One of the greatest things about living in 2021 is the fact that almost every store in the world has an online version for online shopping, and more than this, many retailers are online only now. This is an unprecedented time in history where we no longer need to travel to buy the things we need or want. Many people, specifically over 2.14 billion people, are taking advantage of this, and are shopping at the estimated 12 to 24 million online stores globally.
This is also great news for expats who are now living in another country and want to experience the same goods they are used to from home. However, this doesn’t mean that it is completely safe; there are many fake online stores out there, and many people who are working very hard to take your money.
To avoid this, here are some 7 online shopping safety tips:
1. Ship Efficiently
Firstly, it is important to consider all of the shipping options available to you. Depending on where the stores you buy from are based, you might only get your products in a few months. More than that, they might even be damaged, never arrive, or have been fictitious, to begin with. International shipping from stores based in the US can also get very expensive. This is why you should take the opportunity to choose your own shipping service, like MyUS, which allows for the ability to ship US and UK products to basically anywhere in the world. This service is very convenient as it provides discounted shipping rates as well as top-rated customer care.
2. Use A VPN
VPNs aren’t a new thing, but these days they have become quite popular because of the security that they provide. If you have ever been to a public area with public Wi-Fi and you have bought online, you are inviting the opportunity for a hacker to steal your information while online shopping. This won’t happen if you are using a VPN though, since they create a secure connection, as well as hide your information, like account passwords, browsing history, and banking information.
3. Shop From Secure Sites
The next thing that you should do, especially if you are trying to find US products online, is to shop from secure sites. There are many sites online that are completely fake, and have been set up with the sole purpose of taking your money while online shopping. Finding a secure site is rather simple; all you have to do is look for a locked icon in the top left of the URL bar. If a site has this then it means it has SSL encryption and that you are safe.
4. Passwords Are Important
Something to remember, that most people forget, is that passwords are actually very important. Most people know that they should have a password, but they usually set it to something like a birthday or a name. This is not a good idea since there are hacking tools that generate hundreds of thousands of combinations of letters, numbers, and both. If you choose something like your birth date, that software will generate your password and someone could buy stuff on your account, or even get your banking information.
5. Compare Prices
Finding better prices is one of the easiest things that you can do on the internet, and is something that you should do if you are wanting to buy something online. Many stores know which products are in high demand, so many will increase the price for this reason alone. Before settling on one store and online shopping, you should browse at least a handful, or even use sites that compare prices for you based on the product that you want.
6. Don’t Buy Immediately
Another tip to save money is to not buy the products immediately. You should place the product or products that you want in your online shopping cart and then wait. More often than not, those stores will eventually send you a promo code that will give you a discount on the product, simply to close the sale.
7. Create A Shopping List
Finally, just like in real life, you should create an online shopping list when you are planning on buying online. This is because you don’t want to get distracted when purchasing, which is easy to do when hundreds of products are literally at your fingertips. Having an online shopping list at the ready will help you to focus on what you need to get so you don’t waste any money unnecessarily.