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Online Shopping Ė Tips for Buying on the Internet Safely

June 22nd, 2006

Online Shopping Ė Tips for Buying on the Internet Safely

Better Business Bureau Online Website

Online shopping is growing in popularity year after year.  There is a good chance you have bought something on eBay or even Amazon.  There are considerable marketplaces that exist beyond these two major internet online retailers.

If you know of a retail chain-store, chances are they have an online store as well.  The online store usually stock more merchandise.  Examples retailers online are Wal-mart, Target, and JcPenney, just to name a few.


Other major internet only site exists for specialty items.  If you are decorating your home and looking for new blinds or curtains, you can find websites that not only offer a wide selection of window coverings; they also offer great prices as well.  Shower curtains and bedding can be hard to find a perfect design or color for your room.  You can find a large selection of specialty stores online that have a large stock of colors and designs to choose from.

Of course, one thing you should be careful in giving out your credit card information to a fraudulent website.  You can check to see if they are registered with the Better Business Bureau online to see if they have a lot of complaints.  Some credit card companies let you get a credit card number for that transaction only which also limits the ability for fraud.  You can search on the internet in the search engine for complaints.  Forums that report on bad vendors help to keep the fraud down.  Most fraud is through email sites that you recognize.  The email is sent to look like it came from a respectable store or website but asks you to log in and give personal information when it isnít the site at all.  Never click on a link from any email that requests you to log in or to give personal information.


If the company has a telephone number to call, you can always call them to ask a question before ordering, this can sometimes be helpful in knowing that the people running the business are working on the other end.  You can also check their return policy to see how well they address this issue before the sale.  A respectable company will put forth the terms upfront so that you will know at the time of sale.

If you buy from retailers that you already know, you will be likely to have a good experience buying from them again.  But that does not mean that a small company that specializes in the obscure product should be overlooked.  These companies that sell those hard to find items provide a service that the big companies are not always able to accommodate.

When you order via mail order on the internet, you should be willing to risk the money that you are spending.  You could end up losing on the purchase of the item.  So only order items that are within a comfortable price range and donít go beyond your comfort range.


If the sellers use Paypal, that is a good thing for you.  Paypal is a third party owned by eBay which makes your credit card information not available to the company that you are buying from.  It offers extra security and protection when buying from a company that you havenít heard of before.  Another payment system that is similar to Paypal is GBuy which is owned by Google.  GBuy will be launched by the end of this month.

You can still be rest assured that merchants that have been online for a long time will more than likely be operating a legitimate business.  It is difficult to obtain credit card processing services and new laws make the owners of the company liable for keeping your information secure.  They must secure your data according the credit card companies.  So if a company has been around for a while, it is very likely that they take processing credit transactions very seriously.  Always check that they offer secure transaction in your internet browser window before ordering.  If the security certificate matches up to the URL and the company name you should be fine.

You should invest in spyware software that will remove keylogger software and applications that may hijack your information.  Adaware and SpyDoctor are just some of the software packages available to do this.  You will want to regularly scan your computer for malicious cookies.  Cookies by themselves are needed for shopping online, but some people want to scam information from you in this manner as well.  You need spyware software just as much as you need a virus scanner.

Shopping on the internet is still a growing business.  Grocery stores are offering delivery services on the internet.  You can shop multiple locations without spending a lot of time at a brick and mortar store trying to find it.  You are able to chose from a larger selection and also find the lowest price around.

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Nicole Wilson
Best Syndication

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