Tips for shopping online

2010-12-18 08:56

Shopping online is emerging as a real alternative to shopping at malls as consumers try to get that elusive Christmas gift.

But just like any other form of shopping, glitches may pop up from time to time.

A local network designed to connect consumers with the best online products – www.shopping.co.za – gives consumers safety tips for ­buying online.

The network’s Dale Maxwell says shopping online is convenient and saves time.

He advises consumers to only visit protected websites when ­shopping online and to make an effort to understand and adhere to the security policies.

It is also safer to use a credit card when making payments as this allows for errors and mistakes to be easily identified.

Maxwell adds that consumers should only provide information they feel is necessary. This normally includes full names and a residential address.

“If you do not think a question is necessary for your order, do not answer it,” he says.

“Rather find a different site for the product if you are not comfortable with the questions the current site is asking.”

Arthur Goldstuck of World Wide Worx says the benefits of shopping online are threefold.

It is easy to compare prices, you can select products from the comfort of your own home – at your own pace – and you do not have to fight with the crowds over limited editions available on stock.

“You can browse online with a click of a mouse,” he says.

“You know what is available on stock without getting there.”

Consumers should only deal with secured sites and these start with the uniform resource locator (URL) /https instead of just /http. In this way, confidential information will not be intercepted, says Goldstuck.

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