Pros and cons of shopping online

Published: Monday, December 24, 2012 at 01:10 PM.

Shopping online is one of the most convenient ways to browse and buy these day but, buyer beware! Shoppers must be aware when using the convenience of the Internet to shop.

The good side is shopping online can happen any time and anywhere, eliminating the challenges of crowded stores, thieves lurking about, and the frustration of not finding the right item. Shopping from the kitchen table online is so much more comfortable than fighting crowds.

Shopping online, however, has certain pitfalls to avoid. Knowing how and where to shop can often minimize the chance of scams. Shopping at well-established online businesses is practical and safer. Reading what others say about a business is helpful.

Be particular about shopping at stores outside the United States. While online retailers in this country are regulated by U.S consumer laws, those outside the U, S. are not. There could be problems if a dispute arises, or if the buyer is not satisfied with the purchase.

There are other tips to consider when shopping on line. Use credit cards if possible. This makes it easier to negotiate differences when it is necessary. If the credit card is compromised by loss or theft, you are only responsible for the first $30 in unauthorized charges with most companies. In many cases credit card companies will waive that. Debit cards do not offer this protection.

Shop at secure sites that display see the lock icon, and be extra careful not to be tricked into sharing personal information like a Social Security number or other personal data.

Watch checking accounts and other statements for buying activity that may be unfamiliar. Take particular care and examine them closely. Often, if the discrepancy is reported quickly, it’s more often that not, it can also be solved just as quickly.

Whether shopping in area retail establishments or online, be careful and follow common sense scenarios. The holiday will be more safe and secure for the effort.



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