Websites for Shopping Online

The holiday’s season is also the time when a lot of people go shopping. With the popularity of the internet, you are no longer limited to local shopping. In fact, many online stores offer great deals on various kinds of products. You need to determine the best websites for  shopping   online  so that you can make an informed purchase. Finding a discount is really easy if you simply do your homework. Lots of stores offer sale and this is a great way to find a bargain. You can use any of major search engines to find a store that can meet most of your needs.

When you visit an online directory, you have to pick a store that is closest to the products that you want to purchase. For instance, some of the categories that you can find are automotive, art and collectibles, beauty and fragrances, books and magazines, clothing and shoes, computers, fitness and health, flowers and gifts, home and garden, jewelry and watches, kitchen and gourmet, luxury, maternity and baby, music and movies, office products, online malls, pets, sports and outdoors, toys and games, travel, and wedding. These are highly generalized categories. For instance, under  online  malls, you can choose among department stores, specialty stores, and discount  shopping .

The reason why many people opt for websites for  shopping   online  is because of the different  shopping  experience. You have to stick with popular online stores to find the best deal. If you’re looking for fishing equipment, hunting, sportswear, tickets, or sports memorabilia, you have to look for stores specializing in sports and outdoors. For those who are looking for education items, plush, dolls, collectible cards, puzzles, video games, and other items, you should choose stores that are specializing in toys and games. Individuals preparing for their wedding should shop in stores offering wedding accessories, bridal gowns, gifts, favors, and relevant services.

Comparison websites are also available online to help consumers in making the right choice. If you’re unsure which product to buy, you can use such sites to compare the features, pricing, and other details. This is one of the best ways to shop for the best products. Another option is to read product reviews because it contains valuable information that customers like you can use. Perhaps you’ve heard about online stores like Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and many others. These are well known companies that offer reasonable pricing and a wide range of products. All you have to do is write the name of the product that you’re looking for on the search toolbar. In seconds, the results will be displayed on the screen. You can also shop by price range if you like especially if you’re on a tight budget. Other stores allow customers to shop by brand.  Shopping   online  is really fun and convenient. All you need is a credit or debit card when buying online. Most items are shipped within 3-5 business days depending on your location.

Hurry and  shop   online  today! This is your chance to take advantage of the best deals!



What You Need To Understand About Online Payday Loans

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Even though you could meticulously spending budget your money and strive to help save up, often there may be an unanticipated incident that requires funds rapidly. Whether a car accident happens or even your bill is much beyond regular, who knows once this could happen. Check this out article for recommendations on employing pay day loans smartly.

Well before using a assistance related to cash advances, it is wise to discover the firm out by making use of the Better Organization Bureau’s web site. By doing this, you will discover information and facts, for example the standing of the organization and regardless of whether there has been any grievances about their deals.

Really know what papers you require to get a pay day loan. A lot of companies require a recent paystub, a legitimate bank account and evidence of job. Ask together with your would-be lender what they call for regarding documentation to obtain your loan more quickly.

Be sure you select your payday loan meticulously. You should consider how much time you are offered to repay the financing and precisely what the rates of interest are like before selecting your pay day loan. See what the best choices are and make your selection to save dollars.

A lot of cash advance firms need a checking account. This way, they have the capability to move repayments from your money about the because of day. When your paycheck is defined to hit, the drawback will probably be started.

Online payday loans can be helpful in an emergency, but comprehend that one could be incurred finance charges that can mean almost 50 % fascination. This massive monthly interest will make paying back these financial loans impossible. The amount of money is going to be deducted from your income and will pressure you appropriate back into the payday loan business office for additional dollars.

Use treatment with private information on payday loan applications. Whenever you apply for a bank loan, you’re accustomed to expressing essential personal details like SSNs some scam performers employ this by putting together fake lenders in order to operate identity fraud rackets. Always be sure the corporation you will be utilizing is respected.

There are a few payday advance businesses that are honest for their borrowers. Spend some time to examine the business that you might want to consider financing out with prior to signing nearly anything. Several of these organizations do not have your best curiosity about thoughts. You will need to be aware of oneself.

If you want to apply for a cash advance, your best bet is to use from properly reputable and well-liked loan providers and internet sites. These internet sites have created an excellent reputation, and you also won’t place yourself at risk of supplying delicate information into a scam or less than a reputable loan company.

Do not help make your payday loan obligations later. They may statement your delinquencies to the credit history bureau. This may badly affect your credit score making it even more complicated to take out conventional financial loans. If you have any doubt that one could pay back it when it is expected, usually do not borrow it. Discover an additional way to get the money you need.

When obtaining a payday loan be sure you question how their rollovers job to determine if the costs are subtracted immediately. Some lenders will automatically renew your payday loan to cover what has not been paid for yet service fees will quickly tally up and destroy you. Several of these demand no motion on your part apart from the initial create. You can wind up paying out plenty in service fees, since you can never totally be worthwhile the payday advance. Be sure that you know very well what you may have decided to do.

While confronting a pay day lender, take into account how tightly governed these are. Interest levels are often legitimately capped at varying level’s express by state. Know what responsibilities they have and what individual legal rights that you may have being a client. Possess the information for regulating authorities office buildings convenient.

As you now learn how pay day loans job, you can make a more informed determination. Online payday loans can be beneficial in some circumstances. You do, nevertheless, must have an agenda detailing how you want to spend the funds and exactly how you want to reimburse the lending company with the thanks time.

Wonderful Ideas To Lessen Your Pay Day Loan Concerns

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If in distressed requirement for quick dollars, personal loans are available in helpful. It is a simple procedure of simply being loaned a set amount of money along with your guarantee to pay back that loan inside a set time. In this post we will explore the pros and cons of payday loans.

When investing in the initial cash advance, request a discounted. Most cash advance office buildings provide a payment or rate discount for initially-time debtors. If the place you wish to use from will not give you a low cost, contact about. If you find a discount someplace else, the loan spot, you need to visit probably will match it to acquire your company.

When you are getting the first pay day loan, request a discounted. Most payday loan places of work provide a charge or rate discount for very first-time borrowers. In the event the place you would like to use from is not going to provide a lower price, contact around. If you find a price reduction someplace else, the borrowed funds spot, you need to check out will likely match it to have your company.

You must understand that many cash advance loan providers require that you spend them rear inside 2 weeks of financial loan. If you find your self struggling to reimburse the loan within that point frame, then you ought to make contact with the financial institution as soon as possible. Plenty of institutions work with a roll over alternative that can enable you to pay for the personal loan at a later date however, you could get charges.

Be quite sparing in using cash advances and payday cash loans. When you are repeatedly looking for payday cash loans, you ought to look at the primary reasons why you are consistently jogging short. Lots of people happen to be pressured into individual bankruptcy with pay day and advance loan lending options. Don’t take out this sort of personal loan, and you’ll never experience this type of situation.

Ensure you are aware of the terms of a loan prior to signing for doing it. Most companies call for at the very least three months career stableness. This really is to ensure you will probably pay the money off of.

Ask in advance what kind of reports and important information to take together when trying to get online payday loans. Virtually all loan providers requires so that you can give your banking account details and evidence of job. Nonetheless, distinct companies have distinct policies. Learn what your potential loan company calls for and reduce enough time it requires to have your loan approval.

Generally read the fine print for the pay day loan. Some organizations fee charges or perhaps a fees in the event you spend the money for bank loan rear earlier. Other individuals charge a fee when you have to roll the loan up to your next pay period. They are the most common, nonetheless they may fee other concealed fees or perhaps increase the interest if you do not pay punctually.

Count on the cash advance business to contact you. Each and every company must verify the info they acquire from each and every individual, and that signifies that they have to contact you. They have to talk to you personally well before they say yes to the loan. As a result, don’t allow them to have a variety that you never ever use, or implement when you’re at the job. The longer it takes to allow them to speak to you, the more you must wait for dollars.

Steer clear of getting more than one payday loan at the same time. It is actually against the law to get more than one payday loan against the identical salary. Another issue is, the lack of ability to repay many different personal loans from various creditors, from a single salary. If you cannot pay off the money on time, the service fees, and attention still boost.

When confronted with a paycheck lender, keep in mind how tightly licensed they may be. Rates are usually lawfully capped at various level’s status by express. Determine what duties they have and what individual legal rights you have as being a consumer. Get the contact information for regulating federal government workplaces handy.

You will likely have to have some telephone numbers when investing in a cash advance. The cash advance office will be needing your telephone number for your home telephone, your cellular phone along with your host to job. Today’s loan providers also require additional personal references on top of the phone quantity. You will likely need to put up 3 references.

Pay day loans might be a good option for those who will need funds. Payday cash loans are swift, easy to obtain, and credit history will not be involved inside your financial loan authorization. Continue to keep this data in mind to help you quit having to worry about dollars making a far better determination.

The Pros and Cons of Online Shopping

 Online   Shopping  as the act of buying products and services over the internet through Web Stores and  online  marketplaces is getting ever popular. But as with any other activity, it has its pros and cons. Let us start off with the advantages of shopping over the internet.

1) Detailed Product Information: Whatever the product you are looking for, sellers take special care in describing the products in as much detail as possible. This is handy to enable customers in deciding where to spend their hard earned monies.

2) Price Comparison: It takes a lot of time and energy to personally pop into various offline retail outlets, hunt down the products you are after and check how much they retail for. However, with  Online   Shopping  its a matter of seconds. There are quite a few Price Comparison websites on the internet providing all the details required to make an informed buying decision.

3) Delivery Service: Buying it online means having it delivered to your doorstep. No more wandering about holding loads of shopping bags and tiring yourself up.

4) Special Offers and Discount codes: You can easily save money by  shopping   online  as most retail outlets operating over the internet provide special discounts for the privilege of remote  shopping . The savings they make off the overheads of operating retail outlets are passed onto  online  customers to encourage further  shopping .

5) New Products and Newsletters: Its easier for Online Stores to communicate their new products and any other news pertaining to their stores direct to their customers via either publicly accessible areas of their websites, password protected areas or via emails. This keeps Online Customers up to date on their favourite product lines.

These are the main advantages, but its not all good news for Online Shoppers. Customers need to be very selective and extremely cautious while  shopping   online . Below we review some of the disadvantage of  Shopping   Online  and how to tackle them.

1) Security of Information: It is important to ensure that you only shop with reliable stores that honour the security of your personally identifiable information and credit card details. Shopping with wrong stores may well mean loss of money and risks associated with leakage of your personal information.

2) Delivery Timescale: Unlike  shopping  offline where you carry your bought products with yourself, doing it  online  means waiting for the store to deliver your products to you. This ranges in time from a few hours to several days or even weeks. Certain circumstances are within the control of online retailers however at times, things can go wrong in terms of couriers damaging or delaying delivery of your orders. Always allow plenty of time for delivery and read carefully what the delivery and returns terms of the retailer are.

3) Delivery Charges: On certain low value items, its clearly more expensive to  shop   online  as delivery charges normally raise the price of goods. However, if you buy multiple items ate the same time, you may either eve out the loss or even save some money.

4) Fraudulent Retailers: Some websites are simply fraudulent, all they are after is your credit card details. So, instead of jumping to purchase, make sure the retailer is reliable. Retailers found through Price Comparison websites and various reliable directories tend to be fine to shop with. Avoid retailers that come to you through spam emails and other dodgy sources.

 Online   Shopping  is indeed a convenient way of shopping, however do not simply base your buying decision on prices. Ridiculously low prices on valued items may result in compromised service. Always base your buying decisions on a combined set of criteria including customer reviews, retailer information and where you found the retailer in the first place.



5 Reasons Why Online Shopping Steals The Show

The most prominent and well accepted aspect of commercialization of the internet is the facility to shop online. The convenience and comfort offered by online shopping, along with several additional advantages not available in physical stores have made the online purchase of goods a preference between all. Discussed here in brief are a few of the merits of buying items from shopping websites.

Convenience and comfort

Instead of having to eke out dear time from busy schedules only to visit busy marketplaces and malls, waiting in line, not even sure that the desired products will be available, modern shoppers consider shopping a task that can be completed easily at any time, night or day, and from any place. The buyers can avoid the holiday rush by ordering their goods online comfortably seated at home. The only effort required of them is to log on to a shopping website and easily find items of their choice with the help of customized search and sorting modes.

Pleasant prices

It is popularly known that online shopping sites offer products at relatively lower prices than physical stores, primarily because of the fact that the retailer, understanding that customer prefer to shop online chiefly to spend less, significantly reduce the prices by lessening their own profit margins. Besides this, due to the continual competition between different web-stores, frequently updated discount offers and attractive deals keep coming up regularly to magnetize larger crowds.

Simple payment

The online stores offer a great number of choices in payment options, based on the customers’ individual convenience, including credit cards, cash-on-delivery and money transfer mobile apps. This facility to choose a suitable and reliable method of payment keeps customers satisfied. Even refunds in case of exchange or return are automatically credited to the respective mode of payment without any hassle.

Reliable shipping

Tie-ups of online stores with leading cargo companies assure buyers of swift and accountable delivery of products, some retailers even offering free shipping in case of large orders, and shipping on the same day as the placement of the order.

Knowing very well that you would look for a product online mainly to get your hands on the best online discounts, the online shopping websites avail the same items at far lower prices than the physical stores. To add to the convenience of customers, a variety of payment modes are available at websites including Credit Cards, Cash on Delivery and even PayPal, along with swift shipping, sometimes on the very same day, and even free shipping for large orders. There is no wonder that the number of online shoppers has increased to the present height.

Fabulous deals and discounts

In terms of deals and discounts, online shopping stores score very heavily over physical stores. Almost every day, new deals and discounts appear and many of people grab them on the spot. Almost all the online shopping destinations provide their regular customers with added advantages in terms of fabulous deals and discounts. Normally, the aware, customers always subscribe the newsletter of their preferred shopping destination and get instant information about daily offerings in their mailbox.

Overall, the comfort and convenience that online shopping has created in the life of people is something that not only has put the buyers at ease, but also sellers on the cutting edge. Now there is no need for sellers to establish the physical mega stores to sell their products, what they need to do is just establishing a tie-up with a leading online store and start selling their products.

Overall, online shopping has become a way of life for today’s busy generation because the joy of hovering in the markets to buy items has been overtaken by the will to finish quickly purchases like hanging task. So, people all over the world now prefers to buy a variety of items of all price ranges online.



The Pros And Cons Of Shopping Online

The benefits of  online   shopping  are well-documented; it is convenient, quick and largely secure. The benefits of  online   shopping  also extend to the various attractive offers and discounts that are given by the companies. The internet also offers a large choice for buyers to suit different tastes. Shoppers are no longer limited to products offered by local retailers because the vast majority of online retailers offer shipping to many different locations. This can make it easy for online shoppers to acquire hard to find items or items which are a regional specialty of a particular area. Consumers are therefore becoming used to a richer, faster, and more socially interactive shopping experience.

What they cannot do is try out products for fit, look, feel, appropriateness and ease of use before buying, or even benefit from the immediacy of collecting the item at time of purchase, which are the core benefits of buying in-store. Consumers today are now more comfortable buying products over the internet and more confident navigating online stores. Shoppers are increasingly able to find suitable the deals they want online.

Sales promotions are carried out with the main objective to increase the revenue through the website. These promotions are effectively performed to attract the attention of the targeted consumers of a company and product and the application thereof needs to accommodate the appropriate image these consumers will easily identify with.

Social interaction implies the opportunity to interact with a salesperson. Social position strongly influences individual preferences and tastes in popular culture. According to research, if we focus on the demographic characteristics of the in-home shopper, in general, the higher the level of education, income, and occupation of the head of the household, the more favourable the perception of non-store shopping.

Shoppers who avoid  online   shopping  may not trust that it’s safe, are not confident about how to do it, and/or think it is inefficient. Or they may just enjoy the physical experience of shopping in a traditional brick-and-mortar store. At some sites you can now skip the frustration of doing battle in a dressing room with standardized sizes that don’t fit exactly, thanks to new  shopping  tools and technology that offer custom-tailoring of clothing  online . And shoppers response to customization suggests these two retailers could be at the top of a trend.

Identity theft is one of the most frequent concerns that consumers have about  shopping   online . This is a very real concern because Identity theft can do some real damage to your credit store or financial situation. Identity theft appears to be the biggest concern.

The evolution of technology has had its impact on virtually every business or private aspect of our lives. From privacy to liability issues, the impact of technology on business is only limited to imagination. Security in general create an entirely new concern in addition to the traditional issues. The mere evolution of technology including the World Wide Web have created rather newly businesses which are subject to potential danger in terms of liability and for consumer in terms of privacy and data security.

Nevertheless the main topic of security is not new. It is rather a universal topic that concerns virtually everyone. Before the evolution of technology physical and employee access to hard collected data such as consumer credit card numbers were equally of great concern. Hence it is fair to say that the evolution of technology has simply added new issues. Consumers can  shop   online , by catalog or through call centers, and pay for their purchases at their bank, credit union, or bill pay portal, with the security and convenience of online banking.



10 Reasons to Shop Online – African Consumers

You can find many articles on the Internet on the advantages of shopping online. Most of them carry very useful but also very general information. In some societies such as Nigeria, having access to Internet is still relatively new and having the ability to actually shop online is even newer.

Here are 10 reasons for people living in regions similar to Nigeria to shop online.

1. Lower prices and Guarantee on products purchase

Consider the savings. For example Elizabeth Arden, Sunflower perfume can be sold for anything between N8000 to N12000 in department stores in Nigeria. But if you buy through a reputable Internet company it could cost you just N5000 for 100ml, including delivery

2. 24/7 access

Fortunately the Internet is not restricted to opening or closing times. It is available to you at a time that is convenient for you. Being able to access the best brands, latest technology, or bestselling book 24/7 is certainly a good reason to shop online.

3. Selection

Gone are the days when you are restricted to a few reputable department stores that may stock a limited selection. The fun of shopping is having access to a wide selection at your fingertips and shopping online provides an opportunity to choose from thousands of products.

4. Saves time

Nigeria is notorious for traffic congestion. It could take you a whole day to visit just one department store in search for a pair of Nike sneakers. Shopping online saves time and the stress of sitting in traffic for the whole day.<

Ok, so you have now sat in traffic for the whole day and still cannot find those Nike sneakers. What a waste of petrol money!! Shopping online eliminates the cost of a wasted journey. But also consider this, you can shop online in the best shops in London without having to buy an airline ticket.

6. Access to Sales and Promotions

Sales normally run twice a year in the UK. Winter and Summer sales. By shopping online you are free to take advantage of sales and promotions that run all year round.

7. Comparison shopping

Back to our scenario. It has taken you the whole day to get to Palms shopping mall in Lekki to look for Elizabeth Arden, Red Door. But now you want to know how much it cost in Big Treat in Ikeja. What do you do?

A major advantage of the internet is that there are specialist sites designed to help you compare the prices at a glance.

8. Latest styles and technology

In Africa, information sometimes lags behind. We all want to be the first to have the latest shoes, ipod, mobile phone, etc. Shopping on the internet could give you access to this even before they are available in department stores.

9. Delivery to your doorstep

There are some sites dedicated to facilitating shopping online for African countries such as Nigeria. They offer competitive rates to shop online, receive and forward parcels onto the customers from their UK shipping address. The beauty of this is they can deliver UK parcels direct to your doorstep.

10. Available product information

The wonder of the internet is Information. The shopping experience comes with a magnitude of information to help you make an informed decision on your intended buys



Effective Online Christmas Shopping Tips

It was 365 days ago when we had our unparalleled laughter, when we last received funny gifts from our friends and loved ones, when we last embraced our childhood friends and when we last attended numerous parties in our village. In a few days, the most celebrated festivity is about to happen again. Yes, Christmas is fast approaching! Brace yourself for another exceptional yet tiresome festivity.

Christmas makes us aware of our obligation to our fellowmen and above all to our faith to the Savior, Jesus Christ. It is the time for unselfish sharing of blessings we receive for the entire year. Giving gifts is one of the holiday’s activities that we give much time to. In connection with gift giving, another stressful activity that we tend to do during holiday season is Christmas Shopping. It is definitely one of the major Christmas activities as everybody seems to prepare gifts to their families, friends and relatives. However, Christmas Shopping as I have said earlier gives us so much stress. It is also time consuming because we devote hours in choosing what’s best for our love ones. Whenever we give gift, we tend to be very selective. This is because we want the receiver to appreciate all the details of our gifts. From simple Christmas cards, to colorful shirts, to personalized items, we always want them perfect. Being choosy for the gift items escalates our stress.

But don’t you know that you can still be choosy for the gift you want without leaving your home? Yes, that is exactly true! Nowadays, you can conveniently do shopping while doing your household chores or while you are leisurely sitting in your favorite sofa bed in your own houses. Thanks to technological advancement, we can now do shopping worldwide through online shopping. Internet has changed the shopping styles of people. In fact more people are now into online shopping as it lessens expenses and of course, stress and not to mention its advantage of favorably shopping directly from your own home. In fact, online stores offer the same basic services just like what we customarily observe in malls and department stores. If you want a shopping cart, online store can provide it for you, you only have to click the image of a push cart and fill it in with the images of the products that you want to purchase. Isn’t it very convenient?

We have prepared numerous practical Christmas online shopping tips for you. If you have not yet tried online shopping, these tips can be of great help to you.

Online Christmas Shopping Tip #1: Just simply prepare everything you want to buy.

To start your online shopping, it is proper to prepare a list of your shopping needs. This will not only saves time but will help your online shopping easy as possible. If you are unprepared, chances are, you will forget some important items you want to place on your online push cart. In addition, you can also shop around from one online store to another; this will help you compare better products and its prices. The idea of having a prepared list of items can also save a lot of money for shipping, because most online stores offer discounted or even free shipping of items.

Online Christmas Shopping Tip #2: Early shopper usually gets the best products.

Just like other shoppers, we always want to buy the best products. Both online and department stores have saleable products, which can be easily sold out, so if you want to grab the best online products from your favorite online store, shop early. You may begin your online shopping for the purpose of searching for the best items, let’s say, early September. For three months of looking for the best ones, you cannot be wronged for the prefect gifts you want to give. Just remember that online shopping is the same as physical shopping, some displayed items can be sold out immediately.

Online Christmas Shopping Tip #3: Be a vigilant shopper. Shop Safe.

Be aware that online shopping can be very risky. Online stores usually ask for your credit or debit card or even banking information, as mode of payments. So when you are shopping online, always examine the credibility of the websites. Be sure the website is secured and products are in good conditions. It is also important to read product reviews, if available and if you really care for your money, try to read the terms and conditions of the website, and its policy as well. Trust website that give enough care for your financial safety.

Online Christmas Shopping Tip #4: Let online store do the wrapping.

As I have always said, Christmas seems to be a time when almost all are busy. So, if after doing your online shopping, you do not still have time for gift wrapping, you can also ask the online store where you buy your items to do the wrapping for you. Online stores usually have extra services such as wrapping that require only a small fee for their additional service. You will be asked if you want your purchased items be gift wrapped and if you want them to be wrapped you will be redirected to options of bows and wrapper designs.

Online Christmas Shopping Tip #5: Check Delivery Dates.

It would be very disappointing if your ordered items arrive after Christmas. So, when placing your order, please focus on the possible delivery dates. If possible, ask a waiver or written agreement that your ordered items will arrive at expected date. In addition, ask for the complete information of the Shipping Company and if you have still time, research for its advantage and credibility. You ordered items can be delayed if the shipping company has negative delivery feedbacks. Remember that during holiday seasons, shipping companies are also busy, and it would impossible for them to deliver all the items all at once. To be sure, you decide for a delivery date and if possible make it earlier that your expected date of arrival.

Online Christmas Shopping Tip #6: How about sending Christmas Cards?

With so many products to choose from as your gifts to your families and friends, sending Christmas cards are sometimes disregarded. Perhaps, for a long time you have not anymore experienced reading a well-written personalized message of someone special to you through Christmas cards. Well, of course, you cannot explain the feelings while reading those Christmas cards’ messages. Don’t you know that there are still some fellows who love to receive Christmas cards, especially the traditional ones? Well, you can find them too in some online stores. Do you want a digital Christmas cards or do you prefer the plain and traditional Christmas cards? Well, all of these can be delivered to your “inbox” and mailbox. This service, of course, needs a small payment for the service.



Is Shopping Online Safe?

There’s no doubt about it,  shopping   online  is easy, saves time, and can actually help you save money. Take for instance, an out of print book for a special someone on your holiday gift list. If you can’t find it in a local secondhand book shop, Amazon and eBay are great places to try.

These days many online merchants accept both credit and debit cards. I happen to believe credit cards are safer. Credit cards have less ‘hassle’ potential should unauthorized charges end up on your monthly statement.

The fear with using your debit card online is that your bank account could be overdrawn while you’re in the process of disputing fraudulent charges.

Another common online payment option is to use a reputable third-party escrow service like PayPal. Its buyer protection feature helps guarantee your purchase and comes at no additional cost to buyers.

When  shopping   online , it’s important to  shop  smart. Always err on the side of caution and stick to online merchants you know and trust.

Big name sites like Amazon.ca are leaders in the world of  online   shopping . They built their reputation by putting their name on the line and by offering customers a safe and secure place to shop. That said don’t let fear (or size of the company) stop you from buying from smaller merchants who offer great deals or specialty merchandise.

The key to dealing with lesser known merchants is to do your homework. Explore the merchant’s website in detail. Look into the company’s privacy policy and ask them to send you a catalogue. If an email address is the only source of contact information, be wary. Is there a phone number? If so, give the number a call. Did a real person answer or did the call go straight to voice mail? Anyone can set up a voice mail system.

Also, encryption doesn’t necessarily mean the site is secure. To be safe, always look at the plural URL before typing in your credit card information. By ‘plural URL’ I’m referring to the URL that appears at the top of the merchant’s checkout page, the “http” in the URL should automatically switch to “https.” Furthermore, a ‘key ‘or ‘closed padlock’ icon should also appear at the top of page to signify that your personal information will be either encrypted or scrambled. If you don’t see the added ‘S’ in the URL or notice any security icons, then you can’t be sure the merchant has a secure server. If this is the case, shopping with this merchant isn’t worth the risk. I’d go elsewhere – no matter how good the deal is.

On a final note, never shop via shared computers e.g. the one at your local library or Internet cafe. Computers available to multiple users aren’t safe for online purchases as your personal information can easily be stolen before it’s encrypted.

Do’s:

*Make sure your computer has a good firewall to block potential intruders.

*Read and understand the shipping and return policies BEFORE you make a purchase.

*Print out a copy of purchase receipt or confirmation email. Place receipts in a folder and file in a safe and handy place.

Don’ts:

*Never  shop   online  from a computer that doesn’t have up-to-date anti-virus software.

*Avoid buying anything that’s promoted via unsolicited email even if it looks legit.

*Never do business with merchants who ask you to forward a money order or wire your payment.

*Steer clear of deals that sound too good to be true e.g. an iPod Touch for $25. Personal information can easily be stolen if you fall for deals which are in fact, too good to be true.



Secure Shopping Online

We have all suddenly come to realise just how convenient it is to do shopping online, especially at the most important times of year such as Christmas. In fact it isn’t just gifts you can purchase online but a wide variety of other items including groceries, cars, and electronic equipment and of course insurance policies. But what should one do to ensure that one carries out secure shopping online?

In this article we offer several tips you may find useful when you are choosing to buy products or services online. There are many things people are concerned with when they are shopping online and the kinds of things that they worry about are as follows:

1. That the item they receive is in fact not the same as what they actually ordered.

2. That their email details will actually be provided to other parties without requesting permission first.

3. Are scared that their financial or personal details will be stolen.

4. That they receive phishing emails from sources which disguise themselves and get the customer in to believing that it has been sent in fact by a trusted financial institute or retailer.

So it is important that just as you are careful when shopping in a regular store you need to protect your financial and personal details at all times. Hopefully the information that is given above will ensure that your next online shopping experience is safe and enjoyable.

Tip 1 – It is important that you purchase goods only from secure web sites and the best way of ensuring that they use encryption technology. This way the information you give to them will be scrambled in such a way that hackers cannot actually obtain it as it passes between you and the retailer. There are several ways of recognising the sites which are secure and below we look at what these are.

a. Look at the sites address at the top of the browser page. If at the beginning you notice it shows https:// this will immediately inform you that the site is secure. But be aware that this may not appear until you actually move to the sites order page.

b. Another sign to look for when determining if a site is secure or not is to look at the bottom of the web page. If there is a closed padlock then this will show you that the site is a secure one to use. However, there are other sites that use an unbroken key rather than a padlock.

Tip 2 – It is important that before you place any orders at any online stores you do some research into them beforehand. It is a good idea to place a small order with them firstly to check out how trustworthy they really are. Some things you could look for to help further ensure that the site you are considering using is reputable are as follows:

a. That they provide both not an email address but also a physical one as well.

b. That they give details of either a number for a customer service line or order line that you can contact directly. Ring the number provided and ask a few questions to establish the legitimacy of the business further.

There are plenty of ways for you to be able to do research quickly and easily online today in to online businesses. Certainly in the US one of the best ways is by contacting the Better Business Bureau in the area where you live. Plus of course don’t be afraid to use online Yellow Pages as well.

Tip 3 – After carrying out your research you need to read through the web sites privacy and security policies as this will explain how all orders for a company are processed. Normally this will be on a separate page headed “Privacy Policy” and it is here where you will discover if the retailer is intending to offer your details to other companies.

Tip 4 – Look for merchants who sell items online that are members of say a seal of approval programme. These often set guidelines for the merchants to follow with regard to privacy related practices.

Although both of these are there to help protect your privacy you may find sometimes that they don’t guarantee that any merchant will not allow this information to be given to others at a later date. Sometimes their privacy policies can change and should a business become bankrupt then the buyer of the business will also be given the information held on the businesses customer data base.

Tip 5 – When you are purchasing any items online then use one specific credit card for these purchases only. This way you are in a better position to detect any unlawful credit charges being made against it. Also use a credit card rather than a debit card as you are more open to theft from your bank account if you use a debit one. Also unlike credit cards there is no protection on your debit card if funds are taken without your consent.

Above we have offered you several tips that you may find useful when it comes to ensuring that shopping online is safe. Certainly the more you learn about secure shopping online the less likely you are going to end up being one of the thousands whose money or identity has been stolen.