Avoiding queues and enjoying a wide selection of products available 24 hours a day are among the many advantages of shopping online. Thanks to major retailers like Amazon, Flipkart, eBay, Alibaba, and Etsy, it’s now possible to order almost anything you need or want online. However, online shopping comes with risks. Read on to learn about these risks and how to protect yourself when shopping online.

Why online shopping can derail your budget

Making a purchase online is often as simple as opening an app, choosing a product, and clicking “buy now.” The more sophisticated the apps and online stores, the easier it is to make a purchase. Indeed, the company has every interest in simplifying your online purchasing journey as much as possible.

 While it generally has the benefits of a better user experience and superior product selection, online shopping pushes you to make more impulsive decisions. This makes it easy to go over budget. The solution? Leave items in your cart for at least half an hour (if possible) before purchasing them.

These extra 30 minutes should give you enough time to:

  1. Think and decide if you are making an impulse purchase.
  2. Check if your budget is sufficient for the purchase of this item.

How to buy online safely

Online shopping is certainly convenient, but it can be risky if you’re not careful. Knowing how to shop online safely is essential to protecting your money and personal data. Here are some tips to keep in mind when shopping online next time:

Make purchases from recognized stores

Avoid shopping on unfamiliar sites. Reputable sites such as Amazon, Alibaba, eBay and Etsy offer you added security because they encrypt your credit card numbers. These sites have also implemented standard return policies and more reliable delivery services. Additionally, if you purchase through a third-party vendor on one of these sites and it turns out to be fraudulent, there are already steps in place to help you get your money back.

Look for the SSL lock

If you are not purchasing from a reputable site, check to see if the small padlock symbol appears in the upper corner of the address bar where the site’s URL is located. Also known as SSL (Secure Sockets Layer), this padlock guarantees the encryption of your personal data. Also check the beginning of the URL address. If the website is protected by an SSL certificate, the URL address will start with HTTPS, not HTTP. The “s” means that the site is secure.

Check your (bank) statements regularly

To ensure that you have not been a victim of fraud when shopping online, check your (bank) statements regularly. If your banking details have been given to an unreliable site, they may be used to make fraudulent purchases. Verify every transaction.

 Clever schemes are sometimes put in place to regularly withdraw small sums of money from your account and thus avoid any suspicion. However, these amounts can accumulate little by little.

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How to Shop Online at Amazon

Amazon is the largest online retailer in the world today. Valued at $1.7 trillion, it is the online store of choice for a majority of buyers around the world. But how to buy items online on Amazon? Here’s how to do it:

  1. Go to the Amazon website.
  2. Click the “Account & Lists” drop-down menu at the top of the screen. If you don’t have an Amazon account yet, you need to click under the big “Log in” button and select “Start here.”
  3. Complete the registration form with your shipping and billing information, then create an account.
  4. Use the search bar at the top of the screen to search for a product you want to purchase.
  5. Once selected, add this item to cart. You can leave items in the cart for as long as you want, but Amazon may remove the item or adjust its price based on availability.
  6. If you would like to purchase this item, click “Place Order”.
  7. Choose your delivery address and payment method.
  8. Choose a delivery option then click on “Confirm your order”.
  9. You will then receive a confirmation of your order. If you change your mind, you have 30 minutes to cancel your order free of charge.

How to Shop Online on eBay

eBay is the world’s largest online auction site. It’s a bargain hunter’s paradise. You can also find new items available for sale. If you are not willing to wait for the results of an auction, you often have the option of purchasing an item immediately. Here’s how to shop online on eBay safely:

  1. You can purchase items on eBay as a guest without creating an account, as long as the item costs less than $5,000, and use the “Buy Now” feature to purchase it immediately without waiting for a bid.
  2. To bid on items you must create an eBay account. To do this, go to the eBay website and click on “Register” at the top left.
  3. Create an account by manually entering your data or by logging in with your Facebook, Google or Apple ID.
  4. Once your account is created, you can start bidding on items you find on the site.
  5. If you win an auction, you will pay the seller via PayPal, credit card, debit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay. The seller decides which options they want to use, but all products can be purchased through PayPal. If you want to use eBay regularly, it’s best to create a PayPal account if you don’t already have one.
  6. Delivery times vary depending on the seller. However, if you don’t receive your order, eBay offers a money-back guarantee.

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How to Shop Online on Alibaba

Alibaba is a little different from Amazon and eBay because it is essentially a B2B marketplace where consumers are retailers who purchase products for resale. Headquartered in China and present in more than 190 countries, Alibaba has millions of sellers around the world. Here’s how to shop online on Alibaba:

  1. To purchase an item from an Alibaba seller, you must create an account. To do this, simply go to the site and click on “Join for Free”, which is located just to the right of the search bar.
  2. Then enter your details to create your account.
  3. To search for items to purchase, simply use the search bar at the top of the page. This works like a search engine. You can even upload an image of a product you want to purchase and Alibaba’s search function will identify matching results.
  4. Once you find the item you want to purchase, please check customer reviews of the supplier to see if they are trustworthy.
  5. Then you can either negotiate the price with the seller using the “Contact Supplier” or “Chat Now!” buttons. », or click to buy immediately. However, you can only choose this option if the product is labeled “Ready to Ship” and has a “Start Order” button at the top of the page.
  6. Then you just order the product and wait for it to arrive. Delivery times vary depending on the seller.

How to Shop Online on Etsy

Unlike Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba, Etsy focuses on selling handmade or vintage items and craft products. If you’re looking for something with a personal touch, Etsy has over 72 million products. You will therefore inevitably find a seller who will offer you the item you are looking for. Here’s how to shop online on Etsy:

  1. To get started, go to the Etsy homepage and click “Sign Up.” Then manually enter your details or register with your Facebook, Google or Apple ID.
  2. Find the perfect product using the search bar. If you want to purchase local products, you can locate sellers in your area by changing your search preferences in the “Store Origin” menu.
  3. Once you find the item you want, you can either select “Buy Now” to purchase it immediately, or add it to your cart.

When you want to purchase, proceed to payment. Each seller chooses payment and shipping methods. So be sure to check these modes before making a purchase.


What should I do if I encounter a suspicious website?

Avoid entering any personal information and report the website to the appropriate authorities.

Are all online payment methods secure?

While most reputable platforms are secure, it’s essential to research and choose trusted payment options.

How often should I update my passwords?

It’s advisable to update your passwords regularly, at least every few months, to enhance security.

What steps can I take to secure my mobile devices for online shopping?

Ensure that your devices have the latest security updates, use reputable antivirus software, and avoid connecting to unsecured Wi-Fi networks.

How can I verify the authenticity of an online retailer?

Check for customer reviews, ratings, certifications, and secure payment options to gauge the retailer’s credibility.

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