If you feel comfortable tossing your credit card to a waiter in a restaurant (he could copy down your number)…or giving out your credit card number over the phone (people with a scanner can intercept your analog calls), you should be comfortable making purchases over the Internet.
Every year, more and more people are using the Internet to shop. That’s because every year more and more people are discovering that shopping on the Internet is fast, easy and safe. A recent Pew reseach poll indicates 66% of online Americans say they have purchased a product online, such as a book, toy, music, or clothing.
Unlike most stores, the Internet is open 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. You can shop at your convenience, from your home or office.
Purchases made over the Internet are usually cheaper, even when you factor in the cost of shipping. (The online stores have a much lower overhead and businesses want to create incentives for new Internet consumers.) Shipping is easy…next day delivery is usually available. Immediate delivery is available for software, just download your purchase directly into your computer.
Most online businesses have the same “return policies” as regular stores. We have made several purchases over the Internet…hassle-free each time. We have bought movies, music, books, and software. We have even sent flowers. The list of what you can buy over the Internet is endless. Just check out the HSN shopping catalog for a sample of the many different kinds of items available online.
Typically the experience goes something like this:
- You go to the Web site where you plan on making the purchase. You browse, just as if you were in a store, then you find what you are looking for.
- You click on a “link” indicating that you wish to purchase the product.
- You are then transferred to a “secure server.” All the information that is transmitted, from this point on, is encrypted (scrambled).
- You will be asked for your name and address…and the address you wish the purchase to be shipped (this could be a gift for someone else!)
- You will be asked for your credit card number.
- You will be given several different shipping options.
- You will be given an opportunity to cancel your order…or proceed with it.
We suggest that you take the following precautions before you buy anything over the Internet:
- Shop with companies you are already familiar with.
- Make sure the companies Web site includes a real street address and phone number.
- Credit card information should only be transmitted on “secure servers.”
It’s just that easy! The company will notify you by email when the product was shipped and when you should expect to receive it.