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The Convenience and Inconvenience of Online Shopping

The Convenience and Inconvenience of Online Shopping

The convenience that you can get from online shopping cannot be emphasized enough. Online shops are open twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. You can shop at wee hours in the morning or even at midnight. You can even shop during your lunch break without having to go out. There are a lot of bargains and great deals that you can find online. With just a simple click of your mouse, you book your next flight, confirm your hotel reservation, send flowers and chocolates for your special someone and be updated with the latest fashion trends. Of course, there are some significant differences with mall shopping (especially with clothes as you cannot fit the dress) but the shopping experience is practically the same.

However, you should be aware that shopping online can also expose you to identity theft. When you send your personal details online, these can be intercepted by hackers and they can use these pieces of information for their own financial gain. Here are some tips for you to help you make your shopping experience safer:

You have to confirm the identity of the person that you are dealing with. You should always know who you are dealing with. Of course, getting to know your seller or buyer does not necessarily mean that you have to know everything about the person. All you need to know is their phone number and physical address (if possible) so that if you are not satisfied with your product or if you don’t receive it at all, you can always contact your seller/buyer. If you are browsing through an auction site, and you receive a pop-up box or message asking for your personal information, do not reply or click anywhere inside the box. It can be a phishing scam and you don’t want to be a part of it nor be a victim of identity theft.

You should also know exactly what you are buying. For instance, if you are buying a tee, read the product description so you’d know from what material was it created from, what are the sizes available, its dimensions, and how it will be shipped. If you are too keen on buying only brand new products, then watch out for words like pre-loved, refurbished, or vintage. All these may be used to refer to items that have been used and sold again.

Before checking out, you have to verify the total cost of your purchase. There may be hidden charges like shipping charges that might have not been discussed on the product description and if there’s any tax or other fees that you have to pay. Some sellers advertise products at a very low price only to know that in the end, there are a lot of hidden charges that needs to be settled before the product is cleared. As a last note, it is important that you read the privacy policy of the online retailer site where you will conduct your transaction so that you’ll know how your information is being treated and protected.

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