Tag Archives Online shopping

How to Spot and Avoid Online Shopping Scams

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How to Spot (and Avoid) Online Shopping Scams

Today we want to share some great tips on how to spot and avoid online shopping scams. Online shopping scams happen when a retailer pretends to be legitimate by using a fake website or creating a mock ad campaign. While most of the retailers online are legitimate, others will use the latest technology to set up competent storefronts to trick customers. To successfully spot and avoid online shopping scams, follow these guidelines before making a purchase.

Check Other Websites for Reviews

Before you click on a new website, check if anyone has written a review on GlassDoor or Google to make sure the online retailer is legitimate. If you find too many negative reviews or no reviews at all, be suspicious. You can also use the website BuyersGuide.com as their goal is to help consumers buy with confidence. Writers on BuyersGuide.com compare multiple products under the same keyword to help you save money and find an item that suits your needs.

Be Suspicious of Social Media Ads

online shopping scams

Photo by Tim Bennett on Unsplash

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are common places to find scammy websites and retailers because they can take advantage of targeted ads. Users who are interested in fashion, makeup, or computers may come across profiles that sell products related to them, which is positive for both parties who want to build a strong customer relationship.

However, if a retailer with a social media platform contains the following, avoid them:

  • New looking profile with few pictures.
  • New looking profile with all images uploaded the same day.
  • “About” location has no information about the business.
  • Photos have no description or copy-and-paste description.
  • Photos are stock or stolen from other retailers (do a reverse image search).
  • Has more followers than a new or abandoned profile should have (likely bought).
  • Comments seem like they’re written from a bot (likely bought followers).
  • Products are sold at a low price or offer free shipping.

Some scammers have caught on and don’t make their scamming nature as obvious. If that’s the case, the following section indicates one of the biggest red flags.

Online Retailer Only Takes Wire Transfer or E-Transfer

Never buy from an online retailer that’s in a rush to receive payment from you. Some shopping scams will ask you to hand over your credit card details or a down payment before you can access a deal, while others will just ask you to wire or e-transfer the full amount. Don’t ever do this; even if you’re positive you can trust the person. After the money is out of your hands, there’s no way to get it back because you offered to hand it over in the first place.

What About Credit Cards?

online shopping scams

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels

Credit card companies generally only want to work with retailers they can trust, but that doesn’t mean that a retailer couldn’t claim they take credit anyway. If a retailer accepts credit cards, but you feel uncomfortable using one, sign up for a PayPal account or buy a prepaid Visa. Under both methods, you stay protected against identity theft or fraud.

Always read the website’s terms and conditions before using a credit card if you wish to use one anyway. All legitimate retailers must have terms and conditions to stay legally compliant.

No Terms and Condition (Or Copy-Pasted T&C)

Legitimate online stores will have terms and conditions on their website because it protects them from issues that could arise at any point during and after a sale. T&Cs will include what happens if their customers desire a refund. If that isn’t present, it’s likely that they either won’t offer you a refund (even if they’re legitimate) or won’t give you the item in the first place.

Other times an online store will copy and paste terms and conditions from another website and forget to change the retailer’s name, the country they reside in, and multiple other details. If you notice a discrepancy here, that’s a sign of a definite scam. No legitimate business would leave themselves open for a possible legal dispute, no matter how small.

Read more lifestyle articles at ClichéMag.com
Images provided by Creative Commons, Flickr, Unsplash, Pexels & Pixabay

Say no to Holiday Stress With These Amazing Gift Hacks

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Gift buying, giving and Christmas gift-wrapping should be a joy, so why do we get heebie-jeebies when someone mentions Christmas?

The shopping malls look Christmas-ready, the shopping frenzy has started and Christmas adverts have been slowly hitting TV since the beginning of October. Are you wondering if there is any way how to make your holiday season more enjoyable than last year?

gift hacks

StockSnap / Pixabay

These quick holiday gift hacks will help you minimize the holiday hassle and make gift buying as stress-free as possible.

gift hack

JillWellington / Pixabay

Finding the perfect Christmas present

…is not always possible. We all worry about buying our loved ones the right present, but recent studies show that up to 95% of the receivers value the thought behind the gift rather than the gift itself. With this in mind try thinking about something to celebrate the unique bond between you two, to convey you have held the receiver in mind.

Make a Santa’s list

Create a list of everyone you want to give a gift to. Think of the happiest times you’ve shared and brainstorm your ideas here. When was the time you felt connected the most and what could bring back the memory to these times? Try to think of a present as an experience rather than just a physical item.

It can either be an experience you enjoy together like a spa treatment or tickets to your favorite band or an item to celebrate your special moments.

Do you enjoy movie nights together? A set of luxuriously scented candles combined with a gourmet wine gift set will induce a charming atmosphere creating romantic memories.

gift hacks

MarioEppinger / Pixabay

Do you both enjoy morning pampering rituals? Seek for matching couple fragrances, there is something utterly romantic about matching scents, something that brings you together even when you are apart. There are plenty of thoughtful options, just think about their likes and dislikes.

Shop in advance

Another one of our holiday gift hacks is making sure to shop in advance.  Try to plan all your presents before heading into any shops. Browsing around the shops at the busiest time of the year is very stressful. Being pushed and pulled in the crowded store does not make the holiday experience any better. Keep the Santa’s list with you when you are out running around and pick up some presents every now and then. Or…purchase them online.

Purchase online

Try to find most of the gifts online, not only to avoid the crowded shops and full parking lots but to get some special online deals also. In recent years the Black Friday has become an essential part of the holiday season and some Black Friday deals will be better than others. Seek a website where you can buy most of your presents at once.

It is said that people hate wrapping Christmas presents more than Brussel sprouts, avoid this hassle and have your presents professionally gift-wrapped in beautiful boxes while buying them online.

holiday gift hacks

sweetlouise / Pixabay

The best online retailers also offer custom engraving for fragrances and beauty products to make the item even more personalized and unique.

In case you want a little cherry on top of your thoughtful presents, purchase a gift voucher so your loved one can treat herself/himself to something she or he always wanted.

Read more Christmas articles at ClichéMag.com
Images provided by Flickr, Unsplash, Pexels & Pixabay

6 Reasons Why Shopping Online for Clothes is the Wave of the Future

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Technology continues to change the way consumers do things. Shopping online for clothes has become easier thanks to the many choices available to men and women today. Furthermore, with many retailers closing physical locations, more and more people are turning to the internet to obtain things they want and need, and apparel is no exception. Why are people so willing to spend their money to buy clothes online without touching the item?

Shopping online for clothes

Mediamodifier / Pixabay

Millennial’s

Millennial’s love to shop online. A study in the UK found that 73 percent of individuals between the ages of 16 and 24 purchased clothing online in 2018. With so many clothing boutiques to select from, every person can find a clothing retailer they love regardless of where this retailer is physically located. Clothing choices expand as a result, and humans love having choices.

More Competition

shopping online for clothes

mohamed_hassan / Pixabay

Online retailers often don’t maintain a brick-and-mortar location. As a result, they can offer lower prices on popular items and the consumer is the one who wins. A man or woman will find he or she can purchase more items by shopping online in many cases. This benefit alone is why many now choose to buy their clothing online as opposed to in a physical store.

Artificial Intelligence

Imagine picking out a piece of clothing and having a computer make recommendations for coordinating items? This is being done in a few stores across the globe and the internet makes it easier for consumers to find outfits they love. Simply choose an item at an online retailer and recommendations can be made for coordinating pieces. Many online retailers now offer this service at no additional charge, so be sure to check it out. Only a few select retailers now offer this in store.

Virtual Fitting Rooms

Some retailers offer virtual fitting rooms so a person can try before they buy. Simply enter height, weight, and bust measurements and an avatar will be created. The avatar can then be clothed in different outfits so the buyer can see whether or not he or she would be comfortable in the clothing. This is much easier than going to a store and trying things on in a dressing room.

Try Before You Buy

Certain retailers now allow a consumer to try items before they actually make a purchase. These clothing subscription sites send items based on the customer’s stated preferences, so he or she doesn’t even have to go shopping. The retailer does all of the work, the items are delivered to the buyer’s home, and he or she can wear them a time or two to determine if they work. Those items the buyer does not like can be returned with ease.

Realistic Advertising

The average internet user spends two hours every day using social media. When a person posts an image or video on one of these sites, others can see what he or she is wearing and may wish to try shopping online for clothes. They can actually see someone in the garments and get a better understanding of whether it is something they would like to own. Consumers consider these posts to be more honest than the advertising provided by the brand itself, and this gives them the confidence to make a purchase.

If you have yet to try shopping online for clothes, now is the time to do so. Retailers understand people want convenience and value when they shop and work hard to provide this. Prices are affordable, returns are easy to complete, and shoppers don’t have to deal with crowds. It’s a wonder anyone buys clothes the traditional way when the internet makes doing so effortless.

Read more fashion articles at Cliché Magazine
Images provided by Pixabay CC License

 

How to Protect Your Privacy When Shopping Online

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We’ve all been there, perusing the metaphorical windows of ASOS, H&M or whatever your favorite fashion brand currently is without really knowing how to protect your privacy when shopping online.  You click on a bunch of products without actually making a purchase and then, 20 minutes later you’re on Facebook, chatting to an old friend or innocently looking through your ex’s new girlfriend’s pictures of her hamster.  Suddenly, there is the t-shirt in an advertisement that you recognized from earlier.  It then becomes an uneasy, eery moment where you remember that the internet is learning more and more about you, tailoring products to what it believes you desire, making you feel like you need to consume more and more, usually fast fashion products.  Whether just browsing or actually shopping, you should know how to protect your privacy when shopping online.

JESHOOTS-com / Pixabay

It’s bad enough to feel like someone is watching our every move, collecting data on us, monitoring everything in order to persuade us to consume more products, more content and spend more time online only to repeat the cycle again and again.

Before we delve too deep into a pit of fear of the online world, it’s important to say that, while to some extent you are always leaving an internet trail, there are ways of keeping your privacy intact and limit the data that sites have access to. Most likely, some ONE isn’t spying on your personal life, but bots and data mining are real occurrences, so it is smart to take some easy precautions to protect your privacy when shopping online and limit what others can hack and survey from your personal internet use.

Don’t save cards online

Protect Your Privacy When Shopping Online

Mediamodifier / Pixabay

When finishing a purchase in the checkout, the site usually gives you the option to save your card details for next time. Though it might save you a few minutes typing in your card details, and you may trust the site, those card details are the key to that whole bank account. If someone found out your password for that site, they could access a whole lot more than just your saved items.

 

Vary your passwords

If you have similar passwords for multiple important accounts, consider changing or varying them so each password is unique. Having unique passwords adds a far stronger level of security, which people frequently underestimate in favor of a memorable familiar password.

Use echecks

You can eliminate use of card details completely by opting for echecks. They are a safe and secure way to pay money online, because you never have to give your card details to a vendor. Plus, when you use an echeck on certain sites, you are given perks, like to boost your first deposit on echeck casinos.

salcapolupo / Pixabay

Check for the padlock when making a purchase

This is the easiest thing to do but also the simplest to miss. There is a small padlock image which appears on the left of the URL on a browsing window. It should ALWAYS appear when you are on a checkout or payment page, and should also appear when you are on a site private to you, for example, your email or cloud account. If it doesn’t appear when you are making a payment, then your details are highly at risk, so make sure to check.

Use incognito browsing

A sure-fire way for your browsing to not turn into ads is to use incognito. It won’t track your browsing history and it’s great for things like booking flights – because the cookies are not saved, it means the genuine price is shown, not the higher price sites put when they can see you’ve been interested before.

It is scary sometimes to think of how much data companies could have about us, but there are measures we can all take to remain safe and secure online.  We hope these simple tips will help protect your privacy when shopping online.

Read more ecommerce articles at Cliché Magazine
Images provided by Pixabay CC License

Christmas On A Budget? No Problem, We’ve Got Holiday Shopping Tips

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Once the month of November hits, most of us start to panic about holiday shopping. December comes fast and whether you’re a college student or a full-time employee, the amount of money we shell out during this time of year can make for high stress. Most of us aren’t rolling in dough, but that’s okay. There are plenty of cheaper options out there to make the holidays less stressful and easier on your wallet. We’ve got some holiday shopping tips to relieve some of that headache.

Holiday Shopping Tips: Surf Websites Like Ebay, Etsy, and Amazon

Yes, this is sometimes a little too obvious, but if you prefer to do your shopping in-store rather than online, you’re probably missing out on some great gift opportunities. Shopping online is one of the best holiday shopping tips, because it opens up a lot more options than simply going to a shopping mall. If you have a best friend who loves collectables, art and craft items, or unique and personalized gifts, you can find just about anything under the sun on eBay, Etsy, and Amazon.

Ebay Auctions Can Make Your Gift

If you hit the auctions on eBay, you could get lucky and score a mint condition, sealed vinyl that’s hard to find at a record store. A lot of vinyl records on eBay start on auction for cheap. I’ve found some pretty obscure ones for well under $20. There are so many unique things on eBay if you give your search a lot of thought. If you can think it, you can probably find it. Plus, eBay has their own deals section that can really helpful. Keep in mind that a lot of e-commerce deals are limited, so keep your eyes out for the good ones you can’t pass up!

Etsy Is Perfect For Unique Presents, So Long As You Search For The Cheaper Items

Holiday Shopping Tips

Photo Credit: Etsy

Etsy has just about anything in the vein of creative gifts. Got a boyfriend obsessed with Star Wars? There’s a personalized gift for that. Maybe your best friend is a pop culture freak and a huge coffee drinker. There’s a mug for that. And pins? There are plenty of unique pin sets that you probably won’t find anywhere else. It’s all about being smart with Etsy, though. Sometimes the items can get a little pricey based on the seller. Always keep your eye out for the cheaper deals, as well as the shipping costs. Some sellers offer a discount if you purchase more than one item from them, as well as a combined shipping so you don’t have to pay multiple shipping fees.

Amazon Can Be Way Cheap, Especially If You Sign Up For A Prime Trial

I’m pretty sure most of you already shop on Amazon. If you’ve already got an Amazon Prime membership, even better. If you don’t, you can sign up for a free trial of Amazon Prime at no cost and cancel before you get billed. It makes shopping on Amazon a lot easier, since a lot of items are eligible for Prime free two-day shipping. Find a niche item that your friends or family members will love. For instance, if you know a book-lover who doesn’t mind a lightly used copy of a novel, go for it. Know a cat lover? They have some hilarious adult coloring books for just about any subject you can think of.

Want To Give Someone a Cool Outing? Check Out the ‘Things to Do’ Section on Groupon

Groupon is a site that may be slightly overlooked if you haven’t used it a lot. But during this time of year, they have some really good sales, even on events. The ‘Things to Do’ section will show you Groupon deals in your area. If you take the time to sift through what offers they have, you can score a cheap price for local events and fun outings. 

Do You Have Old Gift Cards From Last Christmas You Haven’t Used?

Holiday Shopping Tips

Extra gift cards? Use them to buy gifts for the holidays. Photo Credit: LaniElderts / Flickr CC By 2.0

This is something some of us may not think about, but how long has that gift card been sitting in your desk drawer or wallet, unused? How much longer do you think you’ll take to spend it? If you aren’t against the idea of using it, it’s technically free shopping money. If you’ve got a gift card you haven’t used for any retail store, now is a good time to shop the incoming sales, especially online. And the best part is, if you use a gift card, you may pay little to nothing for someone’s gift. Sort of a win-win, right?

 

Are You Crafty? Create Some Beautiful Handmade Gifts for Your Loved Ones

If you’re an avid crafter or artist, a great gift idea can be easily achieved if you consider a way to make a personalized gift for someone. A photo memory book for a long-time best friend, a unique piece of jewellery, a painting of their favorite comic book character, organic bath bombs—the list goes on. If you’re up to the task of creating a gift for someone, rather than buying one, it can save you a ton of money—plus, it’ll mean a lot to the person you’re gifting it to.

 

Read more Holiday and Christmas posts at ClicheMag.com

Christmas On A Budget? No Problem, We’ve Got Holiday Shopping Tips. Featured Photo Credit: Pixabay

myWebRoom Feature

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I’ve always had a fantasy in which I walk into my room, see something I want to change, and with the snap of my fingers, it is updated within moments. Just think of that being an actual option in real life! With the creation of myWebRoom, a virtual room in which you can shop for products, create your dream living space, and connect with new people all in front of your tech device, it actually is—virtually, of course. Think of it as a 3D Pinterest, like Cliché Editor in Chief Megan Portorreal does! It’s an innovative, imaginative, and extremely organized social platform that allows you to be creative in your own personal style through designing a room centered around your interests, favorite sites, and must-have products. You’ll be blown away with the amount of tasks you can check off with myWebRoom: you can listen to music, socialize with other members, shop for new items, book a trip, or discover even more. Whether you love interior design, are looking for a new way to decorate a room, or you are just the casual daydreamer like myself, myWebRoom is only a click away. We chatted with the lead product designer of myWebRoom, Ling Lim, for you to get to know how myWebRoom was created, how it has grown, and how easy it is to use!
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Cliché: Where did the inspiration to create myWebRoom grow from?
Ling Lim: Our co-founders were heavy Internet users, and the inspiration came to them as they were looking for a better way to manage the 20,000 tabs they had open on their browsers for various purposes! They thought that there had to be a way to better organize and incorporate everything into one place. As they started looking for the perfect tool, ideas emerged as to how they could group all of the information that they cared about into an interface that would intuitively allow them to do so. Eventually, they decided to build it themselves for their personal needs!
What makes this site more unique than any of the other social/design platforms out there?
myWebRoom is a social bookmarking and content discovery tool set in a virtual room setting that is entirely up to the user to design. When we were doing research on our competitors, we found different bookmarking, content discovery, and design sites, but nothing that bridged the three experiences. We wanted to create a more all-encompassing platform for people who are looking for more. With the sharing of articles and websites on various social media platforms, I believe that we are in an era of social bookmarking where people seek to express themselves with the kind of content they interact with. When I show my friends what I am reading, what I am contemplating about, and/or what I believe in, it helps connect me with like-minded individuals or drive discussions on certain topics. There are many social platforms that have been really successful with that (think sharing links on Facebook and Twitter), but they lack two big features that I feel would be ideal for consumers that we made a point of focusing on. First, we did not want to limit our users when it came to self-expression. While sharing content is a great way to do that, we wanted to create a foundation for that. This is where the customization of the rooms and the products come in; whether you are into Batman or dreaming of owning a loft in the Upper East Side, we have something for you to organize and share your content from.
Second, the sharing of content has always seemed very fleeting on most social platforms. Through user tests, we found out that many users often fail to revisit links that they have saved or shared, simply because most tools are not optimized for that. We wanted our users to be able to effectively organize and share content from their rooms, be it for their own bookmarking purposes or for the purpose of sharing content.
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For anyone new to myWebRoom, how would you describe it?
I have had to describe myWebRoom many times when I meet new people at events or even just to my Lyft drivers! I always say, “Imagine the space we are in, but on your computer as an interface. Click on, say, the TV, and you get a stream of cool videos. You can then save them or bookmark your own sites in that category. The same goes for all the other items in your room!” I tell them that myWebRoom is a fun social community that provides an easy and engaging way for you to discover and organize your favorite sites. You can create folders and your roommates can visit your room! myWebRoom lets users open any website, watch videos, shop, and more, all from within their room.
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How did the idea of a personalized room come about?
Back in 2010 when the founders started conceptualizing the product, the idea of a “social” ecosystem was very important in the consumer web sector. They knew that they had to incorporate “social” behavior into the product in a way that felt natural and engaging. As they started to brainstorm how to put those elements together, they thought about how people express themselves through decorating their own spaces and how they would visit their friends’ rooms and hang out. They noticed how when people move into a new room, it is a blank canvas, and slowly they begin to personalize it until their room is a unique reflection of them. They began to gravitate towards making a “room” as the main visual interface. They wanted to create intuitive relationships between objects and types of information just like you do in real life! They wanted users to be able to have a place that they can call home on the web, where they can bring in their favorite content to a living visual profile that they designed to express who they are.
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Being able to purchase an item via myWebRoom with just a click of a button is such an innovative and modern way to shop online. Are all the items in the rooms available for purchase, or just some?
We have partnered up with many amazing online stores, and we carry their items on myWebRoom. The majority of the items that you see on the website are available for purchase from the rooms. There are, however, two instances where items are not for sale. Sometimes our designers create items based on a room’s unique theme, and these items are not actual products at the time of production. We also have a very exciting feature called My Contributions where users can request for personal items to be created and placed in their rooms. In most of the cases, the item is personal and not for sale to other users. For example, users can take a picture of their couch at home or even their dog, and our team will render it for them so that they can use it in their room. They also have the option of inputting a URL to a product that they’ve found online, in which case we add it to our shop for everyone to enjoy. We launched this feature last October and have since received 2,000 requests!
What do you hope for myWebRoom in the future?
I am very excited for the future of our product! I envision a future where you have the option of allowing your roommates to visit your room to check out what you are up to—what music you’re listening to, articles you’re reading, products you covet (so they can get it for your birthday!), etc. The possibilities are endless. Every room is your portal to someone’s identity on the web. myWebRoom is marrying content discovery and organization with your own creative social profile. Our kids are not going to want to use Facebook! They are going to want to be roommates.
myWebRoom Feature “What We Love: MyWebRoom” originally appeared in Cliché Magazine’s Aug/Sept 2015 issue.
Photographs courtesy of www.mywebroom.com.
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