We have officially entered a new era! Almost everything can be done online… even shopping. Say goodbye to those endless ques and bubblegum-chewing-impatient shop tellers and hello online! But wait… as much as online shopping is taking us by storm, here are six things you need to know before you swipe.
Keep an eye out for hidden fees.
Online shopping is so easy and fun! But before you finalise your purchase and head straight to check-out, make sure you there are no hidden costs like shipping or handling fees. To be safe, always set a budget before your online shopping spree. This way any unforeseen costs will not break you bank. These extra charges are so sneaky, they can really ruin what you thought was a “bargain buy”.
Read the online shopping reviews
Virtual shops are unlike the usual brick-and-mortar malls and shops where we can PHYSICALLY go and feel the fabrics and fit the shoes. Online shopping revolves around reviews! Read what other buyers are saying about the site you wish to buy from… before pressing ENTER. Also, be on the lookout for patterns in the reviews.
Use Familiar Websites
As expected, with the rise of online shopping, all sorts of online sites will mushroom everywhere. Be alert! Stay safe and stick to sites you know and trust. Also, beware of search results as they too can be littered with dingy pages that will only distract you. Remember… not all sites are credible or even trustworthy! Perhaps bookmark your favourite online shopping sites and be loyal to those chosen sites.
Check the Lock
Take note! Never ever purchase anything online using your credit card from a site that doesn’t have SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption installed. To make sure, see that the site starts with HTTPS:// and not just HTTP://. Also, make sure you see a locked padlock icon in the status bar or next to the URL in the address bar.
Once that’s in check, you are good to go. Oh and another thing, never, ever give away your credit card information over email. Ever.
Stick to safe places for your online shopping
Now, free WiFi is always so inviting! Not only to online shopping addicts but also to fraudsters. Public WiFi is their haven. Avoid doing any online shopping in coffee shops, malls or anywhere else there is free WiFi. Once online thugs and fraudsters interrupt your connection and get hold of your usernames and passwords… your money is in their pocket.
Check for weird emails and dubious links
Scammers are crafty. Not only are they good at mimicking recognisable websites and online shopping sites, but they can create dubious emails with fraudulent links. This leaves you thinking your online shopping spree is hunky-dory. Think twice. Here’s a quick tip to help you, always type in the web address in full yourself. Lastly, never send emails that have your personal information like your card number and expiry date, ID number or the likes