Online Shopping Tips | Federal Trade Commission

Day by day, more and more people
are shopping online. It’s convenient, and you can
bring a world of choices to your computer, phone
or tablet. Are you one of the millions
of people looking to buy something online? If you are, there are steps you
can take to avoid hassles, get the right product at the
right price, and protect your financial information. First, plan ahead by
setting a budget. Ask yourself how much
do I want to spend? Be sure to include delivery
costs in your budget. Second, determine what’s most
important to you about the item you’re thinking
about buying. What are the must-have
product features? Are there features that would
be nice to have but you can live without? This will help you choose the
product that meets your needs. Take a few minutes to
compare products. Type the name into a search
engine along with words like “review’, “complaint”
or “scam”. Read online reviews from other
people who bought the item or from product experts. Look for feedback about how well
the product works and its overall quality. If you’ve never heard of the
company selling the product, look for reviews about
their reputation and customer service. Read a few reviews
so you’re not relying on just one source. Of course, you’ll also
want to know the total cost of the product. Check shopping comparison sites
to compare the price of the product at different
websites. Remember, shipping costs and
other add-ons may not be included in these prices. Look for online coupon codes. Search the store’s name with
terms like “coupons”, “discounts” or “free
shipping”. Before you decide where
to buy, check out the terms of the deal. When will you get your order? The law requires sellers
to ship items within 30 days of the sale. If you have to return the item,
can you get a refund? Who pays for return shipping? Is there a re-stocking fee? Next, decide how to pay. Paying by credit card gives
you some protections that other methods of payment
may not. If there’s a problem, the law
gives you the right to dispute charges and temporarily withhold
payment while your dispute is investigated. If someone uses your credit card
without your permission, some companies will cap
your liability at $50. Others will waive the
charges entirely. Before you enter your credit
card or other financial information online, check if
the website address starts with HTTPS. The “S” stands for “secure”
and means that your information is encrypted before
it’s transmitted. Now you should be ready
to enjoy whatever you’ve bought online. If you have a problem with an
online purchase or charge, try to work it out with
the seller first. If you can’t resolve the
problem, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission,
the nation’s consumer protection agency, at By planning, comparing products
and costs and making sure you check out securely,
you can make your online shopping experience safer
and more enjoyable. Remember, it’s easy to find
trusted information about online security. Just visit,
the federal government site to help you be safe, secure
and responsible online.

15 thoughts on “Online Shopping Tips | Federal Trade Commission

  1. Please be aware people having u buy green dot cards & telling u there is a warrant out 4 your arrest once u buy the card information is needed to keep from being locked up

  2. The video needed to ad to "check for recalls" on product before purchasing. I caught a major retailer selling a food processor at a "to good to be true price", that had actually been recalled, due to a dangerous design flaw that could result in serious injury from the blades.

  3. Good little video, but leaves out the fact that there can be fake reviews on a product. To try and circumvent that I try to read reviews with different ratings, 1 star, 2, stars 3 stars etc. I find fake reviews usually in the 5 star category and some in the 1 star category. Fake reviews in the 5 star category are common and are often by bloggers who received a free product in exchange for a review, or by companies trying to hype up their own product. In the 1 star category a competitor may be trying to sabotage a company. I signed up to be an "ambassador" for a company and they sent me a product to review. In my review I brought up a feature that needed to be redesigned to make it better and to avoid a potential fire, based on my own use of similar products and on fires in competitor products with the same weak design feature. Of course, the company "changed" my wording and eliminated the statement I made about the weak design feature.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *