Top 5 Online Shopping Tips – 2/5

Tip 2 of 5
Look for a valid contact/mailing address, or a contact telephone number.

There are a lot of websites out there that look very convincing and genuine, offering the same products as every other reputable trader, but once your order is placed and they either have your money or worse still you Credit Card or Debit Card details, they disappear into fresh air and you never see your ordered good or your money again.

These websites are fakes, they spring up, operate for a few days or weeks and then disappear once they have defrauded many innocent shoppers out of their money.  Its not always easy to spot a fake online retailer and tell them apart from a genuine one, however there are a few basic checks you can do to help identify these dodgy sites.

Look for a real world office/warehouse/postal address.  Most legitimate online retailers do not have anything to hide and will have a page somewhere on their site that will say something like ‘Contact Us’ and list all their contact details, including an address.  Some may have a page that says ‘About Us’ and again gives all the relevant information about the person or company you are dealing with.

Check for a valid contact phone number, and if you have any doubts give it a ring and see if you get an answer.  If you do and the retailer is genuine they should be only too happy to answer any questions and put your mind at ease that they are genuine.  A good question to ask is something along the lines of, “If I place an order with you today, where will my order be dispatched from and how long will delivery take approximately?”  If they hesitate or can’t give you a location it could be a good sign they are not genuine.

Check the internet to see if anyone else has had dealings with the website.  Most genuine online shops will be listed somewhere on a review site where shoppers can rate their performance and satisfaction with the online store.  Likewise if the store is a fake then usually there will be various posts and entries on consumer websites warning other consumers.  Simply type the shops/retailers name into google and see what comes up.

If in doubt, err on the side of caution and look elsewhere, the same goods and products will be available from many other sites and although sometimes can appear to be a little more expensive, will at least offer you peace of mind that your money and goods are safe.

PC Care - On-line safety guide - location

Check back tomorrow for Tip 3


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