In my last post, I sort of encouraged online shopping. However online shopping does have some risks involved.

Pros:

  • Cheaper (almost always for us Sydneysiders)
  • Wide selection
  • Convenience
  • More efficient

Cons:

 These risks can be reduced significantly by the following steps:

  • What you see is not always what you get
    Use online stores that have been reccomended or ones with a good reputation.
  • Payment security
    Always use Paypal (more below).
  • Lost/stolen parcels
    If it is a big order, take shipping insurance and use a shipping address close to the airport as much as you can (Mascot 2020) so the courier can go straight to you instead of transiting via Australia Post or other subcontractors. This is specially true if your parcel is transiting in the South and West.
  • Returns?
    Have a look at it in your local store, try it on even prior. Read reviews online from blogs and independent sources.

I am very satisfied with Paypal and I always use it whenever possible. The first thing I look for, especially when buying from an online store for the first time is this Paypal logo.

The short version is that the Australia Post lost my parcel. The online store did not purchase insurance despite me paying for it on the invoice. I lodged a dispute against the online store as they did not want to neither send out a replacement  nor a refund. Paypal credited my account with the full amount as it was the sellers fault. (Paypal Buyer Protection)

If you have not used Paypal before, you basically link your bank account or your credit/debit card (Mastercard/Visa) to your profile. Instead of typing in your card details, you log in to your Paypal account and confirm the payment.

n.b. The buyer protection only covers you if you take shipping insurance and it must a physical item.

Please share any trusted online stores in the comments.