Buying goodies online seems like the perfect way to shop ’til you drop while staying in the house, especially when you’ve got a fussy little one you’re tending to.Buying online is often the most convenient and cost effective option for busy and savvy shoppers. We can shop for the best deals, read customer reviews and ship items directly to our front door from anywhere in the world – all without leaving the couch. But just how do you know whether the company which you’re ordering that cute babygro or maxi dress from is reputable? Will your credit card information be safely stored? How do you avoid scammers? Will your product turn up on time? Worse yet, will it show up at all?
With the spike in online shopping as the spring holidays come around, we turned to the experts at Paypal (for more information, visit their site here) to give us mamas a few fuss-free shopping tips that you can follow to protect yourself from fraudsters and negligent retailers, during Easter or at any time throughout the year!
- Security. Look out for “https” instead of “http” webpages when entering payment details. Https is a more secure way to access the internet and is typically used by payment gateways. Also, if you see encryption symbols, such as a padlock or unbroken key (depending on your browser), that’s a good sign! That also means the page is more secure.
- Hesitate. Are the deals too-good-to-be-true? Not sure if a retailer is legit? Research and see if you can find reviews on the retailer. It is also a good practice to verify authenticity of the retailer through the consumer protection organisations before you make any purchases.
- Online statements. Check your bank and credit card accounts online regularly instead of waiting for monthly statements to come in. If you see any unfamiliar charges, address the matter right away.
- Protection. Some websites and credit cards offer insurance plans for an additional fee so that you are protected if your items never arrive or if they are damaged. When you use PayPal, eligible purchases are safeguarded by Buyer Protection for free. You will be fully refunded for eligible unauthorised transactions, item not received or item is significantly different than it was described.
- Safeguard your financial information. Choose an internationally recognised payment option that safeguards your sensitive financial information. PayPal, for example, secures all customer information and encrypts all incoming data, and never sells or shares users’ financial data with retailers or any other party.
- Authenticate the URL. Do not rely on links from search engines, unsolicited emails or pop-up ads as scammers often create fake websites with similar URLs to well-known businesses. Go directly to a retailer’s website by typing the full address into your Internet browser’s address bar.
- Fine print. Verify the websites’ conditions for delivery, its return or cancellation policies, and the terms of any guarantee prior to making your purchase. Legitimate retailers will be happy to provide additional information if you have questions.
- Extra info. Never provide information that is not necessary for making the purchase and be wary if a retailer asks for unusual details or extraneous personal information.
Follow these rules and you can rest easy knowing you’ve shopped safe this holiday, mama!