The web is an amazing tool - whether it's shopping on the internet, looking at your family tree or communicating in realtime with your cousin in Sydney. The Internet puts vast power at your fingertips, allowing you to buy an airline ticket, book a hotel, send flowers, or buy your week's supply of groceries, all with a few clicks of a mouse. As a result, shopping on the internet has grown dramatically in the past couple of years. What was once seen as a passing fad is now recognized as a major challenge to the high streets. But how do you make sure you are getting the best out of your shopping on the internet?
Many tips on shopping on the internet are the same as for traditional purchases:
Check Prices. Compare with both other web retailers and also high street stores. There are many consolidator sites which will do the price comparison for you.
- Use retailers and services you are familiar with or that have been recommended.
- Always use websites with secure payment facilities (known as an encryption facility). These will show a padlock at the bottom of the screen when you are filling in the payment details.
- Check the company's refund and return policies before you place your order.
- Make sure you check both the taxes and shipping costs. Goods shipped from abroad will often incur customs tax.
- When will you get your product? Some retailers ship almost immediately, but be sure you know in advance.
- Always keep passwords private. When making up your passwords it's best to be creative, and avoid obvious things such as your telephone number or birth date.
- If you pay by credit card you will be protected by your credit card's usual protection.
- Finally, keep a record of your transaction.