Tips for Safer Online Shopping

Dealing with the Store
  1. Reading reviews from other customers can give you an idea of how a store performs.
  2. Research if the store has a reputation for quality and good customer service.
  3. Read the return policies, as not all store will have the same return rules. Some may charge for return shipping or restocking.
  4. Be cautious of testimonials on the store’s website, as this is controlled by the store, they may try to hide negative comments.
  5. Read the description of the item carefully, as the image may not show the product accurately.
  6. Before making a purchase, check the terms and conditions so that you know the store’s return policies, any additional costs, and look out for anything may seem suspicious.
  7. If the store is Australian, they will need to comply with Australian law including Australian Consumer Law. This allows you the right to ask for repair, replacement, or refund if there is an issue.
  8. Overseas stores are not bound by Australian Laws and may be difficult to find solutions if there is an issue. Ensure that the store is trusted.
  9. Before making a purchase from an overseas store, see if you can find their contact details. Consider sending them an email prior to your purchase to test their communication and service.
  10. Delayed shipping and lack of communication can be an indicator of an issue. Where in doubt raise your concern with your financial provider used when making the purchase. If you delay the notification until after the guaranteed period, your financial provider may not investigate your case further.
  11. Always review details entered during the payment process to ensure that your personal details and physical address are correct. You don’t want to have your items shipped to the wrong address.
  12. Be careful of posts on social media sites, as these can be controlled by the store. Any negative comments may be removed, or hidden as the post becomes old.
  1. Credit card have a level of protection if you don’t have your product delivered. In Australia some credit card companies allow you to dispute the charge if within 120 days of purchase.
  2. Check how much extra shipping costs, as it may end up being more expensive than other stores.
  3. Do not send cash, money transfers or direct debit under any circumstances.
  4. Look for secure checkout when making a payment. The website address should start with “Https”.
  5. Keep records of your online transactions including the product, price, receipt, and email communications with the store. This may be required for disputes or to check if you have be charged correctly.
  6. If you receive an email or pop-up message from the store asking for financial information, do not follow the link or provide your financial information. Store do not ask for information that way.
  7. If you paid using PayPal, you have 45 days to dispute your purchase if it was not delivered. If you are unsure and you are getting close to the 45 days, ensure you raise a dispute for investigation. After the 45 days, PayPal will not provide you with any guarantees.
  8. Check the currency in which the store uses, as it may turn out more expensive than you originally thought.
Protect your Information
  1. In Australia, most online stores are required to have a privacy policy. Read the privacy policy to understand what information they are collecting, why and how they are going to use it.
  2. Contact the store if you don’t understand their privacy policy.
  3. Don’t email any financial information to the store including your credit card details. Emails are not secure for payments.
  4. Be careful when making purchases on public computers as they may have software installed to steal your personal or financial information.
  5. Don’t send any personal identity information like your driver’s licence. Stores usually do not need this information before making a purchase. If you do need to, make sure you read their privacy policy thoroughly to understand their usage and that the store is trustworthy.