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When going for an online purchase, one thing to remember always, is your inability to see the person on the other side of the transaction. When you go to purchase something from a physical store, at least you would be aware of its location. But this, is altogether a different case. Imagine you ordered something from an online store yesterday, and you find out today that the website is no longer active. What would you do then? That sounds scary, right? Instances such as these have occurred in abundance. Eventually, you end up with no gift, you’ve lost your money and are unable to find whoever was behind the scam. Therefore, before going for an online purchase, here are four steps to consider:

1. Find out more about the website. Who handles it?

Are there contact details to get in touch when needed? In any website, if you don’t locate a Contact Us option, then browse their About Is section, which should indicate details about the company and who handles it. Eventually, you can locate a contact or email address under that option.

2. After placing the order, do they have a tracking mechanism set in place?

After we place the order, we would be unaware as to what goes on from there upto the moment the delivery is made. So, this new facility called ‘Tracking’ has been introduced to let you get an idea as to the state of the delivery and in what stage of the process it is in currently. Whether the wrapping process has begun or whether it has been dispatched already.

3. Do they hidden charges, such as transport fees etc.?

A common mistake that many of these online stores do is that their hidden charges are, well, hidden up until you place the order and the invoice is issued. And this charge sometimes tends to be even higher than the product itself. So, when you take up the invoice you would notice charges such as transport fee, service fee etc. being charged. So, before you place the order, find out more about that site’s other charges and then proceed.

4. What kind of reviews has that site garnered from other customers?

Another way to determine whether the services of the online store we are seeking are good or bad, is through reviews. Reviews are genuine opinions from previous customers, and their feedback sometimes prove essential to help us understand about the company and come to a decision as if their services would be excellent, good, bad or worse.