If today we buy more and more online, there are details to know to avoid pitfalls and disappointments. Follow the guide. Buying on the Internet has become a commonplace gesture for most of you. But do you pay attention to the essential points to avoid a disappointment or a scam? Here are our ten tips for buying well on the Web.
Respect the Legal Restrictions
To begin, be aware that it is prohibited to import certain products in France, for example, counterfeits or products containing certain hazardous substances (lead salts, nickel). If your purchase is intercepted by the authorities, you risk in addition to the seizure of objects, a large fine and sometimes even imprisonment (up to five years of imprisonment and 500,000 Dollars fine for the purchase of counterfeits).
The product you are looking for is probably available on several websites. Compare the prices offered by each other, but do not go headlong on the lowest price and do not crack immediately by seeing the words “more than 3 items available”. There are other elements that can finally make you choose a price may be a little higher: delivery times, the reliability of the seller, his address in France.
Subscribe to Newsletters
If your purchase is not urgent, wait until an opportunity arises may be the right idea to pay a little less. There are of course the sales periods but not only. All the brands make regular special operations, exceptional offers … And to keep you informed of these promotions, nothing better than to subscribe to their newsletter.
Read the Technical Sheet
If you do a search on the Internet for a given product, the answers provided give you a range of prices offered by different sellers. Except that you must not click with your eyes closed on the lowest price: it may not correspond exactly to your request.
To realize this, only one option: read the datasheet and description related to the product. This is where you will know if the laptop you want has or not a disk drive/burner for example or that the SSD 77.95 dollars do not have a capacity of 480 GB but 240. Enjoy -in order to check that the product you are buying is new
Read the Reviews and Write Them
Blogs, forums, social networks, sites sellers … platforms where we can find reviews on a product and/or a seller are numerous. Consulting several can help you make a more informed choice. That said, do not take all these opinions for cash. As we know, some of these notes – both positive and negative – can, unfortunately, be fake. The only solution to “avoid” disappointments, cross the sources.
For your part, play the game: if you are satisfied (or not) with a product and/or a seller, share your opinion online, other users will appreciate this gesture.
Consult the General Conditions of Sale
If a merchant site must give you access to this information, we usually find the link at the bottom of its homepage. Do not hesitate to scroller to access it because when you validate an order on a website, you declare “to have read and accepted the terms and conditions of sale of the site” either by the simple click of the button or by checking an extra box. Better to have at least read before.
It contains the seller’s details, the mention of the currency used on the site if the prices are tax-free or not, the delivery times, the terms of subscription of a payment in several times, your right of withdrawal, how the merchant will use your personal data.
Pay attention to additional charges
Have you set your sights on a smartphone offered by a site abroad to 580 dollars instead of 860 on a non-English site? Very good. But beware of “hidden” fees. Apart from shipping c-sts, the seller may indeed charge you a fee , you may also have to pay your bank fees for payment by credit card abroad (usually around 2% of the amount of the purchase), not to mention that you will probably need to add customs fees and VAT if it is not included in the price displayed.
Do Not Buy From Any Site
The first thing to check when placing an order online is that the seller really exists. Try to find on the site the details of the company, the legal mentions, the GSC … if you do not find any of these mentions, run away. Privilege known sites or, in any case, whose existence you have been able to trace.
Also note that when you place an order online, you make a remote purchase that is framed by the Consumer Code which imposes obligations on the seller and gives you rights. You will, therefore, in most cases, be better protected on a non-English site that must respect the law. You will also be able to contact them more easily in case of problems.
Make Sure the Payment is Secure
Online purchases are usually settled by credit card. Before entering the details of your card, make sure that the site is secure: the URL of the page must start with https (s for Secure) and a padlock or key must appear next to the URL. Then, an honest merchant will never ask you to provide your bank details in the plain text (by SMS or e-mail) or a copy of your credit card. If so, run away. Also, prefer sites that highlight strong authentication via 3D Secure. In this case, you will receive a code by SMS to confirm your order, once your banking information entered on the merchant site.
You can also use more specific payment methods for online purchases. The e-credit card has a fictitious number issued by your financial institution that will serve only once. This avoids leaving the details of his “real” bank card. Some sites, the Fnac, PriceMinister or Rue du Commerce, for example, accept payments from alternative payment services such as Paypal. It is also a practical tool to pay for foreign sites or little known.
Some sites also accept payment by bank transfer or check, but it is rarer.
Follow and check your order
The act of purchase does not stop when you click on the payment button but when you enter possession of your order. Many sites offer you to track the progress of your order. Preparation, sending, arrival in a distribution center … each step is the subject of a point in the heading of tracking your orders on the site of the seller or an e-mail.
Once your package has arrived, check that its contents correspond to your order, errors may occur. If the item is not the one you ordered or is defective, immediately contact the seller’s customer service. If you can not get along with the site, you can turn to a consumer association like UFC Que Choisir.
You can also use the consumer mediation procedure. Normally, sellers must indicate the relevant mediator in their Terms and Conditions. Otherwise, the list of mediators is available on the portal of the Ministry of Economy, Finance, Action and Public Accounts. This procedure makes it possible to amicably settle a dispute between a consumer and a seller.