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Cautions for Online Shopping

There was a story on out local news about a young lady who thought she was buying a telephone on Ebay and when she received the purchase, she had purchased a box without a phone inside. Shopping on the Web is not always all it's cracked up to be. Sure, it's convenient and you can find some great deals, but that doesn't mean you should let your guard down.

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There is a lot of misinformation out there that may seem like it's coming from a reliable source. Take shopping bot sites, for instance. They compile a number of products from different Web sites, and some of these services take payment for listing a product.

How can you protect yourself? As a rule of thumb, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Be wary if the price is extremely low; consider it a red flag indicating that not everything is on the up-and-up with the merchant. In the event of fraud, your credit card will protect you for everything but $50 of your purchase, but $50 is more then I want to like go off with nothing to show for it.

By Bobbie G. from Rockwall, TX

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May 18, 20060 found this helpful

As with anything in life, "buyer beware". I have been both a seller and buyer on ebay for 8 yrs now and thankfully have only had a few buys go bad. You do need to read ads very carefully....and it's sometimes what is not mentioned that you must be leary of. Recently I saw a HP printer up for bids, brand new in box. It lists everything that comes with; however the ink cartridges are not listed. Well usually a new printer comes with ink so I was about to bid, assuming that certainly the ink comes with it.....WRONG....I did write the seller and sure enough, no ink was coming with it; however the seller did not bother to state that in the listing. I already had the exact printer that had run out of ink and with the cost of ink these days, I could have had a new printer for cheaper than buying replacement ink so that's what I was after....a printer with no ink, would do me absolutely no good. So I made an informed decision not to bid. I also wrote to the seller and told him that he'd be well advised to add to his listing that ink did not come with as he might end up in a world of trouble keeping that info from a potential bidder! He heeded my warning and did add to his listing. Was he trying to pull a fast one in the first place, I have no idea but bottom line, the buyer needs to do the research. Don't assume, ask questions!

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