Do you plan to do your Black Friday shopping online this year? Thousands of web sites will promise the best prices and greatest selections on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. To get the best online deals this holiday season, make it a habit to take precautions when shopping online. Your online shopping experience will be convenient, easy, fruitful and above all safe if you follow these shopping tips:
1. Use One Credit Card. Choose one card for all of your online purchases. Using one card allows you to easily spot any fraudulent and/or unauthorized charges. Also, if possible, use a card that pays rewards such as travel, gas and food rewards.
2. Document Your Online Purchases. Print a copy of both your order confirmation(receipt) and order page (the page before you click the Submit button).
3. Save All Emails. Online retailers will email a confirmation of your order and/or shipping information. Keep these emails until you are completely satisfied with your purchase.
4. Avoid Identity Theft. Do not give out credit numbers or any personal information via email. Why? Emails are not secure and identity thieves frequently pose as customer service representatives in order to retrieve your payment information. Only use a secure, encrypted web site to submit your personal data. A secure site is represented by a lock on the bottom right hand side of the site.
5. Report Fraud Immediately. Notify your credit card company immediately if you suspect fraud or other mistakes. You can also contact the Federal Trade Commission (877-382-4357) to report fraudulent activity.
6. Use the Web site’s Customer Service Number. Do not hesitate to use a customer service number if you have a question that is not addressed by the web site. Ask your questions before you place your order.
7. Read the Web site’s Policies. Before you make a purchase, read the web site’s return and exchange policies, in addition to the shipping, privacy and security pages. Also utilize the site’s FAQ section (if available) because once you place your order you have agreed to the terms and conditions of the site.
8. Avoid Unwanted Solicitations. Many shopping sites will ask if you are interested in receiving newsletters, coupons and/or other advertising material from them or third party affiliates. The default answer is “Yes” so make sure you change this answer to “no” to avoid junk email and spam.
9. Report Bad Business Practices. File a report with the Better Business Bureau if you have a bad experience with the online retailer.
10.Use shopping comparison and product review Web sites. Visit these site before you buy. You could experience increased Black Friday bliss and decreased buyers remorse.
Remember, with a bit of planning and research you can experience holiday bliss. Also, remember that while shopping online can yield great results, don’t forget to search for Black Friday deals the old fashion way: scan ads in the Thanksgiving Day circulars and check local publications.