Monday, December 13, 2010

Don't Lose Your Wallet in the Cyberspace

Christmas is just around the corner...

There is no snow or winter in Singapore but the festive mood here is unmistakable. Traditionally, this is also the time to shop for gifts.

A decade ago, I enthusiastically shared with many that shopping would be going virtual. I received cold shoulders and skeptics walked away from that idea. They swore that they would only shop in brick-and-mortar malls.

Today, I need to convince nobody. Ya, talking about paradigm shifts.

Needless to say, at this time of the year, many would be searching for something special from online stores. To the diehards, online shopping is cool, swift and very often, satisfying. I dare to add on, addictive too.

What affects purchases?

According to survey, buyers place visual appearance above other factors such as smell, sound or texture. Most of them are also more persuaded by colors rather than other visual aspects. This probably explains why online stores can be successful. I am sure the web designers are well aware of that. (See infographic)

Stay safe

If you are clicking away for some unique finds, take a moment to think through before your next purchase. You would not want your online shopping to go wrong. I admit that nothing is very new here. However, think about it, how many times our common-sense simply fails us?

7. Will it be safe to give your payment information?

You do not want someone else to be shopping with your money. Just like shopping in the stores, you would want to keep vigilant guard of your wallet. Check that your online security is in place before you click 'buy'.

6. Who are you buying from?

When we shop in the real world, we go for someone whom we can trust. It gets a little tricky when we shop online because we cannot see the other person. You need to know the reliability of this guy.

5. What are you buying?

How do you know what you buy will meet your needs? Do you believe what is said on the website? There are just a few things you should know about your purchase.

 4. How should you pay?

The most common payment mode is by credit cards. You would want to understand the limitation of paying via this mode.

3. Do you know the legal terms of purchase?

You sure hope that nothing will go wrong. What if it does? Would you be able to return the item and get a refund? Will your purchase come with any warranty? Check the legal terms before committing the purchase.

2. How should you keep records?

In this case, you cannot ask for a receipt from the cashier. You would have to get it yourself and keep your own records. This is so that you can keep track of your purchase and hopeful not, use it to resolve a dispute.

1. Did you double check pricing?

If you are sold shortly after you hit the website, your 'warning light' should start blinking. It is always advisable to check alternative websites or call up other stores. If something is too good to be true, it usually is. Trust your instinct.

More tips

There are many tips on safe online shopping. Here are two of them: 'Online Shopping Tips' and 'Top 10 Cyber Monday tips for safe online shopping'.

Now that you have done what you have to do, what should you buy?

It is not surprising that in recent years, IT gadgets have been ranked top choices by many. I can almost see iPad popping out of your thought bubbles. Interestingly, it is one of the "4 Popular Tech Gifts You Should NOT Buy This Holiday". Odd isn't it? Even my cats want them. Find out why.

For those who are beating cold winter right now, check out these "6 Great Gloves for Touchscreen Gadget Lovers". I certainly won't find them useful in tropical Singapore.

This post is not about gift ideas. Those are just some quick ones for sharing. You may continue to browse your favorite online stores for something else. This time, do it safely and don't lose your wallet in the cyberspace.

Good luck and Merry Christmas!

"A bargain is something you can't use at a price you can't resist." 
~Franklin P Jones~

Stumble Upon Toolbar

No comments: