Tips for Buying Clothes Online
Online shopping is a huge industry; many people go online to buy just about everything they need, rather than shopping in-person. You may even buy a lot of your clothes online.
In the past, buying clothes in-person was the much smarter option, as you could try them on right then and there. But by building up their size guides, adding sophisticated “virtual dressing rooms,” and so forth, online apparel companies continue to make it easier to find your proper size. As such, it’s actually become common for people to buy entire wardrobes online.
However, is it safe to do that? Online shopping in general can be risky. When you buy clothing online, you need to make sure:
- The payment is secure
- The company actually ships the product
- You receive the right items
- Your personal information is secure
The good thing is that you can attempt to ensure all those things by doing just a few simple things:
Do Some Research Outside of the Site
Although reading reviews for products on an individual site is a good idea when it comes to figuring out what to buy, it’s not the end-all be-all. It’s frustratingly easy for sites to fake positive reviews. And while it’s definitely possible that you can get real advice from the site itself, you shouldn’t base your entire purchase off just that.
Instead, do some third-party searching. Even a basic Google search can help you understand what people’s actual opinion of the site is. One of the things to keep in mind with this is that plenty of sites, especially ones created specifically to allow people to vent their frustrations about a company, will likely show a lower rating than is fair.
Just like the company’s site may tend toward positive reviews, external sites can tend toward negative reviews. Read a variety of sources before making your choice.
Use Third-Party Payment Processors, if Possible
You can usually input your credit card information directly into a website to pay for products if you want. That’s also one of the things people are most worried about. When you give a company your credit card information, it’s easy to worry about if it’ll fall into the wrong hands.
That’s why third-party payment processors are such a big deal. With these processors–which include companies such as PayPal or Venmo, digital wallets such as Apple Pay, and credit card issuers like Visa Checkout–you don’t ever have to give the website your information. You log into your secure payment account, which then gives the website permission to take payment. If you can do it, it’s a useful tool.
Look for SSL Encoding
SSL encoding is just one of the ways you can ensure that you’re getting a secure connection. It’s very easy for established websites to set up SSL, and it lends the company credence that it otherwise may lack. Essentially, SSL creates an encrypted data stream, which means that when the website sends your credit card or personal information for processing, that information isn’t visible to outside sources. Even if it’s intercepted, no one else can see that information in its original form.
An SSL certificate also contains important information about the company itself, which can be helpful when you’re putting your trust and finances into a company’s hands. That information includes the company’s name, address, and domain name. With that information available, you can feel safer making a purchase.
Take a Second Look with a Public Records Search
If you’re still not sure that the website has a credible company behind it, do some extra digging. Scams that involve setting up a fake e-commerce site just to glean credit card information aren’t incredibly common, but they do exist. PeopleFinders may be able to help you avoid them.
With PeopleFinders, you don’t have to take the company’s word for anything. You can use the company’s address, which you could get via the site’s SSL certificate, to perform an address lookup and try to make sure that the address belongs to the site you’re purchasing from. You can also use the people search to try to look up the employment history and other identifying information about any founders or CEOs listed on the site.
Online shopping has definitely made life easier for many people. However, that doesn’t mean you have to trust sites without giving it a second thought. If you want to know whether a company is trying to scam you or not, try to do a little research first before you click “Buy.”
Image attribution: Stanisic Vladimir – stock.adobe.comTags: Online Safety, Shopping Online
Categorized in: Culture