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How to shop safely online

Feb 13, 2017 09:33

The whole world is just a click away and it's easier than ever before to find bargains large and small on the internet. But think twice before you click that buy button; there are a lot of risks and pitfalls out there too. These can range from fees you maybe hadn't counted on, to clever credit card fraudsters.

It's easy to get carried away with all the new opportunities presented by the huge global expansion of e-commerce. Just think how easy it has become to make the majority of your purchases from your sofa!

But are you aware that those 1000-kroner shoes that you're ordering from the USA will end up costing you over 1500? And do you know which payment methods are the most secure?

Here are our top tips:

  • If you are not familiar with the company, you should do some proper research. Check that the website contains clear contact details – as an extra security measure, maybe call them to see if anyone actually answers. Pay attention to the payment methods being offered; your suspicions should be aroused if these are vastly different from what other e-traders offer.
  • Read impartial and independent comments about the company on social media and on the websites of "third-party companies". This is especially recommended when buying branded goods or when the price seems excessively low. Otherwise you risk receiving stolen or pirated goods!
  • Be careful if the company offers advance payment or cash on delivery options.
  • Pay securely! Even when the company is well known and everything seems legitimate, you can still be exposed to credit card fraud. Only use a card that requires a security app from the bank or a credit card; then the credit card company is assuming the risk, not you. Or make your payment via an invoicing service such as PayPal or Klarna. If you still choose to use an ordinary bank card, you should have a separate account that contains as little money as possible.

Better control and a heightened awareness of the risks increase your chances of having a fun and successful online buying experience!

When you shop outside the EU:

Remember that everything you buy will be subject to customs duty and VAT. There is often an additional few hundred kroner in customs administration fees for processing the clearance of imported goods. However, both customs duty and VAT vary from product to product.

Carefully read the list of contents if, for example, you are buying toys from China; environmental awareness varies greatly in different parts of the world.