Trust In Your Instincts When Shopping Online with Credit Cards

Money is on the Web

Is it safe to shop online with credit cards? Much safer than running into a credit card ninja at night! (Photo:

Is it safe to shop online with credit cards? Much safer than running into a credit card ninja at night! (Photo:

Credit cards lead to the many success stories when traveling around the Web, uncovering the answer to an often taboo question: Is the Web really making money? 2009 offline and online retailers expect to see a 1.8 percent increase in 2009 sales, according to the Retail Compass Survey of 100 chief marketing officers at leading retailers.

Is the Internet Making Money During the Recession?

Most major retailers offer online shopping, particularly because they accept credit cards. Cheryl Schmidt, owner of Taste of Toledo Gift Baskets and Gifts, is a business owner getting steady interest from the help of the Web. “About half my sales come from my Web site,” Schmidt says. It’s not that all her sales come from online, but many people use her online store as a catalog to call in orders or go to the store if they live in or near the Toledo area. Taste of Toledo offers Christmas-themed gifts this time of year. The Toledo and Ohio Gift Basket remains most popular during the holidays and even year-around.

Online Shopping Can Be Dangerous; Keep Yourself Safe

While shopping online is more convenient and safer, in most cases, than shopping in a store, never let your guard down. The BBB (Better Business Bureau) offers tips for online shopping, some include:

Trust In Your Instincts

If a gut feeling makes you uncomfortable about bidding on or buying an item online, or if you feel more pressure than an ant under an elephant to place an order quickly, you should probably avoid buying from the Web site.

Gain Knowledge of Web-based Auctions

The worst thing to do is jump directly into a Web-based auction without checking out the important details. Take the time to get familiarized with not only the rules and policies of the auction site, but with all the legal terms involving warrants, refund policies, etc. of the seller’s item which you would like to bid on.

Do a Double-Take with Prices

If you stumble upon a wonderful Web site offering the best looking laptop computer for $50, red flags should wave. Be careful, keeping in mind to watch out for prices that seem too good to be true. It doesn’t matter if the product is being sold as new or used, the price should coincide with the item you’re planning to purchase. If you aren’t sure, do some online research. This could also confirm your decisions to use discretion when shopping online with credit cards.

Find the Privacy Policy and Read It!

It’s very important that you read the privacy policy to find out what information the seller is going to try and collect from you, how the information will be used and how you can stop the process. If you search for the privacy policy link somewhere on the seller’s home page or included with the legal terms (where it should be located) and find nothing, don’t do business with them.

Be Alert and Check the Connection

After you’ve drooled over the things you wish to buy, you might want to pull out your credit cards and click on the “buy now” button. But before you give your payment information, there are various icons and software programs that indicate security software is in place on the Web site. You want to see what level of encryption the retailer uses, as well as whether their credit card security is associated with a company like VeriSign. If all is in place, you can relax and buy with ease.

Inspect Your Purchase When It Arrives

Once the item arrives in the mail, examine it carefully. If you happen to notice any problems, contact the seller in writing immediately. Tell the seller what’s wrong with the product, being as detailed as you can. Also, ask for repairs or a refund, and keep a copy of your correspondence.

Pay the Safe Way

The safest way to pay for anything on the Internet is by using the Visa, MasterCard or Discover logos; or, simply put, credit cards. In the event of fraud, card issuers have security methods in place that consumers can use.

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