Friday, December 7, 2007
For What It's Worth: Online Shopping
Christmas is only a few weeks away and many of us will be surfing the web to get those last-minute gifts. In today's For What It's Worth, Seven's Craig Stevens shows us some easy-to-follow rules to make sure you don't get taken to the bank when you shop online.
WSVN -- It's that season again, packed parking lots, crammed stores and long lines.
Biff Ruttenberg: "There's lots of people. There's never enough help, and so the service is terrible."
But more and more people are dodging crowds and logging on to buy those holiday gifts.
Kate Shanley: "I'm doing all my Christmas shopping online. All of it."
Gwen Callans: "You know what you're getting, and you can just price-shop online, and it just takes you two seconds and you don't have to go from store to store."
Americans spent a hefty $33 billion this year by clicking their way to the checkout, and for what it's worth, Seven's Financial Expert Allie Jablon says online shopping can save you time but know the basics before you log on.
Allie Jablon: "There are some simple online shopping rules that you need to pay attention to, to make sure you're not being taken to the bank."
First, keep your eye on the clock. Allie says it's important to buy early.
Allie Jablon: "You can look for days and maybe weeks in shipping and processing time."
And if you want your gifts under the tree by Christmas ...
Allie Jablon: "It's really crucial you place your order before Dec. 14 because that's the peak buying day."
Next, when shopping online, Allie says always pay with a credit card.
Allie Jablon: "By paying with a credit card, you limit your liability to potential unauthorized purchases to $50."
And, when it comes to buying gifts like clothes or jewelry that are hit or miss, play it safe by logging on to your favorite department stores.
Allie Jablon: "You'll find everything you're looking, for and you won't have to worry about those shipping fees in case you have to return something."
Lastly, we've all heard that saying, "if it looks too good to be true, it probably is." Shop around to make sure you're taking home the best deal.
Allie Jablon: "Your local shop may offer a better price when all is said and done."
Craig Stevens: "And another tip: designate one credit card to use for all your online purchases. This way, it'll be easier to spot any unauthorized purchases and keep track of your spending."
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