How to Select the Best Products and Services Online

Selecting the best products and services online can be a challenge. You don’t have the option of going to the store to check out the item before you buy. Neither do you have the benefit of friends recommending services they personally used. Blogs often recount horror tales about customers who placed orders for items they found attractive on online catalogs, only to be shipped defective products with missing parts. So how does the ordinary web surfer, with no knowledge or inside information of the industry, decide on the best goods?

A good online store offers reliable service, timely shipping, and reasonable prices. Here are some tips that will help make your online shopping experience problem-free.

1. Do they provide contact details? A good retailer will not just provide an email ID, but also a street address, complete with phone numbers and addresses of branch offices. Beware of settling for simple post box numbers.

2. Do they provide detailed information on the products and services? This should include photos, description of the product, applications, and price.

3. What do users say about the product? Look for reviews and user generated information. Have many people consistently expressed satisfaction with the retailer or service provider? Are there any complaints?

4. Take a good look at the “terms and conditions” section. Go through their transaction terms and privacy policy. If they have promised not to sell your information to third parties, it is probably a bona fide site. Look at all the details regarding transactions, such as payment, shipping, replacement or refunds, warranties, etc.

5. Wire transfers and checks are outdated and unsafe methods for paying for your products and services. Wire transfer scams are common online; therefore this is one method of payment you should avoid. Credit card payments are a bit more secure, but there is always the risk of someone unauthorized getting hold of personal details when you provide the information online. Online money transfer services such as PayPal are the best option when paying for products and services online.

6. Additional charges can include shipping and fees on funds transfer. Factor these in when making purchases. Often, retailers will ship an item costing above a particular price for no extra charge. Funds transfer websites sometimes levy a transaction fee for money transfer to a bank in another country or remittance through check.

7. Look at the shipping time. Generally, products are shipped within the same country in 48 hours. It takes longer to dispatch products to another country. If the consignment is delayed, you should have the contact details of the company handy so that you can make inquiries. Sometimes, the retailer will notify you of delays. Similarly, service providers should inform you well in advance if there is a problem in meeting deadlines.

8. Finally, trust your intuition. If you think you are not comfortable with a particular site, move on to the next. There are plenty of online companies offering products and services, and not all of them are dishonest.

The advantages of shopping for products and services online far outweigh the risks. The risks can be managed through the tips provided above. Have a happy shopping experience!