Safe Online Shopping: 10 Tips to Avoid Getting Burned

You need to buy gifts for the holidays and you need to purchase them quickly. You can either brave the madness of shopping at your local mall or kick back at home and buy all your gifts online. Doing your holiday shopping online can be a great way to save time while you find the right gifts at the best price. You’ll skip the parking lot wars, avoid getting the flu from your fellow shoppers, and stay out of pick-pockets’ crosshairs. But though it may be easy and convenient to shop in your pajamas, you still need to take precautions to make sure your electronic ‘purse strings’ are safe and secure. Here are some simple tips for safe online shopping:

Secure your computer. Make sure your home computer has updated security software installed, and run regular system check to keep hackers’ keylogging viruses away.

ONLY shop from home. Don’t do your online shopping from the local café, the airport or other public places. These open networks are easier targets for identity thieves to hack into your computer. Only shop from your secured home network.

Click carefully. Your favorite store just sent you a great coupon! But wait! Before you click on email links, be sure of where they lead. Scam emails can look just like the real ones from your favorite stores, with links that appear to take you to legitimate sites. But hover over the link and you may see a different web address – this could be a fake site, designed to gather your credit card information for fraud. Your safest bet is to manually navigate to your favorite retailer’s website.

Know thy merchant. One of best parts of online shopping is easily comparing prices to find a great deal. You may find the gift you want for half the price – but make sure the merchant is reputable and trustworthy. If you haven’t done business with a merchant before, look for online reviews. Using aggregators like Amazon.com and Yahoo Shopping is another good way to make sure your merchant doesn’t take you for a fraudulent sleigh ride.

Lock down your site. When you visit a retailer’s website, look for “https” at the beginning of the URL. This “s” – along with a small gold lock in the lower-right corner of your browser – indicates an extra level of security for your online shopping.

Log out. Always logout securely when leaving a website.

Check if your payment details are stored. Some online shopping sites ask if you want to store your payment details for future purchases. It’s always handy to have your information stored, especially if you use that site often. But, watch out for this on lesser-known websites.

Compare ‘real’ prices. Make sure you know how much you will be charged for shipping, and if there are any taxes or fees that will be added to your online purchase. These ‘extras’ can add up quickly, so be sure you include them when comparison shopping. Many retailers offer free shipping around the holidays, and others allow free in-store pick-up of your online purchases – easy ways to add extra savings to your holiday shopping.

Know the Return Policy. Read the merchant’s return policy before making your purchase. One of the downsides of online shopping is the inability to ‘try it on’ or see the item before purchasing, so make sure your merchant offers you an easy way to return/refund your purchase if it’s not what you expected.

Choose Credit – not Debit. If possible, use a credit card to pay for online purchases. Federal law limits your liability to $50 in the event of fraud. Better yet, many credit card companies will waive this liability, and offer advanced fraud protection and detection programs to keep you safe.

Keep an eye out. If you are doing a lot of online shopping, make sure to check your account and credit card statements regularly to verify all charges. If you have questions about a transaction or suspect fraud, call your financial institution immediately.

Save your Receipts! Just as with in-store shopping, you’ll want to save all your receipts from online shopping. You may choose to save emailed receipts on your computer, or print them out and file with other receipts.

The bottom line! You can take advantage of the Internet’s great shopping opportunities and still have peace of mind!

Ring It Up! Understanding Online Shopping Carts

Business web sites can be broadly categorized into two types: those which exist purely for disseminating and/or collecting information and those which make sales.

There’s nothing wrong with the first type; for some businesses it may not make sense to do selling or take payments online. For instance a house painter could book appointments online but can’t really price or sell his services online.

Most businesses, however, could benefit from making sales and taking payments online. Those sales might be strictly supplementary such as a veterinarian who also sells a line of pet care products or they might be the main staple of the business such as a graphic designer who works from home making web pages.

The one thing that all income producing web sites have in common is a shopping cart; some way to actually accept payments.

Features of online shopping carts

By now, pretty much every man woman and child in America has purchased something online. You may or may not have stopped to consider all the functions that a shopping cart performs.

  • Keep a tally of the items a customer purchases. By doing this in the background, it allows customers to keep shopping and adding items to the cart until they are ready to check out.
  • Automatically remember the “contents” of each customer’s cart. This memory is configurable and can last only as long as the customer’s session is active, it can last a predetermined number of hours or days or it can last indefinitely.
  • Allow customers to update quantities and/or remove items from the cart.
  • Automatically calculate sales tax, where applicable.
  • Offer one or more shipping options and automatically calculate shipping charges for the option selected.
  • Accept discount codes and automatically apply the correct discount.
  • Display a total (plus usually subtotals) so customers know how much they are paying.
  • Accept one or more forms of payment:
    1. Credit cards
    2. Debit cards
    3. Direct debit from a bank account
    4. Online payment services (Paypal, BillMe, etc)
    5. Corporate or government purchase order
  • Perform currency conversion as needed. In some cases even accepting payment in multiple currencies for the convenience of your buyers.
  • Display and/or issue a receipt. The best will both display as well as send a receipt to the customer’s email address.
  • Send order and payment details to the merchant (you). Most will also send the customer information they collected.
  • Perform order fulfillment:
    1. For electronically downloadable purchases (eBooks, streaming audio/video, membership subscriptions, etc.) the cart will deliver the final product.
    2. For physical goods and services, the cart will format and print shipping labels or work orders.

That’s a lot of stuff!

Where to get a shopping cart

These are complex and highly specialized pieces of software. For that reason, it’s generally best to use a hosted service rather than purchase, install and own dedicated software. If you do want to purchase and install your own software, eCommerce Templates has one of the best packages available.

There are many shopping cart service providers. One of the more well-known stand-alone service providers is 1ShoppingCart.

Or you could sign up with a more all-inclusive merchant web site hosting service like 3Dcart or Shopify. These are essentially web site hosting providers which also provide all the amenities needed for eCommerce as part of your standard account.

If you have a very low volume of sales or are just starting out, you could also use a “free” service such as those hosted by Paypal, Amazon, Google and others. Recognize that these are not really free and charge a rather substantial (on a percentage basis) fee for each transaction.

Cost and fee structure

The cost of an online shopping cart varies based on features and sales volume. In general, there are two components to the fee structure:

  • A base fee, which ranges from free to several hundred dollars per month, and
  • A per-transaction fee for each sale made.

Lower base fees typically equate to higher per-transaction fees and vice-versa. Only you can determine whether your volume of online sales and average sale amount would make one fee structure more attractive than another.

As your business grows and changes, so can your merchant account.

Customized interface

The non-integrated hosting services such as 1ShoppingCart allow you to customize the appearance of the checkout pages. So even though they are hosting the shopping cart software on their own servers the colors, text, images and other visual elements make it indistinguishable from your own site’s pages. This gives your customers a seamless buying experience.

The third-party providers also send all the buying information back to you. They never store or record it for their own purposes. (Except credit card numbers and related validation information. Laws regarding the safeguarding of this information are strict enough that you are better off letting them handle it.)

Get selling!

Whichever type of solution you use, the listing process is pretty simple. You just enter a few pieces of information such as a unique item number and description, some pricing information and perhaps a link to some photos or an online catalogue page. Within minutes, you can have your first few items up for sale.

No special technical skills needed.

Buy Kitchen Appliances From Online Kitchen Store In Usa

Internet mall and online shopping are synonymous to effortless and expedient means of shopping. In a hectic life, going and shopping for various products in an offline marketplace is more than a challenge. Heavy traffic jam and bargaining for price or deals are some of the things you steer clear of while shopping on the Internet. The greatest advantage of online shopping stores is that one can have the benefit of buying anything at a very affordable price, without even leaving his/her home.

There is no doubt that kitchen is an essential part of our home. Nothing feels more satisfying than pampering the taste buds with the home made foods. They are not only nutritious but more hygienic too. You may enjoy having dinners in restaurants, but it won’t last for long. At the end, everyone return back to the home cooked food. We always love to share our kitchen with our mom, wife, spouse, and even children. We enjoy experimenting with various dishes, and love to bring something new out of it, off course something delicious.

Buying a kitchen appliance from home furnishing furniture is a major decision as once you purchase it you expect it to work for you for at least a decade or more. In addition, these appliances are expensive too. A little research about the products available in the market is very much required. It saves you from the hassles of exchanging the product after you purchased or dealing with it even if you do not like it. Ask your friends and relatives who have a bought that kind of product as mixer grinder and mixer juicer recently. Reading online reviews about the product posted by the real consumers can go long way to help you make a decision.

Another important thing you need to do before you go to buy from any online kitchen store USA, is measure the space in your kitchen where you are going to put this product. Along with appliance measurements, consider the door clearance also. Door clearance space is very important as to use the things you need to open them!

These days, online kitchen store usa is better option than from a brick-and-mortar store. There are various reputed online retail stores which offer good deals for every product you are looking for. However, if you like to touch the products, open and close the doors or other considerations, then visiting real stores is good for you. Otherwise, shopping from online store not only save you money but also time, energy and hassles. Most online shopping stores sell myriad categories of products right from electronics, computers & peripherals, home & kitchen appliances, mobiles & phones, camera & camcorders, music & movies to gifts, health & beauty products, games & toys, home décor items, kitchenware, books, food processors, etc. to the buyers’ advantage.