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Shopping online

Online shopping has revolutionised the concept of e-commerce and millions of people all over the US are now buying everything from cars to groceries online. E-commerce allows users from all over the world to buy products and services without having to worry about their geographic location. If you are planning to shop online, here are a few tips to help you make the most of your online shopping experience.

Before you start entering your credit card details on a webpage, make sure the website you are shopping with is secure. Major e-commerce websites use secure protocols like https and also make sure that all online transactions are carried out using advanced encryption technologies. You might have come across websites that have banners that state they use '128 bit SSL' and are 'hacker proof', the next time you are shopping with a website make sure the website is using secure certificates and offers secure online shopping. Apart from secure shopping methods, you should try and shop with websites that are members of larger commercial organizations. For example, if you are shopping with an overseas service provider, make sure the website/organization is registered with The International Bureau of Certified Internet Merchants (IBCIM). Depending on the products and services, there are different bureaus and organizations a website can be member of.

Another important thing to remember when you are shopping online is shipping costs. Shipping costs make up a major part of online shopping expenses. Before you order anything online, read up on the various shipping options that are available. Sometimes, it is cheaper to order a little more than you need to reduce shipping costs. For example, if you are buying DVDs online many websites will give you a 'bulk discount' if you order more than 4 DVDs. In addition, many websites actually offer free shipping on orders that exceed a certain amount.

In a nutshell, make sure you know exactly how much you are paying for shipping costs, and how you can reduce the shipping costs. Another important thing to look for in an e-commerce website is the payment options that are available. Most websites support payments through major credit cards, however if you have a Paypal account or want to use other payment options like payment on delivery, look for a website that supports these options. You could spend hours searching for products only to find that the website does not support the payment option you want to pay with. In essence, before you begin shopping with any website read the FAQs first, and make sure that website supports the payment option you want to use. Finally, before you use any website make sure you have done a little research on the website.

Try and deal with a website that has been around for a few years. It is equally important that the website you are dealing with has a well established customer services department and if possible deal with a website that offers 24x7 customer support. In conclusion, remember that online shopping is more common sense than anything else.

Vivian Eide is the author of this article on Shopping directory. Find more information about shopping online here.

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