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3 Reasons People Should Be Careful When Shopping Online

Online shopping is easy, convenient and fun. Although you may have access to more items and deals than ever before, you may also be putting yourself at more risk. It’s important to educate yourself before engaging in the online marketplace.

Your Data Can Be Sold

In the modern day, data is as much of a product as anything else. According to ClearCode, many data brokers use cookies and tracking software to develop a profile of their customers. This profile is used to determine what ads and deals you see when you shop online.

These marketing profiles are relatively commonplace and used by many large corporations. However, less benign sites may also be tempted to sell the information you provide when you make an account, including your login and email address. If you don’t trust the website, consider shopping elsewhere or using the guest checkout instead.

Scams Abound

It’s significantly easier to run a scam online where no one knows your real face or identity. Names can be changed, photos can be altered, and information presented may simply be incorrect.

Park Savers advises that you should be careful with classified websites like eBay or Craigslist as it’s often difficult to tell the authenticity of products. Brand name goods may turn out to be low-quality counterfeits. An item may be listed as “mint condition” only to arrive severely damaged.

Luckily, sending the wrong item is a very common scam that many online retailers are prepared for. Before you buy, double check the website’s return policy. Many sites like eBay or Amazon will handle returns or refunds if the item you purchase is not as advertised.

Discounts Aren’t Always Discounted

The theme of risky online shopping is that retailers are not always as they present themselves. Another way you may be losing out is through “sales” that aren’t really a sale at all.

Business Today explains that there aren’t any restrictions stopping a website from advertising something as 40% off when it’s actually being sold for the full price. You may even refresh the page only to see a different sale – with an identical price tag.

Fake sales are yet another reason to shop around before you make an online purchase. If you compare listings from multiple websites, you will quickly determine the actual market value of the product.

Online shopping is a great way to get a good deal, but you should still exercise caution. Compare multiple retailers and purchase from the most reputable source. Don’t be afraid to spend a few extra dollars in exchange for security; that discount site may be discounted for a reason.

Think your computer might have been harmed by visiting a scam site? Be sure to send it in to Meade’s PC Repair for checkups and repairs!

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