10 Steps to Buying Safely Online
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Welcome to our August edition of 'Computer & Printer Tips' newsletter.
Well, it looks like this summer is finally coming to an end. I hope you have a good one.
I'm pretty happy with how mine went. We were able to have a couple of family vacations, a few backyard barbeques with friends, and some great days at the lake.
Now it's "Back to School" time for the kids, and "Back to Work" time for the adults. (I actually fall into both of those categories this year.)
This month we're offering another "newsletter only" discount coupon for all of our faithful subscribers. This coupon should help save you a little money on those office supplies that you have to get. You'll see the special coupon code below. I hope you can benefit from it.
Our feature article this month covers 10 safety tips for purchasing online. It's a good article and I think it comes at a good time.
One of the tips in the article covers the "Alexa" toolbar. I also recommend installing the Alexa toolbar. I have this toolbar installed on my browser, and reference it all the time when I'm visiting unfamiliar websites. It works as sort of a quick "credibility report" to tell me how popular a website is. If a website is popular, the company generally takes its products, services and customers seriously.
So, with that said -- let's move onto our coupon and feature article.
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Shipping is still free with this offer, so take advantage while it's still available. (Postal rates recently went up)
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DISCOUNT COUPON CODE (sign up for our newsletter to receive discount coupons)
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When you proceed through our checkout process, our system will ask you if you have any promotional code or discount coupon.
Simply enter the code word above, and the discount will be applied on the final checkout page.*** LIMITED TIME -- This offer expires Friday, August 31st ***
FEATURE ARTICLE: 10 Steps to Buying Safely Online
If you are like me, you prefer buying online versus driving around from place to place. It saves time, money and is actually more convenient (and rather fun) to get things delivered to your door. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when buying over the Internet.
Buy from businesses located in the United States if possible. Check for the physical location of the business before you buy. If you are buying from foreign locations, do not count on state or federal laws to protect you. If there's ever a problem, you may not have any legal recourse, or if you do -- it may be a long and painful process to resolve.
Make sure you are dealing with the actual company, not a "copycat" site. Always start by typing in the companies' URL (Uniform Resource Locator) into your browser.
You can also get to your intended location by clicking on a bookmark that you set from the past. Before you click on a link, hover the mouse cursor over it and then check the lower left side of your computer screen at the status bar area. Be sure the URL is the same address as the one in the status bar. Some links may be bogus, leading you to a site that may look authentic but may actually be an imposter.
Be aware of Email scams known as "phishing". Phishing emails are scam emails that look like they are from a real, well known company but are phony and are used to steal personal information. For example, you may possibly get an email claiming it's from "eBay", but in fact may be from an imposter website hoping to gather your personal data. Many times these emails look authentic in every way including logos and graphics.
If an email looks or sounds suspicious (referencing something you're not aware of), hover the mouse cursor over the link, to determine if it is legitimate. The link URL should be the same as the URL in the lower left side of your browser. When in doubt -- don't click on the link. Visit the site directly by typing in the URL.
NEVER give out your bankcard pin number, this is not needed for any internet transaction. If some place tells you it's necessary, they are lying.
Don't provide your social security number on any online order form. Unless you're dealing with a business requiring a credit report for a loan or something, most legitimate businesses will never ask you for it.
Do not provide any sensitive personal information on a website form unless you are on a secure page. A secure page will display a security symbol (a padlock icon) on the bottom right side of your browser screen. If the padlock shown is in the "locked" position, you are on a page that utilizes encryption technology. This means it is safe to provide personal and credit card information, without fear of interception by a non-authorized party.
Trust your instincts. If you are comparing prices for a particular item, and one web site is selling it FAR below everyone else, quality or service may be suspect. As the old adage goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Look for the Better Business Bureau logo on the web site. This is an additional sign of reliability and provides the consumer an avenue to resolve a dispute if a transaction does not live up to your expectations.
Visit: bbbonline.org for more info.
Install the Alexa tool bar. This is a powerful tool that shows you the popularity of any web site in comparison to all other web sites on the Internet. For example: Google.com will have an Alexa Ranking of "3" meaning it is the 3rd most visited site online. This will give you an idea of how credible the company is.
If you visit a website that has a ranking of 150,000 or lower, you know that it's a legitimate and widely used website. Newer sites or unpopular sites may have "no information available" or have a ranking in the millions.
SIDE NOTE: I personally used Alexa recently when I was buying contact lenses for my wife. Both companies I was looking at were similar in almost every way, but when I compared the Alexa ranking, one company had "no information" and the other had a 50,000 ranking. This solidified my decision because I knew that the second company had a lot of traffic and was likely to be a company taking their business seriously.
The Alexa Toolbar, with over 10 million downloads, is perhaps the most widely used free browser add-on for Windows and Internet Explorer. I highly recommend it.
You can download their free toolbar at:
Finally, make sure to keep all order information and print out a receipt at the time of your order. It is always a good idea to keep a hard copy of a transaction for your records even after the package has arrived. Bookmark the web site so that you can return and remember where you bought the item from if the need ever arises in the future.
About The Author
Bob Stephens writes for ASAP Inkjets. ASAP Inkjets offers ink cartridges & toner at up to 80% off. Signup for their free newsletter for tips & discount coupons at: http://www.asapinkjets.com/ or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Ok, that's it for this month's issue
Again, I highly encourage you to visit Alexa.com and install their toolbar. It doesn't cost anything to download, and you will find it VERY useful.
Finally, don't forget about our discount coupon running right now. If you're sending the kids back to school, or getting back into the swing of things at work -- you may be in need for printer cartridges. You might as well buy them now with the coupon discount, and save some money in the process.
That's all for now... I'll see you next month!
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