Some years ago, many of us were convinced that online shopping is primarily for the busy folks with fat wallets and diverse desires and today, almost all of us buy things online, not because we are also rich and have developed desires but because we now trust online sources and find their deals and products tempting. Even the trade clients and wholesale suppliers now find online trade a feasible proposition, which is also recorded by Wholesale Pages (an online portal of wholesale products) in the form of increased registered members.
With things becoming so simple for the online spenders, the chances of fraud reduce automatically but there are people who would try cheating you anyway, so you need to be careful while buying items from a new online store. Here are some questions you should answer in order to know if an online store is protected from people looking for loopholes in e-commerce.
Is the website secure?
A secure website has plans and arrangements for keeping your credit card information safe from the computer hackers and they do it through encryption technology. Only website personnel with access privilege can decode the encrypted texts. One way to find out if a website is secure is to scan the website's address. Instead of just http://., the secure domains have an "s" with it i.e. https://. In addition to that, a secure website also has a closed padlock displayed on its address bar and if its not there, the website may not be safe. Privacy Rights Clearinghouse provides more information on secure websites.
Is the website operated by professionals?
A website's existence on the top pages is a crucial matter and continuous efforts are required to make a domain survive the cutthroat ranking criteria of the search engines. A website that invests its time, effort and money to maintain its search ranks is there to exist and attend more customers. Winning the customers' trust is the reward of meeting search engines criterion. A website that has good ranks (and manages to maintain it) and assists its clients through related information is a domain that you can trust with your credit card information. Scan the website, browse its tabs and read its content because an ordinary website cannot invest in things that apparently don't matter.
Do they have a physical address?
It doesn't matter if you are ordering your stuff from a website that's operated from Brazil as long as you know that they have a physical address and they meet the above mentioned criteria. For this purpose, you need to browse their "About Us" page and "Contact Us" information. Some websites also have their addresses marked on the Google map, available on their Contact Us page. You must also find out if they offer information through phone and have a good response time. In case of UK online store, a VAT number available on the website is also a sign that the domain is safe.
Do they have friendly terms and conditions?
If you have not been smart enough, even the non-fraudulent sources can deprive you of your rights through twisting terms and conditions. Many of us are often uninterested in reading the sellers terms and conditions and hit the "Agree to the Terms and Conditions" button without giving it a second thought. This habit can be deadly especially if your personal and private information is to be shared. The option for agreeing to the terms and conditions are often mentioned on the checkout page and for a reason because the online buyers are not much fond of the boring reads nor they like the idea of knowing that they will face hard time returning the product if it is not as good as the seller promised. In any case, the buyer is at the risk. So, do find out if the terms and conditions are flexible enough to assist the customers.
The mentioned checks are easy and efficient and once you become used to it, it will only take less than a minute to find out if your newly discovered online store is as good as it promises.
Julie Robert is a marketing analyst and loves to write on different topics related to business strategies, worldwide property and travel.