Friday, October 17, 2008


Shopping!The most exhilarating word! Well, at least for many like me:) ! I am a staunch confirmed shopoholic! When I am not able to go out of the house to shop, what do I do? Shop On-line! It is the most convenient and easy way to shop and the creamy layer can browse and buy from any on line store in the world and further more it is open 24 hours a day! Buying online saves time and money.

How do you shop online? It’s actually very simple! Almost everything, right from branded stuff like clothes, jewelry, shoes, bags and electronics to hand made products are available online. Even flowers, food stuff and pet food can be ordered over the net. Many retailers have websites where you can purchase their products online. The advantage of online shopping is that you can compare shops for the best price, then order and have it shipped - all this transaction takes just about a few minutes and you do not pay sales tax. Most of all you save a trip to the store!

How to Buy Online

  • Though each site is a little different fro m the other, the basic transaction procedure is the same for every site.These sites have electronic catalogs which you can browse and s ubsequently add the product y ou choose to your electronic shopping cart .When you're done with the choosing, you can review the contents of your cart and delete the items you do not want.
  • Your amount is then totalled .
  • N ext you have to fill the form supplied by the site asking f or c ertain details like your name, e-mail address, shipping information, and credit card number .
  • You can buy online using you
    r credit card or by an alternative payment option which is, setting up an account with PayPal. You transfer money electronically from your ban k account into your PayPal account, and then use it to pay the seller.
  • Finally, you will be sent an e-mail with the order confirmation along with a tracking number. As a rule, you will be informed about the delivery duration time as well.

That’s it! You have purchased your item online!

Online shopping has become personalised as well , since

many sites allow you to customise your products which you want to buy. For instance, you can have your logo or personal patterns printed on your t- shirts, mugs, plates etc, you c

an order computers to your specifications, while at certain apparel sites, by using a virtual model you can "try on" clothes. This is fun! Now, many sites do have

customer service representatives with whom you can contact by e-mail or chat with in real time in case you need help. Thus online shopping has

become a friendly experience. Likewise, you can locate exactly what sort of product or store you are looking for by using the search engine. Finally, in the

event of problems with online merchants, contact concerned authorities.

Before hitting the virtual store

s, pursue certain precautions for a smooth, safe and sound shopping experience.

Ten Tips for a safe and secure shopping

1. Use only a secure Internet connection – Use an encrypted website. You can identify such a site by a lock icon in your web browser window. You can also recognize a secure server by the address beginning with https, rather than http. The “s” means the information going between your computer and the website will be securely encrypted.

2. Shop only - with well known and trusted websites or businesses. Check whether the seller is credible, by referring to a site like, Moreover, since many retailers now offer online shopping, you will be allowed you return the products to their stores, instead of shipping it back.

3. Sites should list a physical address - not just a post office box. Check to see if it displays seals from consumer protection organizations . Another option is doing a search with Google. Enter the name of the trader along with the keyword "scam". You may get some information.

4. Be sceptical. A telephone number should be listed on the site. If it not, then opt to take your business elsewhere.

5. Protect private information- Some sites sell your private data to third parties but all trustworthy sites post a Privacy Policy. So, shop only at these sites. Don't provide unnecessary information by filling out the optional fields in the order form. It is optional, so why volunteer?

6. Never - send your credit card number by e-mail.

7. Check the shipping costs. Sometimes with the shipping cost your total purchase price can add up to more what you would pay in a retail store. So check it carefully! Some sites offer free or discounted shipping for select items and purchases over a certain amount.

8. Print - a copy of your order form for your records.

9. Review the return and refund policies. You should be aware about how to return the unwanted merchandise and whether you will receive a full refund. You should also know who would be paying for the return shipping.

10. Coupons and other discounts- Many online sites offer rebates . To obtain the discount, you enter the coupon code in the order form. It's then deducted from the total purchase price. You can save substantial amount of money!


Copyright © 2008 Laila Rajaratnam. All Rights Reserved

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