Making Wise Online Purchases

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.

3. Read the store’s privacy policy. Find and review the policy to confirm that the merchant won’t share, rent or sell personal information. For example, your name may be automatically added to a mailing list just by making a purchase.

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.

About the Author

Brandon Lau grew up in Kailua and currently resides in Honolulu with his wife Andee and children Caylah, Elijah, and David. His eighteen years in real estate led him to become a Partner at ChaneyBrooks Choice Advisors. Over the past 10 years he has developed the team and systems that has created a high level of service and value for his clients.

What differentiates Brandon and his team is his consultative approach to real estate. He advises clients with relevant data and expert insight to help them make the best choices in real estate. Good choices in planning for long term dispositions, negotiating for the best price or knowing when not to pursue an investment are ways his consultative services will give you an advantage in the marketplace. His bottom line is providing service with the utmost integrity and expertise.