Being able to do your holiday shopping online is convenient, and there are many great bargains to be had
Mission Viejo, CA (Vocus) November 1, 2010
According to a division of the National Retail Federation, nearly 100 million people engaged in Cyber Monday shopping in 2009. As millions of people prepare to go online to do their holiday shopping, many others will be looking for ways to scam those individuals. Because of this, it is important that shoppers take steps to ensure that they are making a safe transaction.
“Being able to do your holiday shopping online is convenient, and there are many great bargains to be had,” explains PJ Bellomo, chief executive officer for PropertyRoom.com. “But if you don’t deal with reputable businesses, you could become one of the many people who end up getting scammed. Find the deals, but protect yourself along the way.”
Each year, millions of dollars are lost through online shopping fraud. Common scams include non-legitimate stores selling bogus merchandise that never arrives, people receiving items that differ from what they ordered, and many people even have their personal information compromised. Credit card theft is a major concern for those making online purchases.
The good news is that there are things you can do to create a safe online shopping experience this holiday season, including:
- Store. Be sure that you know you are purchasing from a legitimate store. Check to make sure they have verifiable contract information, that their site is professional and updated, and that they have a clear return policy and a good reputation.
- Policy. Familiarize yourself with the store’s policy regarding exchanges and returns before you finalize any purchase. You will want to know the terms of the sale, any guarantees, etc.
- Merchandise. Always read the product description carefully. If you have questions about the product, contact the store to get answers, before you place the order.
- Purchase. Try to make your purchases with a credit card, as that offers the most protection against fraud. Also, check to make sure it is a secure transaction before entering your credit card information. You can check this by looking for the ‘closed lock’ icon at the bottom of your browser.
- Documents. The store should send you an e-mail confirmation of your transaction. Save that in your e-mail, in case you need to refer back to the information.
- Receiving. Anything purchased online will need to be delivered, and many times is left right on the front doorstep if you are not home. Try to have someone present to accept deliveries, so that packages are not sitting out for thieves. Once you get the merchandise, immediately inspect it to make sure it is what you ordered. If you have concerns, contact the store immediately. If there are problems the store cannot solve, contact your credit card company for solutions.
“It may seem like a lot to do, in order to ensure a safe and smooth transaction, but it really just takes an extra couple of minutes,” adds Bellomo. “Plus, it will take longer to sort out being the victim of a scam if you don’t take these steps to protect your purchase. It’s well worth the peace of mind.”
ProperyRoom.com provides consumers with a fraud-free guarantee, a return policy and a 100-percent satisfaction-guaranteed policy. They work with over 2,000 law enforcement agencies around the country, helping them to liquidate previously stolen merchandise that could not be returned to the rightful owner. They also work with carefully selected partners to sell a line of overstock and open-box merchandise. Their wide variety of selections, which change weekly, includes such thing as jewelry, fine art, tools, computers, electronics, sports memorabilia, and more.
PropertyRoom.com was founded in 1999 by Tom Lane, a former police detective. His mission was to help law enforcement agencies solve the problem of what to do with recovered goods. Today, the company works with over 2,000 law enforcement agencies across the country to auction off confiscated goods that could not be returned to their rightful owners. To learn more about PropertyRoom.com, visit the Web site at http://www.propertyroom.com.