Tips for gift shopping online may certainly come in handy with Christmas right around the corner! I love this time of year, and all the excitement that comes with it. But fighting crowds and standing in line may not be your idea of excitement. If you choose to use your computer for holiday shopping this year, then please remember these tips for gift shopping online to make your experience one that you would want to repeat!
1. Use Trusted Websites
One of my top tips for gift shopping online is to use trusted websites! A few good examples are Amazon, Target, Wal-Mart, Apple, and Toys R Us. If you use a website like eBay, use discretion because you can have a great experience with eBay or you can have a bad experience. Too many websites are out to take advantage of you and your wallet, so don’t let that happen to you!
2. Avoid Public Computers
Never use a public computer to make an online purchase. It’s simply not safe! If you have no other choice, at least remember to log out and then clear your cookies from the browser when you are finished. Also exercise caution when using your own laptop in a public place. While inputting your credit card information, someone can easily look over your shoulder, so sit toward the back and keep an eye out for anyone trying to peer over your shoulder.
3. Be Careful when Buying Gift Cards
If you want to buy a gift card, buy them directly from the source. Buying gift cards from sites like eBay can be dangerous, since there is no way to prove that your gift card won’t be empty when you receive it. It’s best to buy a gift card from a trusted website like iTunes or Amazon.
4. Use Common Sense
Beware of the “too good to be true” promises you may see online. These include sales pitches that offer you a free iPad or some other electronic with the purchase of something else that only costs a fraction of what you would pay for an iPad. Something else to beware of is a website that asks for your social security number and birthdate. You will never need these pieces of personal information for an online transaction.
5. Going Mobile
One surefire way to avoid being tricked into a bogus online purchase is to download the store app! With many trusted stores you can browse, and then actually make a purchase directly from the app. Some apps offer to save your information for a faster checkout next time. This is up to your discretion; personally I wouldn’t recommend it in the event of a stolen or lost phone.
6. Check for the Lock
Anytime you are about to make a purchase online, you should always check for the lock insignia in the status bar of your browser. Foxnews.com states that the URL for the webpage should start with it in order for you to know that you’re about to make a secure transaction. And always remember, PayPal is a safe and secure way to pay online!
7. Know What You Want
My final tip for online gift shopping is to know what you want to buy. If you aren’t sure what you should buy for the person in question, then check out his or her Pinterest page for ideas! You can also see if they have a gift registry or a wish list on Amazon.com.
I absolutely love shopping online. I can sit at home in my pajamas, not worry about fighting crowds, no long lines to wait in, and no rude people to deal with. However, shopping online can be tricky, so it’s best to pay attention and be aware. What are your tips for shopping online?