How to Buy Online Safely - Guide to Not Get Ripped Off

By Alba Charles . Updated: January 16, 2017
How to Buy Online Safely - Guide to Not Get Ripped Off

Buying stuff online is becoming more and more popular over the years, and nowadays almost everyone has bought something through an Internet site at least once. There might be some products that are more popular on online buying sites such as all kinds of electronic devices, but the truth is that the Internet is like a big shopping mall where you can find anything you're looking for.

Many websites offer the possibility of buying and selling items online, and some of them are very well-known. It is less likely that you have any problem when buying items from well-known sites, but you need to be careful when shopping from other online retailers. If you follow the appropriate cautions there is no danger in buying something on the Internet without having seen it before. However, you need to watch out if you don't want to get ripped off on your next online purchase. Read this OneHowTo article and find out how to buy online safely.

You may also be interested in: How to Cancel an Order on Flipkart Online

Connect from a secure Wi-Fi and a private computer

Public Wi-Fi networks and computers are widely available and are great for surfing the web. However, you should never buy anything online if you're connected to a public Wi-Fi or if you're using a public computer. The reason why you shouldn't do this is because these networks are less secure than a private one, and the information you put into them could be used by someone else in the same network. Never use a public Internet network (from a coffee shop, library...) to buy something online. If you don't have Internet connection at home it's better to ask a friend or a relative, this way you'll ensure the connection is safe.

Research information about the online retailer

This won't be necessary if you're buying from a well-known website such as Amazon, Flipkart or eBay, but if the website you're trying to buy from is not popular enough, you should dig deeper into it. Find out about the company's reputation: Where are they located? For how long have they been selling? Are there opinions of other users online? Especially for this last question, if there are no opinions about the site it might be because all opinions are bad and they have deleted them.

Only use websites that provide all the information about their company, as this proves that they don't have anything to hide.

How to Buy Online Safely - Guide to Not Get Ripped Off - Research information about the online retailer

Don't trust offers that are too good to be true

If the website is offering an item for an incredibly cheap price, it might be a scam. This doesn't mean you shouldn't look for the best offer and try to find the best price when buying online, but avoid offers that seem strange. These websites are after your contact details, so you should never give them any information.

Check the final price before clicking 'buy'

Once you've found a good website that sells the item you want for a good price and you've checked its reliability, is time to buy. However, don't rush and check the final price before you click the 'buy' button. Maybe you've found a good offer and you think you've gotten a great deal, but many online retailers charge fees for packaging and shipping. Always double check the final price as it might be higher than the first one.

Also, before you proceed to make the payment, read the privacy and return policies of the website, so you're acquainted with the regulation of the company. It might be hard to cancel orders on some websites, so read the information carefully before you purchase anything. If you use Flipkart and want to cancel something, don't miss out this article and learn how to cancel an order on flipkart.

How to Buy Online Safely - Guide to Not Get Ripped Off - Check the final price before clicking 'buy'

Always buy through a secure website

Most websites will send you to a different site when you proceed to do the shopping. If you want to buy online safely it is crucial that you check if the website you've just entered is secure. You should NEVER buy something from a site that doesn't have Secure Sockets Layer, known as SSL. To know if a website has SSL:

  • Check the URL of the website. If it starts with https:// it means that it's secure. The S at the end of http it's a signal of the security of the site.
  • The browser might show a padlock symbol next to the URL. This means the site is secure.
  • Updated versions of some browsers will show you the URL in green when this is secure.
How to Buy Online Safely - Guide to Not Get Ripped Off - Always buy through a secure website

Buy something inexpensive

If it's the first time you're using a website and are not sure of its functioning, it's always better to buy something inexpensive, so in case something wrong happens you don't lose much. If it's the first time you buy something but you know someone who has been using the site for a long time and hasn't had any problem, then you can buy whatever you want.

It is always good to show some caution on the first times you use a new online retailer.

Double check the contact and payment details

This is very important as you want the parcel to reach its destination. Read the contact information twice or even three times before you submit your purchase. Also, avoid giving too much personal information, such as your date of birth. Only provide the information that is needed for the parcel to arrive to the address you've provided and mistrust any website that asks for too many information as they might want it for other purposes.

Once you've bought the items, record the purchase details. The website will show you a message saying that the process has been completed and it will surely have a reference number and other details. Save all this information as you might need it later on if there is something wrong with your package.

Use a credit or debit card to buy safely

Usually credit cards have more security than debit cards, but you can ask your bank to secure your debit card with passwords or other methods. Some banks will send you a text message whenever you're making an online transference with your card. In this text message they will include a password that you'll then need to insert in the website previous to finalizing the purchase. Talk with your bank office and they will explain you what they can offer you to have more protection when shopping online using your card.

Also, never send your card details or other information such as logins or passwords through email or text messages. Even if you're sending it to someone you know, the information might be hacked on the way.

How to Buy Online Safely - Guide to Not Get Ripped Off - Use a credit or debit card to buy safely

Check out your card transactions in the following days

After you complete the purchase it is advisable to check your account. The transaction might not appear right after buying the items online, but a couple of days after you should see it recorded on your transactions. If the purchase has been done correctly and safely, you'll see that you've only been charged the amount that the website told you.

If there's something wrong contact the company immediately. You will need the reference number and other information that you recorded.

Following these tips there is no way in which your online purchase can go wrong. Always watch out when you're on the Internet as sometimes things are not what they seem. If you are careful you can enjoy all the possibilities that online retailing gives you without having to worry much.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Buy Online Safely - Guide to Not Get Ripped Off, we recommend you visit our Internet category.

  • Opinions from other users can be a reliable source. However, don't judge the site only by the comments.

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