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Have you ever bought a product or service from the internet?
Yes? Me too. Youre not alone
Some of the reasons why most people are shopping online are: they can buy
anything at anytime because Internet shopping is available 24 hours, all
You can shop from the convenience of your home. You can avoid traffic and
crowding at the malls.
Online shopping is one of the best ways to locate hard-to-find items not
available in your local stores.
Whatever you buy can be delivered by mail to your house.
Most online stores and companies provide excellent values and discount prices
because they do not have to pay the overhead of owning a physical business
that will cost them insurance, employee pay, taxes and more.
VeriSign, Inc. says that online sales recorded during the prime holidays
shopping season was about $2.2 billion dollars.
According to a study by Forrester Research Company, by 2010, online sales
will reach $331 billion dollars.
More consumers are shopping online today than a year ago. The range of products
they buy are many: software, hardware, electronics, digital products, music,
toys, e-books, books, programs, DVD, flowers, pets, jewelry, clothes, air
tickets, insurance, cars, prescription drugs, comic books, games, gifts and
They are flocking to buy from online bookstores, software stores, online
computer stores, target stores, pet stores, liquor stores, drug stores, music
stores, furniture stores, fabric stores, the Disney store, outlet stores,
surplus stores, discount stores, thrift stores, gift stores, candy stores,
lingerie stores, sports stores, video stores, sex stores, department stores,
game stores, clothing stores and others.
Be a smart and savvy online shopper. Shop wisely and safely.
Here are a few tips to help you do your online shopping safely.
(1) Shop at the websites of companies that you know and are popular offline.
If youre not sure of the company, request their catalog or brochure
Be sure they have a physical address and phone, as well as an e-mail address.
Call them and speak to a human being first.
Check with the yellow pages and the Better Business Bureaus to be sure the
company is legitimate.
Read all the fine print and the refund policy before you place an order.
You may read about product reviews and what other shoppers have to say about
a company at: http://www.epinions.com, http://www.consumersearch.com,
Here are some internet shopping agents sites: http://www.comparenet.com,
To read about reviews on shopping stores, regarding ease of use, pricing,
selection and service go to: http://www.gomez.com, http://www.bizrate.com
To read about web business frauds and get help to avoid being a victim, go
to: http://www.fraud.org , http://www.bbbonline.org , http://www.webassured.com
(2) Keep a record of all your purchases.
Most people are by nature disorganized and unable to keep records. Learn
to keep records of all your online purchases. This will help you keep track
of your spending and shopping.
Print all receipts or save them on your computer in a folder named
This will help you locate orders that you placed but were never delivered.
The more organized you are the less negative online shopping experience
(3) Keep all your important personal information safe.
Dont give them to strangers who may call you over the phone or request
them by e-mail.
Personal information includes: your address, e-mail address, phone number,
social security number, drivers license, age, information about your family.
Dont give them to any stranger and, also, teach your children not to
(4) Keep your passwords private.
When creating a password, avoid using phone numbers, birth dates or social
Be creative. Use a password that is not easy for others to guess, and yet
not easy for you to forget.
Change your passwords often. Use phrases to help you remember them.
Dont disclose passwords to anyone.
(5) Use a credit (but never debit) card to make your payment.
Be sure to keep all credit card payment receipts. Check your credit card
account statements to be able to spot any unauthorized charges.
When you buy certain goods and services from some companies, sometimes they
will keep billing you thereafter. So scrutinize your statements. If you see
a charge youre not sure of, call the billing merchant and check it
Keep your credit cards secure.
Avoid making a payment using your credit card on a public computer.
Report any lost credit cards immediately and have them cancelled. Dont
give anyone that you dont know your credit card number.
(6) Read the return policy before placing an order.
Be sure that you read and understand the return policy and warranty.
(7) Read and understand the companys privacy statement (or policy).
A privacy statement tells you how and why a business is collecting your
information, and how that information may be used. You may find the
companys privacy statement (or policy) at the very bottom of the home
page or inside their "Terms & Conditions" or "Terms of Service" (TOS).
(8) Use a secure browser and server.
Be sure whatever browser youre using complies with the industrys
security standards, such as secure sockets layer (SSL).
This security protocol scrambles or encrypts the personal information you
send over the Internet to ensure your transaction is secured.
How do you know if the server is secure where youre making a payment?
If a Web site is using secure technology, its Web address begins with https
and a tiny locked padlock appears at the bottom right corner of the screen.
(9) Check out a few stores and compare prices before buying. Look for hidden
costs such as shipping and handling.
(10) Use Yahoo Search Engine for all your searches.
Yahoo continues to be, not only the largest online company, but also, the
best Search Engine.
Unlike the other popular Search engine, which keeps companies in a sandbox
for many months and refuses to give them rankings for many months, Yahoo
is pro business and gives immediate rankings to companies and business.
Their search result is also excellent. That may be one reason why 60% of
people online (including me) love Yahoo.
Also, they have the most reliable and the best hosting service in the world.
For these reasons, I strongly recommend you use Yahoo to do all your searches.
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