Buyer Beware! Tips On Safe E-Shopping

November 23, 2007 by SheFindsHenley
shefinds |

As we swing into holiday shopping season it’s worth a refresher on safe online shopping.  While most credit cards will eat any fraudulent charges, it’s easier to avoid them in the first place.

Some tips—courtesy of Yahoo

1. Know your Merchant:
For the most part, aside from small designers, we try to promote established businesses where we know someone at the company.  We figure the better experience you have shopping our picks, the better experience you’ll have with SheFinds.  If you ever do have a problem with a merchant—please shoot us a note—and we’ll see (no promises!) if we can put you in touch with a company rep who can solve the problem.  No matter what, it’s a good practice to be familiar with the name or reputation of any company you’re dealing with. You The Federal Trade Commission maintains a web site that provides helpful info for online shopping.  You can also cruise the Better Business Bureau for a reputation check if you know where the company is located.

2. Protect your privacy:
Check web sites to make sure there is a privacy policy posted, (you can see ours here) and that you’re comfortable with the way your personal information is treated under that policy. Look for seals from privacy enforcement organizations like TRUSTe or BBBOnLine. Be cautious if you’re asked to supply personal information not needed to make a purchase, such as your Social Security number or personal bank account information. 

3. Get the Details:
Check for expected delivery dates, shipping and handling fees, warranties, return policies, and other important information. Look for an email address to write to (or a phone number to call) if you have a question, a problem, or if you need help.

4. Use a Credit Card and Safeguard Your Password:
It’s a good practice to pay with credit cards, because under federal law (and your credit card agreement) your liability for an unauthorized charge is limited to $50. When using a credit card online, look for an unbroken key or padlock (a graphical icon usually located in the bottom corner of the web page), or for a policy that indicates use of strong security technology such as SSL. This indicates that your credit card data is transmitted securely. You can also check that the address bar changes from http to https when you input your personal data.

5. Keep Good Records:
Make sure to print or save electronically any records related to your online transactions. This will help you keep track of shipping dates, shipping and handling fees, and other details of your transactions.
6. Beware the Counterfeits—especially on eBay: 
If possible pay with Paypal for your eBay purchases — they’ll cover you in case of fraud.  Check Counterfeit Chic and My Poupette for info on fake goods.

7. Use Extra Caution with High Value and Popular Items:
Certain types of items (e.g. computers, handbags, denim, jewelry, electronics, etc.) carry a higher fraud risk and require additional checking before completing the sale. Do additional checking, especially with popular items that tend to be sold out in stores. Be suspicious of deals that seem too good to be true. They usually are.  A $49 Louis Vuitton bag shipping from China—are you insane??? eBay tells you how to spot a fake



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