More are more people are choosing online shopping as their way to purchase gifts.  It doesn’t matter if they are for a birthday, anniversary or graduation.  Buying presents online makes the process easier.   Price comparison and shopping can be done at any time during day or night.   The concern exists regarding what happens to your personal and credit card information.  Most fear it could land in the wrong place.  Fraud is one of the main concerns for online shoppers.

Although people are getting used to the online shopping experience it is really important to keep in mind the following:

1. Make Sure the Shopping Cart has SSL

Basically what that means is that the site has SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption.   To verify the shopping cart has it, look at the URL that should start with HTTPS:// (instead of just HTTP://).   Some browsers show an icon that looks like a locked padlock, which means your personal information is safe.

2.  More than One Way to Communicate with Customer Service

Most serious e-commerce sites will have different customer service contact options.  If they only offer an email contact you should probably be a little concerned.    Phone numbers are important and generally retailers have online chat.  Verify to see how you can make questions or complain if needed.

3.  Search for a Verified Secure Certification

The online retailer should specify in some part of their landing page, (first page of the online store) if they have a certification that ensures the safety and private use of your information.  The certification is usually made by a third party.

4.  Payment Options Can Also Guarantee Safety

When a site allows credit card payments you can be a little less concerned.  That tells you that the credit card companies have already undergone a verification process and are validating the business.  Remember that main credit cards carriers such as Visa or American Express have their own refund warranties and are not going to just allow any mysterious site to use them.  PayPal is also very careful when providing the service to online retailers.

5. Long Term Warranties are a sign of Safety

Serious online gift shops will give you a long term warranty in case your items need to be replaced or exchanged.  One year warranty from the time of purchase is a very good sign that the company backs their products and has a good attitude towards you as a customer.  2 or 3 month make it seem suspicious about them not backing up their products.

We assure you that if you take into consideration the above mentioned safety tips, you will buy gifts online safely and fully enjoy the benefits of this modern shopping experience.