Online shopping has been growing in popularity ever since it became possible to purchase things over the internet. Of course, at first, many people were skeptical and didn’t trust the technology at all! But as consumers have become more comfortable with the idea of online shopping, the volume of internet sales have skyrocketed. Unfortunately, where there’s money to be made, there are scam artists waiting in the wings as.
And while this isn’t as big of a problem as some people might fear, there are a few things you still need to know and be aware of before making purchases over the internet. With this being said, let’s look at some of the different aspects you should keep in mind as far as online shopping safety goes.
The idea of having your identity stolen or money taken from you can be scary to think about, so it’s important to always use websites with a good reputation. The brand name websites are usually good in regards to account security because of all the money they can dump into tech support. Of course, many smaller websites are also adopting advanced methods to protect consumer credit card information, thus making it safe for consumers to order items from the large majority of beauty websites.
To ensure that you are using a secure website, use these tips to help guide you. First, depending on your chosen internet browser, it may display an icon to make you aware of secure websites and non-secure websites. Internet Explorer and Netscape browsers both have an icon displayed that says “locked” to alert you to when you’re on a secure website or server. Another small detail worth paying attention to is the website URL. Typically the website address starts with http://; however, secure websites start with https://. The ‘s’ lets you know that it is a secure server. If you’re not seeing these secure signs, be cautious when buying from these sites.
The most common way to make online purchases is by using a credit card – despite the constant worry about credit card fraud. However, you can ease these fears by realizing that using a credit card to make online purchases is safe due to advanced encryption technologies made available throughout the years. Another payment option for online shoppers is the eWallet, which is a category that includes sites like PayPal and Moneybookers. With an eWallet, you transfer money from your bank account or credit card onto a website, then you use the website account to make purchases.
You also have the option of getting a one-time use or substitute credit card number for online shopping. Many of these expire quickly, and are good for only one purchase; the latter is so you won’t be a credit card fraud victim since the card will be automatically deactivated once you make the purchase. To find out if you qualify for a one-time use or substitute card number, call your credit card provider.
Just like a bank, you’ll want to keep a log of all of your internet purchases and transactions for your credit card. Keeping a log is wise because it makes your purchases visible, and allows you to keep an eye on shipping dates easily without having to log onto a computer, or try and sift through your internet history or emails. It’s fairly easy to keep a log; what you need to do is print off the summary page each time you make a purchase online to put into a file, or download the page onto your computer as well.
It isn’t hard to lose track of your budget when you’re shopping online, but it’s still important to practice good shopping habits! Just as with shopping in a mall or another physical store, you’ll want to look around for the best deals before settling on a purchase. Looking around and comparing prices is easier online since it only takes seconds to go from web-store to web-store; with physical shops, you have to walk or drive to other stores, which can be tough if you’re in a time crunch. It’s also convenient to shop online because they are open at all hours of the day or night, and even open on holidays. So it doesn’t matter if you make it to the store before they close, or have to wait for them to open in the morning.
Auction websites like eBay have grown in popularity, and they are fine for purchasing books or house ware items. However, it isn’t a good idea to purchase beauty products off of auction websites because of the potential imitation products being sold, and most of these sellers don’t offer return or exchange policies. In short, don’t let cheaper prices on auction websites trick you into taking a risk on potentially used and/or fake products.
Ordering makeup online is okay assuming you’re not ordering a foundation or concealer that you’ve never used before. These items are very important, and should match your skin perfectly so you do not look weird in public! Only buy foundation and concealer off of the internet if you know your number and have used it before.
Eye shadows are easy to buy since they don’t need to match skin tone, as well as blush, bronzer, lipsticks, nail polish, shampoos, conditioners, other hair products and skin products. Tinted moisturizers are sometimes tricky, so the suggested method of purchasing items like this is to only purchase them in a store – unless of course you are familiar with the product already!
Looking at things from a broad perspective, online purchases can be intimidating at first, but once you become an experienced online shopper, you’ll instantly feel empowered. Even if you don’t feel empowered, perhaps you’ll love saving gas money and time with online shopping!