How to Shop Safely This Christmas
2020 has been a year of uncertainty, but one thing we want to make sure we can enjoy is Christmas. Although we may not be able to celebrate the way we usually we would, we can try and start planning now to still make it the most wonderful time of the year!
Stay Safe, Buy Online
According to the BBC, shoppers are being advised to start their Christmas shopping earlier than ever this year. More of us will be buying online, which can result in longer deliveries and much sought after items going out of stock.
Avoid queuing up outside in the cold, and large crowds of shoppers. Stay home, stay warm and stay safe by doing your Christmas shopping online.
Shop with Confidence
Shopping online can be a daunting experience if it’s not something you’ve done before, but it needn’t be.
There are few simple things you can do or look out for to help you shop with confidence.
Look For the Padlock in the Web Address
One easy thing you can do is look out for the padlock symbol in the URL. As a general rule, the padlock in the URL means the site you are browsing is secure.
Although the padlock does usually mean the site is secure and safe to purchase from, it unfortunately does not always mean it is 100% safe as online scammers can imitate fake security certificates.
Looking for the padlock is just one security step you can take in the online buying process.
Look for Social Proof
If a website has the padlock in the URL, the next thing to do is to look and read through the website to give you peace of mind.
Find the retailers contact number and give them a call to enquire about some products or speak to them on their Live Chat feature. If they are easy to contact, are happy to help you with your query and are knowledgeable about their products then it is generally a good sign that the site is legitimate.
Read their Reviews
Another quick and simple way you can get some reassurance is by reading their reviews from trusted sites such as Trustpilot or Reviews.co.uk. Reading honest customer feedback will give you an idea on a company’s customer service and reputation.
Be wary of both websites with poor reviews, but also those with an unusual level of high reviews.
Whilst poor reviews give obvious customer feedback, a website with all 5* reviews should strike out as a warning sign, as could be fabricated and fake.
In the real world, not every review will be 5/5, as each customers journey is subjective to their own standards. A middle ground gives a good representation on a normal, operating business.
Look for an address on their Website
Anybody can make a website, no matter where they are in the world. By checking if a website has a permanent showroom or physical shop, it gives the further confidence that it is not a scam website.
It also gives a point of contact where you can make direct correspondence; be it by letter, calling their landline phone number, or physically going to their shop.
Check “Companies House” for Company Information
Companies House is a UK Government website which holds information on a companies set up. By being registered on companies house (with UK company number), you will be covered on UK distance selling laws.
All legitimate companies would be found on here, as registered through the official channels. A scammer will unlikely be found.
Our Companies House page can be seen as an example on how it should be viewed.
Make it Fun & Festive
Christmas shopping may be a little bit different this year, but it doesn’t mean it can’t still be festive. Put on some festive pyjamas, turn the Christmas music up loud and grab yourself a hot chocolate while adding items for your loved ones to your basket. After an uncertain year, those thoughtful gifts really will mean a little bit more this Christmas.