Online shopping is a convenient way to have all your shopping needs fulfilled. You can buy all sorts of goods from any part of the world, without leaving your doorstep. However, you have to be careful when you shop online, lest you become a victim of the many online scams prevalent nowadays.
1. First and foremost, you have to know who you are actually dealing with. Go through the Better Business Bureau and the local consumer protection agency for some feedback of the companies you are planning to buy from. If you are using an online auction site, go through its feedback forum to take a look at the track record of the seller before making any bid.
2. You are bound to receive numerous mails with offers from unknown companies. Don't entertain them as they are more likely to be fraudulent.
3. While learning more about the seller, don't forget to get the name, the physical address, the cost of the services or products offered, additional charges to the selling price, and the shipping charges as well.
5. The safest way to pay for your online purchases is with a credit card. This is especially true if you are buying something that will be delivered later. According to the federal law, you can dispute charges if you don't receive what you were promised. It is also possible to dispute rights if you find any unauthorized charges added to your credit card.
Look for signs of secure online purchases
Once you have chosen the product you want and intend to make payment, ensure that the payment site is a secure one. This means that the beginning of the website address has to change from "http" to "shttp" or "https". This is because these changes indicate that the information you provide will be encrypted into a code which only the seller can have access to. A symbol of a broken key that becomes whole, or a padlock that closes, ensures a secure page.
You may find some pop-up screens on a company's website. These screens are usually created by identity thieves and they will show blanks for providing personal information. If you see such screens, don't entertain them. Remember that legitimate companies never ask for personal information through pop-up screens. Installing pop-up blocking software can help you avoid these online scams.
Make sure you retain documentations of orders
When you place an order for an online purchase, you may either come across a final confirmation page or receive one by email. This page has to be printed, and filed until you receive the product you ordered. This will act as the proof that you have placed an order.
Also, you have to be aware of your rights when making online purchases. According to federal law, orders that are placed via phone, mail or the internet have to reach the customers on the promised dates. If no delivery date is stated, the product has to reach within 30 days of placing the order.
In case you don't receive the goods on time, you have the right to cancel the order and demand a refund. Additionally, there is usually no general three day cancellation right on goods purchased, but you have the right to reject defective and misrepresented merchandise.
Always be wary of people who seek your personal information for no reason. Nowadays, identity thieves are becoming craftier in their ways of getting personal information from innocent suspects. Also, installation of spam filters, anti-virus and anti-spyware software and updated firewalls are all great measures to prevent you from becoming a victim of any scam when you make online purchases.
About the Author
Tribal Artery does not endorse any vendor recommendations offered by the guest artist, but does agree in general with precautions the author suggests. As dealers in tribal art for almost 30 years, the last 10 years on line, we are very aware of the ruses that sellers may use to misrepresent tribal art objects or to promise deliver of material they don't have.
We will continue to occasionally bring you articles from free lance authors when we believe they are relevant to our activities at Native-JewelryLink, Native-PotteryLink, TribalWorks and ZuniLink. Click on any of the preceding links to learn more about tribal art at Aboriginals: art of the First Person.