good way to minimize online fraud is by only shopping with reputable online businesses. Certainly, going to big-name retail sites can diminish your chances for being taken advantage of. However, there are plenty of small-name businesses that can be just as safe and may offer even better deals. When dealing with a website with which you are unfamiliar, consider doing some quick background research on the company. A Web search may reveal that the site is linked to scams. While this is rare, it goes without saying that these sites should be avoided.
You can also check with the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been filed against the company.
Pay Safely for Online Purchases
Credit cards are the recommended payment option for online purchases. This is because most credit cards come with fraud protection, which means you may not be liable for purchases that turn out to be fraudulent.
Review Shipping and Return Policies
Shipping charges, processing fees and taxes can add up if you're not careful. Before agreeing to a purchase, make sure you review additional costs to ensure you're not being overcharged. You might also consider reviewing return policies. Some sites do not accept online returns, while other may do so provided you pay to ship the item back. If you are concerned about returns, it might be worthwhile to seek out a site with a return-friendly policy. This is an especially good safe shopping tip for the holidays – given the fact that you are buying gifts for other people.