7 tips for a safe shopping experience on the Internet

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The Bundesverband Digitale Wirtschaft (BVDW) eV publishes ten tips for a safe shopping experience on the Internet. Especially before Christmas, Internet users increasingly access online shops to conveniently search for individual gifts and to get the best bargains. So that the buyers do not experience a nasty surprise when they go on a virtual shopping spree, the e-commerce group at BVDW recommends taking basic precautionary measures. By following the simple rules, bargain hunters can more easily identify dubious providers, hidden cost traps and insecure payment methods during their shopping tour. The 10 tips supplement the “Secure online shopping” guideline of the e-commerce group at BVDW, which is already available free of charge on the BVDW website at www.bvdw.org.

Consumers should be on the safe side

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“UK consumers should be on the safe side Best gym cloth for men

 When shopping digitally. We recommend every buyer and especially bargain hunters to follow these simple tips so that their online shopping tour remains a safe shopping experience on the Internet without any nasty surprises. The general terms and conditions should not be underestimated (GTC) of the online shops, which buyers should save or print out together with the purchase date, so that all contractual regulations are always available in the event of complaints, but we also recommend retailers to make online shopping as convenient and easy as possible for their customers to make the most of the Christmas business, “says Michael Hülsiggensen (EOS Payment Solutions), head of the Payment unit in the e-commerce section at BVDW.

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10 tips for a safe shopping experience on the Internet

1. Serious providers are not hiding

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Pay attention to a clear imprint with full company address, which must be given as a loadable address with street, house number and place as well as contact person or legal representative for possible processing problems of the order. Providers without contact information or only with a PO box address have something to hide. The latter makes the delivery of larger parcels almost impossible, especially when they are returned. The choice of company headquarters also has a major impact on your order. Different legal bases and last but not least different prices apply to foreign providers. Therefore, the general terms and conditions of the provider should be available at all times and in full. The law of the state also applies to purchases made over the Internet, in which the provider of the online shop performs its service or in which the buyer lives. If you live in Germany, you can have any claims settled before a German court. The decisions of German courts can be enforced particularly with providers of the EU member states.

2. Certificates and seals of approval provide security

Consumers benefit from certificates for the operators of online shops in that various independent test centers evaluate the offers according to different criteria. In Germany, the seals of approval from eg Trusted Shops, “EHI Geprüfter Online-Shop” or the TÜV seal “Safer-Shopping” stand for secure online shopping. The distributors of the certificates test the operators of the online shops for guarantees and price transparency, delivery conditions and customer service as well as data protection and almost 100 other criteria. If they are satisfied, the shop owner receives a certificate and can use it to advertise. Before buying online, a simple call to the retailer or an email request will help. This very personal test helps every customer

3. Good customer service pays off

Despite the high quality of service in UK, online shopping can also lead to logistical problems or ambiguities about the products offered. A friendly, easily accessible customer service can quickly remedy this. In addition to a telephone hotline, many providers offer direct contact by email and increasingly live chat services. So you can quickly get rid of your concerns. But pay attention to the costs on the telephone hotline. Expensive service numbers with long queues are not uncommon. On the other hand, contact via email is inexpensive, but it can also be lengthy under certain circumstances. Again, it is worth looking at the ratings and experiences of other buyers.

4. Pay attention to the right recommendations and recognize wrong reviews

You should get an overview of how many recommendations for a product have already been made in the online shop. Ten to fifteen statements about a particular product provide initial certainty that the statements made there appear to be trustworthy. However, when a person negatively evaluates a product, it does not mean that a product is completely bad. On the one hand, negative recommendations can describe the decisive disadvantage of a product that you want to avoid. On the other hand, every customer will rarely be convinced of a product. Three out of five stars can also represent a positive rating. Therefore, pay attention to a sufficient number of negative statements before you should refrain from buying a product. If you only find very positive and almost no negative reviews or critical product reviews, you should be skeptical before buying. Of course there are products that only get positive reviews. A new innovation such as tablet PCs or smartphones very often receives positive reviews. However, these few “high-flyer products” are widely known, so you shouldn’t have to read any recommendations or reviews. However, it is advisable to consult product reviews, especially if they are not in the spotlight of the media and marketers. The reports in forums, blogs or independent rating portals will also help you. If the products are rated similarly on different portals, you can assume that the ratings are authentic. In general, pay attention to the content of reviews if the operator of the online shop can directly influence the content of the reviews. This is usually an advantage as soon as individual users have published negative comments with malicious or defective content without this review demonstrably relating to the respective product. If negative opinions on the articles are completely suppressed, question this procedure with the operator of the online shop.

5. Order in time for worry-free delivery

It is not without reason that many service providers and logistics companies point to a stronger shipping volume, especially in the run-up to Christmas. Therefore, you should definitely pay attention to the timely ordering of your items so that the goods are delivered on the desired date if possible. If you place your order too late and only a few hours before the holidays, the urgently needed gift can only be delivered after Christmas. A complaint due to the late delivery of the parcel is excluded, especially in heavy snow or bad weather due to force majeure.

6. Compare prices using different sources

Every purchase is also a question of money. Therefore, compare the individual products in different online shops, especially since the price differences when shopping online can be very different. For your best offer, consider shipping costs and all other fees. For bargains, make sure that no product piracy is carried out. Discontinued models, for which service is no longer provided, can also result in additional costs due to software updates or maintenance and repairs, especially for technical end devices.

7. Pay attention to any additional costs when ordering

The payment conditions must be clearly and unequivocally stated by the shop operator for the ordering process. This includes the information on the prices, the ordering process and the payment options, which are essential for an online shop. You should use known payment methods that you have used in previous purchases and with which you have already had positive experiences. The established payment providers in particular have all the necessary security certificates and are used by most online shops. As a rule, you have the choice of which payment methods you want to use to make the purchase. The price for the product and the shipping costs should remain the same, only the additional fees for the individual payment methods may differ. The shipping costs and VAT information must be transparent and visible, but not in the small print. All information must be found directly with the product or be detailed in the final price of the order. Therefore, before completing the order, pay attention to hidden additional costs, cash on delivery fees and service fees.

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