Avoiding the Risks of Online Shopping

Pay attention kids because this is important! 

You may have seen it from your parents or have heard from a friend but shopping online isn't as simple as paying at the counter of a grocery store. 

Sure, millions of people around the world buy items from online store and auctions sites without any problem. But this doesn't disregard the fact that scams do exist. And if you fall for them, you might end up losing your money, not to mention the words you may receive from your parents. 

Online shopping may be a good alternative to going to the mall but it certainly has certain risks. It can be that the items delivered don't match the description, delayed delivery, not receiving any delivery at all after an online purchase, and skimpy after-sales service. There are also reports where the buyer received empty packages which were supposed to contain the item they purchased.

What should you do to avoid these risks? 

1. Ask your parents before you purchase online. Ask them to teach where to safely buy on the internet.
2. Find a website with physical address and contact details. Verify the information. This is an assurance that the site really does exist.
3. Find a reputable seller. Read testimonials and feedbacks from other buyers to make sure that the seller offers a good service. 
4. Check the site's or seller's return policy as well as privacy policy. Doubt if they have none of these.
5. As much as possible, stick with sellers within the country. Be extra cautious about overseas sellers.
6. Doubt if the price of the item looks too good to be true. 
7. Stay with reputable companies.
8. Advertisements and offers you receive from unsolicited senders or spam should be ignored. 
9. Make sure that the site is secured before giving out any personal information. To check on this, look for padlock on the bottom right portion of the web browser window. Click on this padlock and check the certificate details (validity, expiration, the issuer, etc.) See if the address starts with the "http://". The padlock though may not fully guarantee that the site is secured or not. 
10. Use an accepted and safe way to pay online. 

The given information combined with a little bit of common sense is the keys to ensure that you won't end up with online scams and get the right item you've bought.

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