If you are making a purchase online, use this checklist to avoid potential problems. It’s a good idea to remember to evaluate the merchants on more than just price and selection. Here are a few tips for making wise online purchases.
1. Shop with companies you know. If you don’t know them, do some research before you make a purchase.
2. Shop on a secure site. Look for symbols such as a closed padlock or unbroken key on the screen before you enter your personal information. Plus, you should see http:// change to https:// when you go to the order page.
4. Be sure there is a telephone number for customer service. Reliable companies should have a physical address and at least one phone number. Be sure that there are customer service representatives available via the telephone.
5. Examine shipping charges. Shipping fees can vary considerably from site-to-site. Place your orders far enough in advance so you won’t have to use the outrageously expensive express shipping.
6. Find out how you will know if your order has been shipped. Be sure that the merchant can provide you with e-mails to confirm receipt of the order, shipment of the order, and a tracking number you can check online.
7. Know how returns will be handled. Investigate the return procedures carefully before ever placing an order. Look in the FAQ section of the site, or find a phone number or an e-mail address to get questions answered. Also, check to see if they charge a restocking fee.
Using this checklist will help minimize any problems and make online shopping a pleasant, convenient, and cost-effective experience.