Beware These 4 Hazards of Online Shopping

By Mark Klapperich, District Manager – Fond du Lac, Marine Credit Union

Technology has made shopping easier and quicker than ever before, especially on heavy shopping days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Keep these downfalls in mind when online shopping:

  1. online-shopping-smallShipping and handling costs – Companies may advertise low, low prices on their products, until it’s time to check out (when you are less likely to change your mind about the purchase). Shipping and handling costs can sometime DOUBLE the price of the item.
  2. Tangibility – When shopping online, you can’t physically see or feel your desired purchase. You can’t try anything on. Images can be deceiving, impulse buying can be easier without a physical item in front of you, and returns or exchanges can be difficult.
  3. Timing – The flipside to shopping-at-your-fingertips is waiting for shipping. To receive your purchase, you’re at the mercy of USPS, UPS or FedEx – and the weather, which can cause unforeseen delays.
  4. Risk – Most importantly, when you shop online, you risk your credit card or personal information winding up in the wrong hands. Here are a few tips to help keep your information secure when shopping online:
    1. Make sure the website is reliable and trustworthy.
    2. Know where your credit card information goes and how it is stored. Many times this is listed in the terms and conditions or privacy policy of the website to make sure the portal is authentic and can be held accountable if there are discrepancies.
    3. Once your credit card information is submitted for a purchase, it is usually saved within that website form. Be careful of anyone else using the same device to shop. They may have access to your card information as well. It’s a good idea to occasionally clear your history to prevent this from happening. It’s also more tempting for you to easily make another purchase when your information is saved and at the tip of your fingers.

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