Shopping Online Tips

Buying things online come with a risk, you either don't what you were told you were going to get, something gets lost in the delivery, you get charged wrongly or some other thing pops up. But most often than not, people buy things online for 3 reasons:
  1. Convenience 
  2. Better deals (e.g. cheaper etc…) 
  3. Not easily found physically or not available in the country you reside in

It’s always good to be prepared and know what to expect when purchasing items online, well, at least I like to know the good and the bad. One can never be too prepared, but knowledge is, after all power.

Here are some useful tips for online shopping from SafeShopping.
  • Trusting your instincts is a good place to start. If you are not comfortable buying or bidding for an item online, or if you feel pressurized, perhaps you should not buy at the moment (or at all).
  • Being knowledgeable about web-based auctions can help you have a better experience shopping online. It’s good to note the rules and policies, as well as the legal terms (warranties, refund policies etc…) of the seller’s item you are interested in purchasing.
  • Buying from reputable online stores or sellers (e.g. Ebay) can help to minimize, but not totally eliminate any bad experiences. Finding out more about other online shoppers experience can help you in your decisions sometimes. There are sites like or BizRate which have customer evaluations which can help you determine a company's legitimacy. 
  • Double check on the pricing, especially if the prices are too good to be true, it is always good to be alert. In addition, consider carefully if you are paying too much for an item. It’s always a good thing to make some comparisons (both online and offline if possible) before you commit to that online purchase. Be cautious and make sure that there are no extra shipping or handling costs.
  • Find and read the privacy policy. Carefully read the privacy policy to find out what information the seller or online shop is going to gather from you, how that information is going to be used, and how you can stop the process. If a site does not have a privacy policy available, it may be best not to make any transactions on it. You don’t want to be spam or your information misused. If there is a privacy policy, there will probably be a link to it from the seller's home page, or it could be included with the Legal Terms.
  • Review the return, refund, shipping and handling policies and other legal terms. If you can’t find what you are looking for ask the seller through an e-mail or telephone call to indicate where they are on the site or to provide them to you in writing. See Legal Terms.
  • Make sure the Internet connection is secure. Before you give your payment information, check for indicators that security software is in place. Look for third-party seals of approval. Companies can put these seals on their sites if they abide by a set of rigorous standards such as how personal information can be used. If you see the below seals, click them to make sure they link to the organization that created them. Some unscrupulous merchants will put these logos on their websites without permission. See Security.

Better Business Bureau Online—(BBBOnline)

  • Use a filter that warns you of suspicious websites. Find a filter that warns you of suspicious websites and blocks visits to reported phishing sites. 
  • Look for signs that the website is secure and protects your data. On the web page where you enter your credit card or other personal information, look for an "s" after http in the web address of that page (as shown below). (Encryption is a security measure that scrambles data as it traverses the Internet.) Also make sure there is a tiny closed padlock in the address bar, or on the lower right corner of the window.
  • Use the safest way to pay on the Internet. Pay for your order using a credit card. See Payment
  • Print the out the terms and conditions section. You should print out and date a copy of terms, conditions, warranties, item description, company information, even confirming e-mails, and save them with your records of your purchase. See Recordkeeping.
  • Insure the safe delivery of your item. If you're concerned that you may not be home when your package is delivered and that someone may take it if it is left on the doorstep, ask whether you can specify that the shipper must receive a signature before leaving the package. Or, it may be safer to have the package delivered to your office. See Delivery
  • Inspect your purchase. Look at your purchase carefully as soon as you receive it. Contact the seller as soon as possible if you discover a problem with it. Tell the seller in writing about any problems you have, ask for a repair or refund, and keep a copy of your correspondence. See Legal Terms.

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When travel collides with a byte, a unit of information made up of bits, TravelBytez is formed: snippets of ramblings on travel, food, shopping, living and anything else that comes to mind.


  1. Always check the shipping policies before you purchase, as well. Especially when ordering goods from another country, the shipping costs could make a purchase be a lot more expensive than you planned.