Sunday, October 5, 2008

Be Safe When Shopping On-Line

One of my favorite ways to shop for Christmas gifts, is from the comfort of my own home. I am able to surf the website for available deals with having to waste gas or a lot of energy. However, sometimes shopping from home can be a frustrating and regrettable decision.

Earlier this year I made a purchase online and was overcharged. If I had not checked my account and made a deposit to cover the additional charges then my bank account would have become overdrawn. The process for getting a credit was very time consuming and frustrating. I often hesitate to make online purchases for this very reason.

This is not the first time that I have had problems while shopping on line, yet it has not deterred me. I think that there are pros and cons to online shopping. My biggest mistake was not being aware of the protections available to me. Here is a short list of some of the precautionary measures that you can take to protect yourself when shopping online.

1. Have an account set up specifically for online shopping. It should be a stand-alone account and is not linked to any of your other accounts. The account should not allow for over drafting. So if the cash is not tin the account, then the purchase cannot be billed.

2. Be sure that the company is registered with a monitoring agency such as the Better Business Bureau or a buySAFE. Check with the BBB to confirm the reputation of the company. On the other hand, search for companies on-line through Buysafe provides a comprehensive list of businesses who have voluntarily registered with their company. Purchases are automatically protected with a bond guarantee of up to $25,000 as well as identity theft insurance to be monitored and insured through their company. If something goes wrong your covered and both of these services are ~Free.


3. Do your research. Check on-line to see what other people have said about the company. The internet is a very useful tool for finding out just about anything. When dealing with a company for the first time, search to see how the company deals with dissatisfied customers.

4. Use your good judgment. If it sounds to good to be true, than it probably is.


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