Online shopping has become a billion dollar if not multi-billion dollar industry for most niches.  The electronic industry reports a 200% growth in sales each year.  The travel industry is another industry that is quickly reaching record sales.  It seems as though every industry and every store is quickly expanding when they gain recognition on the net.
Nearly 90% of Australian consumers have shopped online.  Some of these consumers are avid online shoppers.  The Internet has become the place to purchase insurance, get the baby new shoes, order groceries, and get the back to school supplies.  There is not one thing that cannot be purchased on the net.  Even the family car and home can be purchased over the Internet.   There are specific guidelines consumers should follow before they shop online.

Online shopping is not always safe, and it is important to know the guidelines of how to safely shop online.  Just because a site looks reputable, it does not mean that it is.  When you land on a site, check for all the ingredients that spell a reputable site.  This includes the company contact information which should include an email and postal address and telephone number.  Also, look for their terms and all policies including their privacy policy, their return policy and their refund policy.  The site should have everything that the consumer needs to know about their purchase before they purchase it, and should offer all the assistance of what to do in the event that they are not happy with their purchase.

Also, look for sites that are secure.  You can do this by adding something to your cart and then going to the checkout page.  The page which requires your credit card information should be secured.  Look up at the URL address and make sure it begins with the letters https://.  This means that the site uses encryption, which means they are taking the necessary measure to ensure that your data is safe.  There should also be a locked padlock in the upper right hand corner.

Once you know the site is safe, don’t just immediately begin your online shopping.  Take time to visit review sites and learn if there are any unhappy complaints about the company or product.  These sites are readily available on the net and a place where happy and dissatisfied consumers go to share their experiences with companies and their products.  This is a great means to get unbiased opinions about the business before you conduct your online shopping through their site.

Lastly, once you purchase on the site, make sure to print a receipt.  Once you click on complete transaction, you should be brought to a receipt page that shows your purchase transaction and is an actual receipt for the transaction.  Print the receipt and save it in your records just in case the charge comes across as a different dollar amount on your charge card statement.    Also, if you are sent a receipt to your email box then saves the mail

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