Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) August 13, 2008
A weak U.S. dollar may have many American consumers cringing and tightening their financial belts, but for overseas shoppers it has signaled a buying frenzy. Everything from high-end electronics to jewelry to clothing is attracting overseas consumers looking for bargains, of which there are plenty.
Thanks in large part to the World Wide Web, which has expanded the global marketplace in every imaginable way, most international consumers do not even have to leave the comfort of their own home to enjoy the potential savings. However, they should proceed cautiously, advises John Vanhara, President of Shipito, a national and international mail forwarding company based in Los Angeles, CA.
"There is no question that online shopping has jumped by leaps and bounds in the last few years", says Vanhara. "Add to that a declining dollar and international buyers are scouring the internet for bargains, and there are plenty out there. Unfortunately, frauds and less than reputable merchants are out there taking advantage of consumers as well. That's why the need to really do your research, not just on the products you are buying, but about the company itself is so important."
Vanhara offers consumers three tips when shopping online:
1. Do your research. Take the time to go beyond simply finding a merchant offering the lowest price for a product. Find out what the company's policies are and if they are reputable. You should know how that retailer handles returns and defective products, if they offer any type of warranty or guarantee, if they charge handling fees, taxes or other hidden fees. Finally, find the contact information should something go wrong. While getting an actual human being to answer the telephone is no longer the norm, but the exception, you should have, at a minimum an email address for customer service.
2. Identify your shipping options. Surprisingly, a recent survey by preCharge found that only 15 percent of nearly 2,000 U.S.-based merchants sold and/or shipped internationally. This should not discourage buyers though as mail forwarding services such as Shipito will accept and then forward packages on to an international buyer for a small fee.
3. Use a credit card or other form of secured payment method when purchasing items. These payment methods often provide consumers with an extra level of protection and can make it much easier logistically if dealing with a merchant in another country. If there is a problem, it is often much easier to deal with your credit card company then an overseas retailer. Additionally, in the event your information is accessed or stolen, most credit card companies will likely reimburse you should those charges prove fraudulent and no result of your own making.
Shipito is owned and operated by Eastbiz Corporation. Since 2001, Eastbiz has successfully operated one of the largest mail forwarding centers in Las Vegas, serving over 1400 clients. With branches in Memphis, TN and now Los Angeles, CA, Shipito is able to successfully serve clients both national and internationally. For more information on the company's mail forwarding business, contact Shipito at 310-212-7143 or visit its website at http://www.shipito.com.