Online Shopping 101

By AM Northwest Staff

Al Raines joined us in the studio with tips for holiday shopping online.

On-line holiday shopping

Is it worth it and is it safe?

Stat: Online sales for the past week are running 20-30% higher than last year but yearly sales were already running 17% higher

Why shop on-line?

  • Convenience, no lines to wait in, no rain gear
  • Better selection
  • Pricing

Where to shop

The easiest and safest are the ones you know

  • Amazon, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, etc.

Most retailers have on-line sites and most of those sites have specials that are only on-line

Many allow you to pick-up at your local store

Very safe and secure

How to compare prices

Lots of sites doing the work for you

  • Shopping.com
  • Comparison.com
  • Pricegrabber.com
  • Pricerunner.com

Or you can go to sites that look for bargains, coupons, etc

  • Dealcatcher.com
  • Fatwallet.com
  • eBates.com
  • Currentcodes.com

Can they get it to you on time

If you order before December 17th you can usually get it before Christmas.

The big questions here are:

  • Do they have the item in stock
  • How fast will they ship

Most retailers will ship UPS, FedEx or Postal Priority which arrives in 2-3 days. Even overnight if you want to pay extra.

Double-check the small print on ordering, shipping turn around, etc.

Is it safe to order on-line

There are always stories about people getting ripped off on-line. But the reason you hear about them is because they are the exception rather than the rule.

Most identity theft occurs in person due to receipts being left around, etc. On-line is very safe if you follow common sense:

Make sure the site is secure

The site should have a privacy statement, read it

Use a credit card with a safe online shopping guarantee

Use a different name and password at each site

Refunds and returns

On-line is no different that regular shopping

Some merchants give cash refunds, some don’t

Read their policies on refunds. Who pays for postage for example

Big Warning – Beware

On-line I can say I’m 6’-2" of beautiful man, rich and drive a jag. But in reality…

The same with on-line businesses

Now a days it is relatively inexpensive to open a site with lots of bells and whistles but how do you know they live up to their words.

Example: Recently I went online to buy a Nikon digital camera. I found some great deals on-line, hundreds of dollars off. When I checked around I found that the cameras these companies were selling were not US models. They were in German, Chinese, etc. If I wanted to upgrade it would cost hundreds more.

I ended up buying locally.

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