What Should I Know About Internet Shopping?

Jessica Hobby

Internet shopping has become a common activity for many people and remains a convenient service for millions of people worldwide. However, with the increasing popularity of internet shopping, there is also an increasing opportunity for an online shopper to have an unpleasant experience. If internet shoppers choose to follow a few guidelines while shopping, they should be able to have a successful internet shopping experience every time they purchase something online.

Shoppers should make sure that their connection is secure before the purchase goods over the Internet.
Shoppers should make sure that their connection is secure before the purchase goods over the Internet.

Many concerns about internet shopping are due to security issues. When engaging in an online transaction to purchase something, it is important to verify that your internet connection is secure, keep your passwords to favorite websites secure by never answering unsolicited emails that ask for that information. In addition, never open attachments from unsolicited emails because they may contain viruses which can sacrifice the security of a computer.

People can use their mobile phones to make purchases online.
People can use their mobile phones to make purchases online.

The best form of payment to use when shopping online is a credit or debit card. In some countries there are federal laws that protect the consumer from credit/debit card fraud. For example, under federal law in the United States a consumer’s liability is limited to $50(USD) when using a credit card. Many websites will offer to cover the liability and the large credit card companies offer protection too.

Knowing your seller is another important guideline to lead to a pleasant internet shopping experience. Most transactions with major retailers are going to be smooth and very rarely will lead to any problems. However, when shopping with a company that is unfamiliar, it is important to do some research. Just because a company is ranked high in a search engine does not mean it is reputable. It is important to double-check company information and to be familiar with all of their purchase and return policies, as not to be surprised later.

If something seems to good be true, it probably is. This saying is used many places in life, but it is especially important when shopping online. There are many ways to save money online by shopping clearance sales, taking advantage of online-only specials or using online coupons that can be obtained at numerous websites. However, websites or unsolicited emails that offer products or services that sound too good to be true usually have less than honorable intentions. Many of these kinds of problems may occur when purchasing luxury or designer goods.

Finally, after an internet shopping transaction is complete, it is important to print all receipts. By printing or saving to a hard drive a copy of the order confirmation, there is a record of the transaction in case of any possible future disputes. Having a picture or record of the original product also provides a record if the product shows up and looks different than expected.

Do some research before doing business with an unfamiliar online retailer.
Do some research before doing business with an unfamiliar online retailer.

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Discussion Comments


These are all really good tips. I follow basically all of these steps to make sure online shopping doesn't become a nightmare. Especially reading forums is a really good way to get feedback about sites. I don't ever read customer reviews on the sites themselves, because I don't think they are written by actual customers. Many companies write their own reviews so people get a good impression of them.

If you take a look at unaffiliated blogs and forums, you can get real good information about how safe a site is, how easy their procedures are, how fast they ship purchases and their prices.

Another factor I pay attention to is to pay using an online debit system like PayPal. These sites store your financial information, so that when you do online shopping, you are not sharing that information with anyone.

I know that there is always a risk with internet shopping no matter how many precautions you take. But I'd say that if you buy through proven internet shopping sites, you're pretty safe.


The other day I was at a shopping site and was all ready to checkout. When I proceeded to pay, a page come up that warned me about an insecure connection. I didn't go forward with the transaction because there was clearly something wrong with the site.

Even if an online store is unknown, they are not completely protected. I read all the time about hackers getting into the systems of some of the most well known sites. I had also noticed with the site I was looking at, that some products were extremely cheap than usual. That should have been an alarm for me right there, but instead, I thought I caught a deal.

Thanks to that warning page, I saved myself from being a fraud victim.

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