Online shopping has steadily grown in Australia over the past years. In the year 2018, Australians spent around $27.5 billion buying goods online. This was an increase of 24.4% in comparison to the year 2017.
Buying goods from an online department store can be safe as long as you take necessary precautions. Here we have discussed a reliable guide to safe online shopping experiences.
Can You Trust the Online Retailer?
Anyone can build an e-commerce site and start selling. Many online scams happen because customers are not cautious. Safe online shopping starts with knowing basic things. If you have never shopped online, you can always follow the recommendations of your family and friends.
Before you give away your credit card details to the online retailer, try to find more about the online retailer. If you are not sure about the company’s track record search online, here are a few things you can do.
- Check the Australian Securities & Investments Commission website to check whether the company exists. The ASIC website will also reveal information like if the directors are banned from running a company.
- If the online retailer is a registered business, you should find it listed with the authorities for consumer affairs and fair trading in your territory.
Always Shop on Secure Websites
Shop online with established and recognized retailers who use a secure website for transactions. That’s because a secure webpage can be easily identified. It will have https:// in the website address. If you do not see https: //, it is a red flag.
Check Payment Options
Online shopping sites in Australia offer a wide range of payment options like a credit card, debit card, PayPal, and more. If you are fearful about entering your credit card details online, you can use online payment services like PayPal, which is owned by eBay.
To use PayPal, you have to register with the online payment service. Your PayPal account can be linked to your bank account or credit card as it supports payments in Australian dollars and other international currencies. PayPal is a safe and credible way to pay for purchases at an online department store.
Know About the Extra Costs of Buying Abroad
International websites will always display the price in their currency. Hence, you need to calculate the cost of the item in Australian dollars. You can use an online currency converter to know the price of a product in Australian dollars. Failing to do so will lead to paying more for the item than you expected.
Check Electrical Compatibility for Overseas Electronic Item Purchases
Due to differences in voltage, some electric equipment made in foreign countries cannot operate safely in Australia. You need to check all aspects of your purchase and ensure the electronic goods you are buying from an international site can be safely operated in Australia.
Things to Check
When purchasing online, it is always good to check all details of the items you are buying. Here are some essential things to check
- Product description
- Shipping fees
- Returns and warranty policy
- Terms and conditions of free purchases
- Can you return the product? What is the return window period? Do you have to pay for postage in case of returns?
Remember, there will be many scammers ready to rob your hard-earned money when you shop online. By taking the necessary precautions and following tips above, you can ensure the online shopping experience is worth remembering.