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gertie
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How do you decide if an online store is a reputable seller? I don't worry if it's a known company but sometimes I'm leery of giving my CC to an unknow. I know they have an address in a phone book but I don't know if that's reason to trust them. Thanks.

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I'm afraid I'm not much help...I tend to stick to sites/companies that I know and that other friends have also used.

Cheers,

Jana

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You can pretty much trust the sites that are the big guys, like Sears, Target, Walmart, Overstock, Barnes & Noble, etc. etc. etc. However, I do NOT use links to get to those sites that come in emails to me... that's how you can get directed to a fake location. Type in the url yourself, such as sears.com.

When paying, make sure that the first five letters of the URL you see in the address bar are https -It means that your information is being transferred using special security protocols.

I've also used eBay for TEN years without a single problem. With eBay, however, you have to be more internet savvy, looking for sellers that have been with eBay long enough to have a rating. I rarely buy from anyone who's not successfully completed at least 100 transactions. They also must have an excellent rating number (few or no negatives left by buyers or sellers). It's fine to buy from someone with a rating of 97% (100% ratings are rare!), as long as you go through their feedback file and find out why they got dinged with a negative -- some people leave negatives for the silliest things, like if the item was broken during shipping by the shipping company--which is not the seller's fault but the buyer just wants to gripe somewhere instead of filing a complaint or claim with the shipping company... Those things happen every day, with even the best of companies.

If you don't want to give out your credit card, you can use PayPal, which I've used for years without any problem. You link it to your bank account (PayPal is essentially a secure online bank), then you pay using their service and your purchases are protected by their insurance. Some credit card companies will also issue you special credit card numbers just for use for online purchases, you have to see your issuer's website for info on how to do this or call their customer support line.

I do MOST of my shopping, other than groceries, online and have done so for many years. I have done my grocery shopping online before too, but it's actually faster for me to do it in the store, myself. When I was housebound due to illness, though, it was quite a big help.

Nina

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Buying stuff online is a lifesaver, especially for those of us with POTS. Websites can get certified for reliability - they will display the certification logo (like Bizrate, Yahoo, or Better Business Bureau). Otherwise, I would stick to the well-known sites (amazon.com, buy.com, etc.) and those affiliated with stores like Nina said. Another good idea is to use a separate credit card for online purchases, so that if your info is lost, it doesn't affect your main credit card.

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FYI, I was listening to an NPR radio show today on cyber security by one of the world's foremost experts on the topic, and he essentially summarized what we've discussed in our thread:

limit which card/cards/account you use online for purchases

stick with stores that you know to be reputable

and in addition:

keep your system and virus software up to date to limit vulnerabilities

do not reply to random emails selling things

do not download software from anywhere you're not familiar with, especially if you start getting error messages with your computer or emails telling you to update: to update, go directly to the source, such as Microsoft, Apple, Norton

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm not sure if you have the same system in the USA but here in the UK if you buy from an online store using a credit card (rather than a debit card) you get automatic insurance via the credit company in case your item doesn't turn up or the company go bust.

My sister recently had problems where several transactions appeared on her bank statement that weren't hers (purchases from adult stores!!!). Her bank have reimbursed her for the fraud and changed her debit card details.

Flop

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Flop, here in the States, if you file a report with the credit issuer, the credit company will work to fix the problem--be it a broken or defective item where you want an exchange or refund, or fraud investigation. Teri's card # was stolen last year (Amex), and they figured it out way before we noticed anything, and called our house, issued a new card, and we never even saw the charges appear on our bill to have to dispute. Their antifraud system picked up the problem with charges happened in several European countries within hours of each other, all the while, we were here in the US. The # was probably stolen while Teri was in Germany for work--probably by hotel or restaurant staff.

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  • 1 month later...

yep, i like paypal as well, and i do stick to well known (-reputable) stores. internetshopping to me has become a GREAT help. thanks nina for all your information, it might help others on their way to digital shopping! especially online cloth shopping makes my life more fun!!! i order clothes in different seizes/colors as to be sure there is something that fits me. new clothes always make me feel better (and NO, i don't shop on a weekly base :):lol::o )

corina :)

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