You have no doubt heard a lot about e-commerce. In fact, if you've
bought a CD online or ordered a book from Amazon.com lately, then
you've already participated in e-commerce. E-commerce is simply the
buying and selling of goods over the Internet, and it can be a secure,
convenient, and cheaper alternative to braving the stores.
Shopping online means that you get to comparison-shop more thoroughly
and with less hassle than going from store to store in person. On
the Internet, you have dozens of search engines at your service to
assist you in scouting out the best online stores to shop from. On
the Internet, the neighboring competition for a retailer is just a
mouse-click away -- and this means competitive prices for the consumer.
Imagine being able to narrow down the cheapest available price on
an item, within minutes, from your desktop. Anybody can do it, and
if you've done your homework to make certain the merchant is reputable
and uses a secure server, it's safe.
Safety In Online Shopping
The number-one concern of online shoppers is where their credit
card information is being sent. If you're browsing the World Wide
Web with the latest versions of Netscape Communicator or Microsoft
Internet Explorer, then your browser is capable of handling secure
transactions using encryption.
It may be tempting to send cash or a check to an online merchant instead
of paying online with your credit card. This is less secure than paying
by credit card. When you pay by cash or check, you are responsible
for the amount of money that you send to somebody. You can file a
complaint or press charges if you never receive your goods, but there
are no guarantees that you'll be reimbursed.
When you pay by credit card online, you are backed by your financial
institution for all transactions that take place with your card. If
you don't receive your merchandise, you can cancel the order. What's
more, you are only liable for up to $50 under the Fair Credit Billing
Act should fraudulent charges occur on your card through either theft
or online security breaches. With most credit card companies, this
is effective if you notify them of the theft/fraud within 24-48 hours
of discovery. A few credit card companies won't even charge this;
check with yours to be certain. We have included links to major credit
card companies below and their online shopping tips as well as their