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6 Legal Tips for Safe Cyber Monday Shopping

posted Nov 19, 2013, 12:42 PM by Lane Siekman
More and more holiday shoppers are choosing to avoid the chaos of malls and department stores by shopping online. Cyber
Monday, the biggest online shopping day of the year, falls on December 2nd. The following tips will help ensure you are able to focus on holiday fun rather than legal disputes with online retailers. If you need assistance resolving an online dispute contact your provider law firm today.

  1. Beware of pricing that is too good to be true. Scammers often set up dummy websites, auction listings or ads that offer popular items far below market value. These scammers will kick into high gear for Cyber Monday. Trust your instincts and beware of scam sales.
  2. Shop from trusted online retailers. It is important to make sure you are on the correct website by checking the domain name in the browser. Sometimes emails or online ads promising great deals will actually direct you to scam sites designed to look like a trusted retailer. The domain name at the top of your browser should contain https://. 
  3. When using an unknown online retailer, do your homework. Make sure the company has a physical address and a working phone number. Run their name through a search engine to make sure they have a good reputation or check the Better Business Bureau’s website. 
  4. Review marketplace seller rating information and negative feedback from previous buyers. Marketplace websites allow a wide range of individual sellers to offer products to a large audience. Many of these sites allow previous customers to rate their experience with a particular seller. Exercise caution when dealing with sellers who have an excess of poor feedback. Check the specific feedback to see what those who complained had to say.
  5. Read and save a dated copy of the retailer’s return policy. Many online sales disputes stem from misunderstandings over return or refund policies. Make sure you read and understand the website’s policies before making a purchase. Some returns will require costly restocking fees and some sale items may not be eligible for return. Also, find out if you are responsible for shipping costs on a return item, as larger items could be costly to ship.
  6. Keep payment information secure. Never pay for items purchased online with wire transfers, money orders or cash. These types of payment offer no tracking or protection in the event of a scam. When making an online payment for goods use a credit card, Pay Pal, Google Checkout or another secure online payment system. Some payment systems offer additional dispute resolution options.