Online Shopping: 10 Tips For Safe Online Shopping

Have you ever bought a product or service from the internet?

Yes? Me too. You’re not alone…

Some of the reasons why most people are shopping online are: they can buy anything at anytime because Internet shopping is available 24 hours, all the time.

You can shop from the convenience of your home. You can avoid traffic and crowding at the malls.

Online shopping is one of the best ways to locate hard-to-find items not available in your local stores.

Whatever you buy can be delivered by mail to your house.

Most online stores and companies provide excellent values and discount prices because they do not have to pay the overhead of owning a physical business that will cost them insurance, employee pay, taxes and more.

VeriSign, Inc. says that online sales recorded during the prime holidays shopping season was about $2.2 billion dollars.

According to a study by Forrester Research Company, by 2010, online sales will reach $331 billion dollars.

More consumers are shopping online today than a year ago. The range of products they buy are many: software, hardware, electronics, digital products, music, toys, e-books, books, programs, DVD, flowers, pets, jewelry, clothes, air tickets, insurance, cars, prescription drugs, comic books, games, gifts and more.

They are flocking to buy from online bookstores, software stores, online computer stores, target stores, pet stores, liquor stores, drug stores, music stores, furniture stores, fabric stores, the Disney store, outlet stores, surplus stores, discount stores, thrift stores, gift stores, candy stores, lingerie stores, sports stores, video stores, sex stores, department stores, game stores, clothing stores and others.

Be a smart and savvy online shopper. Shop wisely and safely.

Here are a few tips to help you do your online shopping safely.

(1) Shop at the websites of companies that you know and are popular offline.

If you’re not sure of the company, request their catalog or brochure first.

Be sure they have a physical address and phone, as well as an e-mail address. Call them and speak to a human being first.

Check with the yellow pages and the Better Business Bureaus to be sure the company is legitimate.

Read all the fine print and the refund policy before you place an order.

You may read about product reviews and what other shoppers have to say about a company at:

http://www.epinions.com, http://www.consumersearch.com, http://www.productopia.com, http://www.deja.com

Here are some internet shopping agents’ sites:

[http://www.comparenet.com], [http://vo.infospace.com], http://bottomdollar.com

To read about reviews on shopping stores, regarding ease of use, pricing, selection and service go to:

http://www.gomez.com, http://www.bizrate.com , http://www.ratingwonders.com

To read about web business frauds and get help to avoid being a victim, go to:

http://www.fraud.org , http://www.bbbonline.org , http://www.webassured.com

(2) Keep a record of all your purchases.

Most people are by nature disorganized and unable to keep records. Learn to keep records of all your online purchases. This will help you keep track of your spending and shopping.

Print all receipts or save them on your computer in a folder named “receipts”.

This will help you locate orders that you placed but were never delivered.

The more organized you are the less negative online shopping experience you’ll have.

(3) Keep all your important personal information safe.

Don’t give them to strangers who may call you over the phone or request them by e-mail.

Personal information includes: your address, e-mail address, phone number, social security number, drivers license, age, information about your family.

Don’t give them to any stranger and, also, teach your children not to do so.

(4) Keep your passwords private.

When creating a password, avoid using phone numbers, birth dates or social security numbers.

Be creative. Use a password that is not easy for others to guess, and yet not easy for you to forget.

Change your passwords often. Use phrases to help you remember them.

Don’t disclose passwords to anyone.

(5) Use a credit (but never debit) card to make your payment.

Be sure to keep all credit card payment receipts. Check your credit card account statements to be able to spot any unauthorized charges.

When you buy certain goods and services from some companies, sometimes they will keep billing you thereafter. So scrutinize your statements. If you see a charge you’re not sure of, call the billing merchant and check it out.

Keep your credit cards secure.

Avoid making a payment using your credit card on a public computer.

Report any lost credit cards immediately and have them cancelled. Don’t give anyone that you don’t know your credit card number.

(6) Read the return policy before placing an order.

Be sure that you read and understand the return policy and warranty.

(7) Read and understand the company’s privacy statement (or policy).

A privacy statement tells you how and why a business is collecting your information, and how that information may be used.

You may find the company’s privacy statement (or policy) at the very bottom of the home page or inside their “Terms & Conditions” or “Terms of Service” (TOS).

(8) Use a secure browser and server.

Be sure whatever browser you’re using complies with the industry’s security standards, such as secure sockets layer (SSL).

This security protocol scrambles or encrypts the personal information you send over the Internet to ensure your transaction is secured.

How do you know if the server is secure where you’re making a payment?

If a Web site is using secure technology, its Web address begins with https and a tiny locked padlock appears at the bottom right corner of the screen.

(9) Check out a few stores and compare prices before buying.

Look for hidden costs such as shipping and handling.

(10) Use Yahoo Search Engine for all your searches.

Yahoo continues to be, not only the largest online company, but also, the best Search Engine.

Unlike the other popular Search engine, which keeps companies in a sandbox for many months and refuses to give them rankings for many months, Yahoo is pro business and gives immediate rankings to companies and business.

Their search result is also excellent. That may be one reason why 60% of people online (including me) love Yahoo.

Also, they have the most reliable and the best hosting service in the world.

For these reasons, I strongly recommend you use Yahoo to do all your searches.

Happy and safe online shopping.

Warmly,

I-key Benney

Considering Purchasing New Home Appliances? Here Are Some Wonderful Tips

No it is not about buying hats or lamps, it is about purchasing a brand-new refrigerator or washing machine. The task is tricky if a customer is a greenhorn or buying it for the first time. Here are some wonderful tips for those who are considering to buy a major home appliance.

Don’t purchase impulsively

Avoid buying rashly or by your instinct. In order to bring home the best model with the best features at the best cost and lifetime warranty, it is important to be patient and do research online. Shortlist some of the good online stores and brick and mortar showrooms and make sure that the products matches your requirements. You can also wait for seasonal sales and bonanzas to avail pocket-friendly deals.

Make a list of what you want

Do you want the latest energy efficient products or is it the cooling features? Do you wish to get long warranties? Make a list of all the things you want before buying.

Read the user instructions carefully

Become familiar with the cautions, user instructions and safety measures before making the purchasing decision. Since it is a major device, it’s better not to gamble because lot of money are at stake and you can’t take it back.

For instance, an alluring touch-pad-temperature-probe-microwave or a fridge whose temperature can be controlled digitally can be great to have but being a layman using them without reading the user instructions will work like havoc.

Get well acquainted with the item

Know more about the application procedures so that you can use them properly. Whether it is a microwave oven, fridge or washing machine make sure they are well acquainted with their application and if it is too intricate avoid it. After all it is never shrewd to buy products that stop operating after few days of buying due to wrong usage or complex functionalities.

For instance, a huge refrigerator brought on sale that stops to function after some days or blocking the traffic of the house in a major way.

Buy the right dimension

Getting the appliance installed properly is of utmost importance. So, make sure that you measure it accurately and have the right dimension before buying.

Get ready for repairing

Repairing costs for home appliances are something which doesn’t cross the mind of the customers while buying. But, this is very much essential in the long-run. Never buy a major piece of equipment without enquiring for the name, location and mobile numbers of the people who can provide the repairing services.

Negotiate with the dealers

Get the best and the most lucrative deals by haggling with the retailers. Buy many appliances simultaneously or ask for free shipping and installation or a free extensive warranty. This will have a major effect on the final price.

To conclude, buying home appliances will get easier for you if you follow the above mentioned tips. So go on a shopping spree.

The Untold Secret Insider Tips to Buying Used Exercise Equipment

I was enraged recently when I went to one of the big name sports stores and saw how much they were charging for a treadmill.

The price was the equivalent to buying new small car, jeez.

Plus this was home gym equipment which isn’t built the same as commercial grade equipment.

The real secret is to buy used exercise equipment and not new home gym equipment.

Many people don’t realize that you can buy commercial grade exercise equipment and you do not have to spend a fortune.

Here are some tips to help make sure you get quality gym equipment without breaking the bank.

For instance if you are really going to work out and exercise then you need to consider commercial gym equipment over a piece of home gym equipment because the quality is night and day.

Home fitness equipment is made to last for only two or three times a week at maximum and for roughly twenty to thirty minutes.

More than this and you’re going to have your fitness equipment wear down.

Commercial exercise equipment on the other hand is designed to be used every hour of every day because many professional gym are open twenty-four hours a day every day of the year.

So the gym equipment needs to be able to withstand the constant demands that the patrons have for these machines.

The price may be a little more but in the end you’re getting a higher quality of fitness equipment that will last.

Not to mention when you buy used exercise equipment you are going to save even more.

Just make sure that you buy from a reputable reseller of fitness equipment.

Look for a company that has been in business for at least three years, preferably five or more years.

Check to see if they have a customer service department because if they don’t move on to the next company if they do, call them and ask some questions about the machines that you may have an interest in and see how helpful they can be.

Also make sure the company has their own exercise equipment repair service because this ensures that the equipment will be serviced to the original manufacturers specifications plus you know that they will have parts in stock if you ever need them.

Last, check up on referrals, ask if you might be able to talk to a few people who have done business with them.

Following these tips on buying used exercise equipment will not only save you time and money but will also give you peace of mind that you are getting in shape with quality equipment.

Beginner’s Guide to Buying a Designer Handbag: 7 Tips

If this is going to be your first handbag, know that it can be a challenge for you. Unlike regular bags, designer handbags cost a lot more money. Are you wondering which one you should go for? If so, the following tips will help you choose an affordable bag to meet your needs. Read on.

Set a Budget

Price is the number one thing that should be considered when heading to a store. Make sure you can spend at least $1,000 on this purchase. The one you opt for should suit your lifestyle. The designer item shouldn’t hurt your budget. In fact, experts suggest that you should save up for a designer bag.

Consider the Functionality

Functionality matters when it comes to buying this item. Are you going to use the bag when leaving for work? Or are you going to use it as an everyday item? Make sure you don’t ignore these questions before hitting the buy button on an online store. For work, we suggest that you choose a bigger bag.

Opt for a Quality Product

Based on how much you are willing to pay, the number of features may vary. For instance, if you can’t spend more than $500, you can’t get a custom-made bag. On the other hand, if you can spend, say, $1500, you can choose from a variety of handmade products. For quality assurance, make sure you read the description to find out where the item was made. Usually, Spain made bags are of high quality.

Size and Silhouettes

Size is the second most important factor when choosing a designer handbag. If you want to carry a lot of stuff, you should get a tote. On the other hand, for a night out, a clutch can be a good choice.

As a matter of fact, there are hundreds of options that you can choose from. You can get a bag based on the type of occasion you are going to attend.

Silhouette is another important factor to take into account. The silhouette should suit your style.

Choose the Right Color

Some people give a lot of importance to color when it comes to buying anything that they need. You can choose either a seasonal shade or an evergreen color based on your taste.

Choose the Right Brand

You can choose from a lot of designer houses, such as Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Saint Laurent, Chloe, and Gucci, just to name a few. Based on your style, you can opt for a fashion house that can suit your look. Although choosing a brand is not easy, you can make this choice by following the tips given above.

Where to Shop

You can buy from several places. For instance, you can purchase online or at a local store. Buying online is easier as you don’t have to drive to the shop. In fact, some online stores offer a discount if you use your credit card to make the purchase.

Hopefully, these tips will help you buy your first handbag. If you plan carefully, making this purchase decision will be a piece of cake.