There’s been a huge increase in online shopping, with many people buying online for the first time.
Although shopping online is usually trouble free, some people have expressed worries. so here are a few things that you should bear in mind.
Use trusted websites
Most of the companies that you know will advertise their website address (URL) on notepaper, receipts, shop fronts and delivery vehicles, so getting the correct URL is not difficult. But of course you may not have heard of many of the companies trading online, so go to a trusted source.
An increasing number of people are trusting this website.
Mylinks to shop uses affiliate marketing companies, which are intermediaries between the website publisher and the advertiser. They track sales and pay us a (usually small) commission if you buy by clicking on a link in the site. They verify our website and make advertisers go through an extensive approval process.
Look at the URL
Most companies will use a .co.uk or .com address. Charities tend to use .org. But there are plenty of other domains available such as .net and .info. Anyone wanting to set up a scam site copying an established company could try to use one of those domains or a misspelling of the company they are purporting to be, or they might use a more complicated URL which could include the name of the company they are claiming to be. Fortunately scam sites are not as common as many people think.
Some reputable companies use a different or more complex domain, once you go beyond the home page.
All of the companies on this website use one of the main domains (.com. .co.uk or .org). When the link is clicked the affiliate marketing companies tracking will appear briefly, before the website address with some additional tracking code added.
Using a .com or .co.uk URL is not a guarantee of good service though.
Where is the product being sent from?
Internet trading is international, so you might be dealing with a foreign company. There’s nothing wrong with that, and most companies shipping from Europe should normally be able to deliver within a week.
With most electrical goods, computers and mobile phones being manufactured in the far east, some companies will ship orders to you from there Some have offered very poor service during the lockdown.. It’s wise to look for reviews of companies on review or chat sites. Of course companies engineer favourable reviews about themselves, and sometimes unfavourable reviews about their competitors, but if you find a large number of bad reviews about a company or bad reviews on several sites, you’d be sensible to pay a little more to a reputable trader. Also look at their returns policy (especially if the product is shipped from the far east) and whether they have published a UK phone number and contact details.
Where are you when you’re ordering?
Remember that wi-fi in public places like shopping centres, internet cafes, public transport etc may not be secure. If you’re not sure, wait until you get home before entering bank or card details.
When you pay.
Some website URL’s have the prefix. http. Others have https – the s stands for secure. Before entering your card details check that it is into a secure encrypted site. To the left of the URL a padlock symbol will be displayed showing that the site is encrypted You can click on the symbol for more details.
Of course there is a cost, and mylinks2shop didn’t bother in the past – after all payment is made on the merchants site, not ours. However it is now encrypted for extra peace of mind. All our advertisers sites are secure and encrypted.
If there’s a problem
Remember that under UK law you have a right to receive the goods or obtain a refund within 30 days.
Online shoppers have a 14 day cooling off period, during which you can notify the merchant that you’ve changed your mind, followed by another 14 day period to return the goods. This goes beyond your rights at a shop, because customers buying online are not able to inspect goods themselves when ordering.