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One of the many advantages the Internet has brought us is the ability to shop online. No longer are our options limited to what stores are within driving distance. Whether you’re looking for a hard-to-find collector’s item or just a less expensive place to buy your favorite shoes, the Internet makes it possible.
In this short video, we’ll take a look at how online shopping works.
Now that you know how online shopping works, it’s time to become an online shopping expert. Our Smart Shopping Tutorials will teach you how to research items, comparison shop, return items you purchased over the Web, and make safe choices.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need an e-mail address to shop online?
Some merchants will let you shop online without providing an e-mail address, but this is becoming more of the exception. Many merchants require you to create a login, which is usually your e-mail address and a password you select. Even if a merchant doesn’t require an e-mail address, providing one allows the merchant to send you order and shipping confirmations. If you don’t have an e-mail address, there are many Web-Based E-mail services that provide free e-mail.
How do I know if an online store is safe?
When shopping online, it’s important to make sure the site you’re using is secure. The easiest way to do this is to look for the padlock icon next to the address bar. You may not see it while you’re browsing or adding items to your shopping cart, but it definitely needs to be there when you go to check out. If it’s not, don’t provide any personal or financial information. To learn more, check out our Ten Tips for Smart and Safe Shopping.
Do I need a credit card to shop online?
Most online merchants will require you to pay with a credit card or an online payment service, such as PayPal. If you don’t have a credit card, services like PayPal can be linked to your bank account. Additionally, some merchants will also accept a pre-paid debit or gift card. To learn more, check out our guide to paying for your online purchases.
Can I shop at local stores online?
Many local stores also have web stores and not just the big chain stores. Even many local mom-and-pop shops now sell online. Whether you want items shipped to your home or you want to find them online and pick them up at your local store, shopping online is a great way to guarantee items are in stock and you get the best price. There are also a number of online sites that offer coupons both for online and local stores. Learn more in our guide to Discounts.