This article is brought to you by ME.
Embrace the possibilities of online shopping and keep your money safe with these five failsafe strategies from ME.
No matter whether you’re planning to put the latest fashions from Saks Fifth Avenue or an elusive part for a vintage car, the internet puts it all at our fingertips. And Australians aren’t wasting a minute grabbing bargains and one-of-kind buys, with millions of Australians shopping online1.
Not only convenient, online shopping is generally very safe, especially if you stick to secure sites where the web address starts with ‘https’. Only two out of three of us check if a site is secure2 so make this a priority.
While it pays to keep your money safe online, our own spending habits can be more of a danger than the risk of cyber crooks. With so much choice available, the temptation to overspend can be irresistible, with studies showing that one in four of us are splashing out on purchases we know we’ll struggle to repay3.
This makes it worth introducing a few personal safeguards to ensure online shopping doesn’t leave you strapped for cash or weighed down by debt.
- Try the 60-minute rule
Skip the hype about limited time offers and try taking a 60-minute breather before committing to a purchase. With the benefit of a cooling off period, you could find that must-have buy isn’t so essential after all.
- Read the refund policy – carefully
When you buy from an overseas retailer, the consumer rights we enjoy here in Australia don’t always apply. Be especially careful to check the fine print on refunds. In particular: what sort of timeframe are you given to claim a refund and who pays the freight on goods returned – you or the e-tailer?
- Check out reviews
If you’re unsure about the quality of merchandise offered by an online store, fish around on social media for product reviews or check out appraisals by trusted authorities (consumer group Choice’s website is handy here). A few honest opinions can be the key to avoiding a dud buy.
- Keep temptation at bay
Creating a separate email account for online shopping doesn’t just minimise the volume of junk mail clogging up your regular inbox, but can also help you resist the urge to buy stuff you don’t really need.
- Save smart
Although e-coupons can shave a few dollars of a purchase, don’t let coupons restrict you to a handful of online stores. The best buys could lie elsewhere, and shopping around is always the best way to secure a genuine bargain.
Always stick to a set spending limit and know what you can comfortably afford to pay. It’s a simple way to enjoy the freedom of online shopping without blowing your budget.
1Australia Post and StarTrack research, Inside Australian Online Shopping, 2017
2Veda, Hackers get serious about causing mischief as identity takeovers rise 59% in two years, 7 October 2015
3Veda Credit Scorecard, 28 October 2016
This article is brought to you by ME Bank. This information does not take into account your situation and you should consider if these products are appropriate for you. For more information, please visit www.mebank.com.au.
Members Equity Bank Limited ABN 56 070 887 679.
The products or services being advertised are provided by third parties, not REI Super and therefore will not be the responsibility of REI Super. REI Super may invest in these third parties but does not receive any payments or commissions from these organisations as a result of members using the products and services. Members should make their own assessment and seek professional advice as to the suitability of such products or services for their individual needs.