More Tips for Your Christmas List
Whether you’re a pro or new to e-commerce, a few simple tips can help you get the most out of your online holiday shopping experience.
4. Free Shipping and Free Returns
There’s no sense in saving a bundle to spend a fortune on shipping. Before you order, check out your options. Many companies offer free shipping on big ticket items. If they don’t, they should offer choices for ground, next day, and other ways to get it there.
Even when you’re sure about your purchase, there’s always the possibility that you might have to send something back. Companies like Zappos, ModCloth, and Nordstrom pay for your return shipping without charging you an extra fee for “restocking,” so you can order with confidence, even if you’re uncertain about the sizing or color.
3. Read Seller Reviews
Whether you’re dealing with an unknown Amazon vendor or a company in another part of the country, you’ll find customer reviews of their service and products. Use these to determine whether their overall feedback is positive or negative and shop accordingly. You can also check bbb.org for complaint history and customer reviews.
2. Check Site Security
If you’re ordering online, you want to know that your personal details are secure. Look for the little padlock icon in the address bar or browser window (you can click it to learn more about security) or the prefix “https” in the URL. This means that the site uses Secure Sockets Layer (SSL): “a complex system of key exchanges between your browser and the server you are communicating with in order to encrypt…data before transmitting it across the web.”
1. Use a Credit Card
Believe it or not, the safest way to pay online is to use your credit card, because the Fair Credit Billing Act protects you from fraudulent charges in a way that debit cards do not. Checks and cash can’t be recovered if they’ve gone astray, and losing your debit card information can be especially costly, depending on your bank.
If you’re still not convinced, why not check out one-time usage credit card numbers? Many credit card companies will be happy to facilitate your secure online transactions by issuing you a number good for a single transaction. Once you’ve used it, it’s deactivated, making it impossible for anyone to access your credit card with the data. If your company does not offer this service, you can also access it through Google Wallet.