Reviews & Profiles
A few tips for shopping online
Posted Tuesday, February 26 2013 at 00:00
While some people have embraced online avenues to buy items, especially cars and gadgets, many are wary of this avenue because of the uncertainities associated with it. Below are some things to note if you decide to shop online.
Samuel, in utter excitement, saw the iPad 4 4g 64 GB being offered at a cheaper price on an online shopping website and was determined, against all odds, to get it.
He went on to dial the contact number displayed at the bottom of the website and called the company to verify its existence. He reached an agreement with the company to buy the Ipad 4 to which he was promised product delivery within 30 days.
With a product tracking number, he was assured by the company that his gadget being shipped from the United Kingdom had reached Nigeria and that the only way for the company to continue with the shipping process was for him to pay the full amount of the money amounting to $500 (Shs1.3m).
He was requested to use Money Gram which he promptly did. Once the money transfer process was complete, that was the last day he heard from the company and about the Ipad 4. He realised he had been conned and attempted to report the case to the police to no avail.
Below are some online shopping guidelines to avoid Samuel’s present resentment towards online shopping websites:
Reputation of the company and secure website
Be familiar with the name or reputation of any company you are dealing with. Maximus Byamukama a lecturer in computer systems engineering at Makerere University advises online shoppers to make a Google search of the company to declare its existence as a registered company. Shop at secure websites. Byamukama says if you suspect anything weird about the website, look at the website address which should be https://. The ‘s’ at the end of http:// shows that the website is secure.
Byamukama also advises online shoppers to register or have an online account with the company they are shopping from to make their shopping easy the next time they are shopping online
Note personal information collected
According to Yahoo Consumer Tips, it is important to know what information the company you are shopping from is collecting about you, how it will be utilised, whether it will be shared or sold to other companies.
At this point, Byamukama stresses that the only information that should be required of one during online shopping is the name on the credit card, credit card number and security code on the credit card.
Further more, Yahoo Consumer Tips advises online shoppers not to convey personal information like personal bank account information during a purchase even when asked to do so. Such information can be used to steal money from you.
Note all the details of the transaction
Be mindful of expected delivery dates, shipping and handling costs, warranties, return policies, and other important information. It is from such information that you will learn of the benefits you are entitled to. Byamukama points out that shipping costs vary depending on the supplier and Courier Company used.
Know who pays for the shipping costs; look out for what the website you are shopping at mentions about shipping insurance and how much the shipping and handling costs are.
Read about cancellation and complaint policies that you are being offered to know the limits, and under what circumstances you can exercise your warranty rights.
Remember to collect an email address or phone number to call in case of any inquiries, verification or complaints.
Print out the details
After placing an online order, one receives a confirmation page showing the costs of the order, customer information, confirmation number, and the product information.