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Slide 1:Shop Smart, Stay Safe Online Shopping Explained
A Presentation by Boise Public Library 09/15/2009 Presentation created using Google Docs
1. Why Shop Online? 2. Tips for Protecting Yourself 3. Popular Online Shopping Sites eBay Amazon craigslist Overstock Orbitz 4. Price Comparison Sites 5. Selling Online
Slide 3:1. Why Shop Online?
In June 2008, Nielsen published statistics on the overall online shopping trends - Over 875 Million Consumers Have Shopped Online - the Number of Internet Shoppers Up 40% in Two Years. The same study estimated that almost two-thirds of consumers have made an online purchase. It is estimated that online shopping accounts for about 8% of retail sales in the United States and continues to grow at about 10% a year worldwide.
Slide 4:1. Why Shop Online?
What are the disadvantages of online shopping? A different Nielson Online Survey discovered the most important factors people shop online are: To save time (77%) To comparison shop (61%) To find things easily (56%) Low prices (46%) Free shipping (24%)
Slide 5:1. Why Shop Online?
What are the risks of online shopping? Buying goods that aren’t delivered. Goods which don’t match the description. Delays and hassles with online purchases. Poor after-sales service. Misuse of your credit or debit card details.
Slide 6:2. Tips for Protecting Yourself
5 Tips for Safe Online Shopping Taken from Washington Post article 1. Shop From a Secure PC If possible, avoid using the family PC that your teens or children use to chat with their buddies and play games online. Those machines, especially if they're a Microsoft Windows computer, are often already infested with spyware. An infected system will undermine all of the other precautions you might take to avoid online fraud. Before you start shopping online, make sure your system is running with up-to-date anti-virus software, and that you're using a firewall to block potential intruders. Just as important, be sure that your computer has the latest Microsoft software security updates installed.
Slide 7:2. Tips for Protecting Yourself
2. Shop Smart, and Only at Sites You Know & Trust Avoid search-engine shopping, which can often lead to random merchants you've never heard of. For the safest and most hassle-free online shopping experience, it's best to stick with merchants you know and trust. Most importantly, make sure you have read and understand the merchant's shipping and return policies before making any purchases. Be sure to print a copy of each receipt or confirmation e-mail you receive. Keep all of your receipts in a folder and filed away in a safe place. Never buy anything advertised via unsolicited e-mail. Such offers are almost always a scam. Criminals even build attractive storefronts for fake businesses that close up shop within days of accepting your online order.
Slide 8:2. Tips for Protecting Yourself
3. Shop with Your Credit Card Most online merchants accept both credit and debit cards. Under federal law, credit card issuers can only hold customers liable for the first $50 of fraudulent transactions, and most issuers will waive even that amount. While debit card issuers have largely adopted that same approach, your bank account could be overdrawn while you dispute fraudulent charges, particularly if you don't notice the fraud immediately. Experts say credit cards still present less potential for hassle when dealing with your financial institution should unauthorized charges show up later on a monthly statement. Never, I repeat, never, shop at sites that ask you to wire your payment or send money orders.
Slide 9:2. Tips for Protecting Yourself
4. Consider Alternative Payment Methods For the truly fraud-wary online shopper, there are still plenty of alternatives to entering your account number at multiple Web sites. Many financial institutions and card issuers -- including Bank of America, Citibank, Discover, and PayPal -- offer customers the ability to generate unique, "virtual" or "one-time use" account numbers that are good for a single transaction or a handful of specified transactions only and cannot be reused.
Slide 10:2. Tips for Protecting Yourself
5. Get a Handle on Spam If you worry that giving away your e-mail address at multiple online merchants might wind up cluttering your inbox with more junk mail, consider creating a new address for each new Web site that requires you to enter one as part of the registration process. This allows you take action if a merchant you're doing business with sells or rents your e-mail address to marketers. NOTE: We recommend creating an unique e-mail used just for online purchases. Free e-mail accounts are readily available from Google, Yahoo!, and Hotmail.
Slide 11:2. Tips for Protecting Yourself
Other Online Shopping Tips Keep all passwords private Never give out your Social Security Number Read site's privacy and security policy Shop with sites located in the United States Disclose only your bare facts when you order Look for "https://" at the beginning of web address Look for closed padlock or unbroken key symbol at bottom of browser
Slide 12:2. Tips for Protecting Yourself
Other Online Shopping Tips Pay attention to shipping facts and terms Learn the merchant's Cancellation, Return and Complaint-Handling Policies Consider using single-use card numbers or gift cards Be extremely wary of anything that is offered in an unsolicited or spam email Trust your instincts - notice spelling and grammatical errors; does the site has amateur look and feel?; are the prices too low? If it's too good to by true - then it probably is
Slide 13:2. Tips for Protecting Yourself
Other resources for online safety/shopping strategies: Get Safe Online - http://www.getsafeonline.org OnGuard Online - http://www.onguardonline.gov Federal Citizen Information Center - http://www.pueblo.gsa.gov Safe Shopping.org - http://www.safeshopping.org
Slide 14:3. Popular Online Shopping Sites - eBay
eBay - www.ebay.com The following is taken from the eBay website: eBay is "the world's largest online marketplace - where practically anyone can sell practically anything at any time. It's an idea that BusinessWeek once called "nothing less than a virtual, self-regulating global economy. "With a presence in 39 markets, including the U.S., and approximately 84 million active users worldwide, eBay has changed the face of Internet commerce. In 2007, the total value of sold items on eBay's trading platforms was nearly $60 billion. This means that eBay users worldwide trade more than $1,900 worth of goods on the site every second."
Slide 15:3. Popular Online Shopping Sites - eBay
What can you do on eBay? Bid on new and used items Find market value on almost any item Sell new or used items Participate in charity auctions Run an eBay-based business Find reviews on select products For more information, check out the eBay Learning Center.
Slide 16:3. Popular Online Shopping Sites - eBay
How eBay works: A seller lists an item on eBay, most anything from antiques to cars, books to sporting goods. The seller chooses to accept only bids for the item (an auction-type listing) or to offer the Buy It Now option, which allows buyers to purchase the item right away at a fixed price. In an online auction, the bidding opens at a price the seller specifies and remains on eBay for a certain number of days. Buyers then place bids on the item. When the listing ends, the buyer with the highest bid wins. In a Buy It Now listing, the first buyer willing to pay the seller's price gets the item. Sellers may also include a Best Offer option where a potential buyer can make an offer to which the seller has 48 hours to respond whether or not they accept the offer. eBay charges sellers - not the buyer - a fee for each transaction.
Slide 17:3. Popular Online Shopping Sites - eBay
eBay Buying Tips: Don't get caught up in a bidding frenzy. Set an amount you would be comfortable paying for an item, make amount your bid, and wait until the auction ends. If you get it great, if not, more than likely you can find another auction for the same or similar item. Set up an account with PayPal - a service that allows you to send money without sharing financial information using bank accounts, credit cards, personal financing, or PayPal account balances. Only bid on items that accept PayPal. Understand the auction's payment, shipping, and return policies. If you have any questions about the item, contact the seller. If you don't receive a timely and satisfying response, don't bid on the item. It is to your advantage to know which items are prohibited, questionable, infringing upon or potentially illegal.
Slide 18:3. Popular Online Shopping Sites - eBay
eBay Buying Tips (cont.): Before buying an item, check the seller's feedback to understand other's experiences with the vendor. Leave feedback after every sale. Feedback - both positive and negative - makes or breaks a seller and lasts forever. Don't rush to negative feedback - give a seller a chance to make good on any transaction. Use eBay's Advanced Search feature to discover selling prices for like items. Most Importantly! Remember, once you place a bid for an auction item, or agree to a Buy It Now or Best Offer item - you are obligated to complete the transaction.
Slide 19:3. Popular Online Shopping Sites - Amazon
Amazon - www.amazon.com Founded in 1994 as an online bookstore, Amazon is now America's largest online retailer. Amazon offers a huge variety of products and allows individuals and businesses to sell both new and used products via its site. Amazon is a pioneer in social media allowing customers to rate and write about available products and allowing these "reviewers" to provide suggestions based on certain likes and interests.
Slide 20:3. Popular Online Shopping Sites - Amazon
Advantages of Amazon Wide variety of products Ability to purchase used products Flat rate, and often, free shipping Create a wish list for later purchases Clear and dependable return policy Discounted items and promotional sales
Slide 21:3. Popular Online Shopping Sites - craigslist
Craigslist - www.craigslist.org Not a shopping site, Craigslist is an Internet-based classifieds site. People can list items for free and the site allows potential buyers to search classified in their area. Craigslist maintains privacy between communications by masking e-mail addresses. No transactions are made via the website, Craigslist only facilitates communication between parties.
Slide 22:3. Popular Online Shopping Sites - Overstock
Overstock - www.overstock.com Overstock is one of the web's largest inventory liquidators. The site offers discounted prices on a wide variety of liquidated items - it like an Internet-based outlet mall. Overstock also partners with a number of companies to provide discounts on non-liquidated items as well. The site offers a fixed low shipping price on most items It also branches out into online auctions, auto, and real estate sales.
Slide 23:3. Popular Online Shopping Sites - Orbitz
Orbitz - www.orbitz.com Orbitz specializes in online travel. The site allows its customers to research, plan, and book a wide range of travel products including flights, hotels, cruises, and vacation packages.
Slide 24:3. Popular Online Shopping Sites - Orbitz
Other popular online shopping sites: Wal-Mart - general merchandise Target - general merchandise Dell Computers - Dell brand computers and accessories Best Buy - electronics and computers JC Penny - general merchandise New Egg - computer-related merchandise QVC - general merchandise ETSY - handmade items
Slide 25:4. Price Comparison Sites
In order to find deals on the Internet, using a price comparison search engine can help both find deal and also provide perspective if prices found in store are good ones. According to an article by Smart Money, the top three best price comparison sites are (listed in order): PriceGrabber.com Yahoo Shopping Shopping.com
Slide 26:5. Selling Online
A number of site allow you to sell both new and used items via their sites. These sites have different rules and prices structures for potential vendors. Here are some links to find out more information about selling items online: eBay Sellers Guide Amazon Sellers Guide Craigslist Posting Guide