Shopping Online

The Aussie Over 50s Shopping Guide!

There has been a lot of 'noise' about online shopping in the last six to ten years and it is growing by the month. While shopping online can be helpful and even cheaper there are some things to be wary of, the most important is not to be drawn into buying from an online source 'just because you can'!

Few people would walk down a dark alleyway into a dark shop with very little lighting to buy something they want or need. Buying online can be just like that if firstly you do not understand technology in the first place and secondly if you do not know the company you are buying from.

A Few Simple Steps to Start

•  Learn about How Online Shopping Works

•  Get to Know the Company you are thinking of buying from

•  Make sure you know all that is available

•  Get to know which products can and those that cannot be best purchased online

Learn about How Online Shopping Works

This writer would love a dollar for every time someone has said to them from a website that something was "easy to install, ready to use in 10 minutes" when ultimately the product was deleted from the computer in sheer frustration at the fact it did not work AT ALL or was simply too difficult to learn to use or to make it work!

Technology can be easy but generally most things about it takes a little time to understand. Do not be fooled by the fact that your 6 year old grandson or daughter has their fingers all over their computer - they have likely been at it since they were able to walk, or even before!

Yes it CAN be relatively easy to learn but be sure you do that before expecting to be able to shop online successfully without wasting, or even losing, your hard earned money.

And finally make sure you understand the "shopping cart" or buying process before hitting the "CONFIRM PURCHASE" button, go back through the process 2 or 3 times or more to make sure you understand what is happening with each step and that the information you have entered is right.

DO NOT RUSH INTO BUYING OR THE BUYING PROCESS!

Get to Know the Company you are thinking of buying from

Phone Them First! Unless they are a name you instantly recognise it does not hurt to make a phone call to make sure from whom you are buying. Most will gladly take the call and to know their website has made a sale and will answer any questions you have. If a sales person hesitates to answer a question be careful.

Make sure you know all that is available

The good thing about online shopping is the ability to see what is available and (generally) at what prices without having to walk into each store.

Look out for two things when visiting any online store: a contact phone number (phone them to make sure you can actually talk to someone) and the prices of the products.

It amazes us as website developers ourselves at how many businesses do not have their phone number big and bold and upfront. It is simply bad marketing not to! In one experience a very popular electrical online company was impossible to call when a simple change in the delivery address was required resulting in a very frustrated customer. Make sure you can PHONE THEM!

While it is conceded that some products are impossible to keep up to date with prices online the argument that "we do not want to give our prices away" is simply unbeleivable. How many shops do you walk past in a street who do not have prices in their window because they do not "want to tell the opposition" of their prices? The same appiles online - if there are no prices it is simply too difficult to buy from a company - move on!

Get to know which products can and those that cannot be best purchased online

Do not rush into buying online simply because "everyone is doing it and it is there"! There are some products that simply are easier to pick up down the street from the local shop because you can see exactly what you are getting and can walk out of the shop with it in hand. While "window-shopping" for clothes and shoes online can be fun and very helpful in making up ones mind as to what to get, in the end walking into the local shop is likely more beneficial and just as cheap as the fun of waiting for it to turn up on your doorstep, and may be more practical as well. Looking for tools, hardware and home appliances online can also likewise be beneficial to compare but in the end you will likely find it best to then walk into the local store. Phone around still tho to make sure you are getting the best price, do not take the prices online for granted as some shops may have specials they have not advertised online at that time and some stores do not still have a website, do NOT discount them from your shopping experience.

Paying for Goods on the Internet

Shopping online in most cases involves the use of a Credit Card and some are worried about security issues, and rightly so. So here are some tips about shopping on the internet.

There are a couple of reasonably secure means of paying for goods online, nevertheless it is not wise to presume they are fool-proof and scam-proof. So whichever way you choose to use we suggest you take personal precautions, even when paying for services like electricity and the phone online.

Paying by Credit Card

The first suggestion when deciding to pay by credit card is which credit card to use!

Nominate a credit card which has a low credit limit, if need be set one up purposefully for online use with a low credit limit.

The same applies if you regularly use the internet for online banking! It is recommended not to link a bank account with a large sum of savings in any way to the internet or PayPal account. This may mean using and moving money manually between multiple bank accounts but it is a reasonably safer way to protect your money.

Nevertheless you still need to be careful to whom you give your credit card details. There are many so-called 'free' options on the internet which ask you for your credit card details 'in case' you decide to purchase the product after the 'free trial' is over.

Often you may find that you will be charged and then you have to fight to get your money back! The easiest way is simply not to shop at online shops making 'free offer' promises!

Registering with PayPal

PayPal is accepted by many online Shopping centres and it is easy to set up an account. It has the security of your giving your Credit Card Details ONLY to PayPal and they handle the transactions. PayPal is also covered by insurances that cover the shopper from many situations that can create problems, like not getting the right product or recieving damaged product.

PayPal is a reasonably safe way of purchasing online as there are a number of 'buyer protection' sequences in place. Nevertheless again it is suggested not to blindly use the process without carefully following the due process. As with most things online it is best to read carefully all the instructions and make sure your money is going to the right place!

As mentioned above it is recommended that a separate bank account and a separate email address and password be used exclusively for the PayPal account.

And keep strict records as to your account details, do not simply have them in a computer programme but have printed records of usernames and passwords, and keep in a safe place. Also keep record of all purchases and print out emails relating to purchases as receipts and money tracking records.

About Over 50s Shopping Pages

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