Online shopping is an oasis catering to people looking to buy all types of things. With the offer of convenience, variety, ability to send gifts directly and comparison of prices within one sitting you can now purchase almost anything from the comfort of your own couch.
In recent pandemic times, online shopping in Australia rose from 1,928 million in February 2020 and peaked in September 2021 at 4,289 million according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
It’s not hard to see why people are spending more time shopping around online and making purchases via overseas companies. While of course shopping local benefits the local economy and lets you have face to face customer service, it’s also vital for consumers to do their research and have all the options.
With the success of online shopping we’ve seen customers become more savvy with their online security. Reputable online stores have also upped their security measures to ensure their customers have the best and safest experience possible. However, even with these improvements we still know consumers are concerned about online security and that’s why we are working to promote safe online shopping among our customers.
Make sure you know the business – does it have a physical address and phone number and does it allow you to pay securely?
Find out about their privacy and returns policies.
There could be conversion costs (for international purchases) or hidden fees.
Online stores should display a receipt at the end of a purchase –many stores will email you a copy. Either save this onto your computer or print a hard copy.
The Department of Fair Trading recommends on its website that when problems occur while online shopping, immediately enter into a dispute resolution process to facilitate communication between yourself and the seller. If you are unhappy with the response, you can make a complaint to the department.