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Minimising the risks

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Online Shopping
Shopping Online

In this era of the world wide web, shopping is no longer restricted to bricks and mortar, no longer restricted to your location, where people can now shop in foreign countries from the comfort of their own homes, maybe with a cup of coffee in one hand, a biscuit in the other, relaxing in their dressing gown.

With more and more people turning to the internet, seeking that specific item, price matching and getting a deal, shopping online has thrown up a number of ‘price comparison’ websites and sites where individuals can sell their own items online.

Of course, shopping on line is not without its dangers...

Shopping Online Securely
— how to minimise the risk...

With online internet shopping, the world wide web brings to the shopper, an easy way to shop and compare prices, all from the comfort of your home. It offers the shopper an easy way to travel the world, indulging their passion. Whether you are shopping for yourself, or a gift, there is no doubt that shopping online makes it easy.

Whilst the world of online shopping continues to evolve, there are always risks when giving personal details to another website. Of course, you can minimise the risks by taking precautions, so when visiting a website, there are a few things to consider:


  • Check their legitimacy.
  • Making sure they provide a way to contact them. Some may have a street address, whilst others are purely online business.
  • How are you going to pay. What payment options does the website offers.
  • Who has access to your information, especially for sites that use third-party sellers.

Other things to consider are the exchange rate, refund policies, freight cost and how long it will take for delivery. Our experience on purchase online and requesting the quickest delivery, which we were advise was ‘express’ (that also included a extra premium charge), has now taken over 24 days from time of order, and at the time of writing this, we still have not received the goods from the USA. Another express order from the UK took 25 days.

Whilst internet shopping can be enjoyable and more often then not, with successful outcomes, shopping online of course can also be fraught with problems and danger, least of being the security of a website ordering section...

When you reach the check out point to make payment for your goods and before you provide any personal information, ensure that the page you are making payment through is a secure site. There are two things to look for to ensure the security of the page:

  • The prefix of the web address should begin with “https:” - the “s” stands for “secure”.
  • In addition, the browser should display the “gold padlock” to verify that the site is secure. Older versions of browsers will display this lower right of the browser window. Newer versions of the browsers will display the padlock on the right side of the address bar. This simply indicates that you are on a secure webpage - that is the connection between the web browser and web server is secured. There is however, no guarantee that any information is handled securely after it arrives at the web server. You have to make the decision whether you completely trust the pages you are on, especially when entering personal information, including credit card details.

    Please note that the padlock icon is not an image. By clicking or double-clicking the icon, you will see details of the site’s security. There has been some fraudulent website that have tried to imitate a secure site by placing an image of the padlock on their site.

If the seller ask you to pay outside the normal process, such as wiring them the money, or ask you to pay the money into an account, it is probable that the account may be phoney.

You should also check the seller’s reputation, especially when shopping through sites that connect you with independent sellers, such as and eBay. Check the satisfaction rating of the seller, and how many items they have sold. It also pays to read previous customers feedback about the seller.

Always check statements, invoices and receipts, to enure there are no errors.

Online Shopping Credit Card
Another suggestion, used by many online shoppers, is to have a separate credit card, dedicated for online shopping use only. Limit the spend and cash on the card, can help minimise your exposure to loss if an unauthorised party gets access to your card details. Make sure you check the statement regularly and contact your bank immediately on any suspect transactions.

Always make sure your computer has all the necessary protection, from firewalls through to up-to-date antivirus software. It is not advisable to shop from public computers, as there is no guarantee of their security.

Taking Care When Shopping Online
Although internet shopping can be enjoyable and often with successful outcomes, shopping online of course can also be fraught with danger. Consumer Affairs regularly receive complaints, with some of the issues being:
  • did not receive the goods that they ordered and paid for
  • experienced long delays in receiving the goods
  • received the goods, but they were different to what they ordered.
So what should you do?
  • Always do your research when purchasing from any individual or company over the internet. Remember, just because they have an internet site does not mean they are legitimate business.
  • For Australians, if buying online, preference should be given to buying from an Australian business, as you have a greater chance of any issues being addressed. You should still always check that they are a legitimate business.
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Australian Tourist Souvenirs Shops

Australian Bear
• MELBOURNE VIC 3000 • Email
• Genuinely Australian soft toy koalas, kangaroos, wombats and platypus. Quality plush toys and souvenirs at great prices. FREE worldwide shipping.
Australia Gift Shop
• 15 Anthony's Rest BUNDABERG QLD 4670 • Ph: 07 4159 3043 • Email
• Australia Gift Shop sells Australian souvenirs and gifts online. Items feature traditional Aboriginal art designs depicting the mythical Dreamtime. Gifts include mouse pads, jigsaw puzzles, coasters, postcards and paintings.
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Children Products

Nice and Cute
• 373B Springvale Rd, SPRINGVALE VIC 3171 • Ph: 03 9547 8084 • Email
• Brand new and establishing Baby and Kids Gift Ideas Online Store, the world's nicest and cutest gadgets for baby and kids.
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Department Store, Emporium, Retail Chain

• 15 Anthony's Rest BUNDABERG QLD 4670
• Ph: 07 4159 3043 • Email (Online form)
• Australia’s Online Shopping Bargain and Deal Network - shop online through a huge variety of products, with some great wholesale prices. Categories include Automotive and Tools, Computers and IT, DVDs, Educational, Electronics, Furniture and Rugs, Games and TOys, Fits and Frames and much more.
• Ph: 02 8915 6258 • Email
We are an Australian owned and operated online Shopping Store that supplies everything from almost every product category you can think of. : Online Discount Shopping
• Ph: 02 8336 6700 • Email
• Online bargain and discount shopping at Australia's largest clearance department store. Save up to 80 percent off electronics, homewares, clothing, shoes, perfume, sunglasses, watches, fitness equipment and musical instruments.
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General Listing

Gumtree - Australia
• With over 1.5 million visitors per month, Gumtree is one of Australia's leading free local classifieds site. Buy, sell and find all you need. There are stuff for sale, cars, jobs, real estate, pets, services and more!
• OfferMe is a e-commerce website in Australia. As a consumer, not only can you request the items you want to buy, but you also can list how much you are willing to pay. Your request(s) are seen by all sellers on OfferMe who will then send you offers for the product(s) you want. With its vision of letting buyers and sellers trade products at the most desirable prices by uniting buying power and knowledge together, to maximise your buying power.
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Gift Shopping

bash! • Private & Corporate Gift Concepts
• COORPARNOO QLD 4151 • Mobile: 0422 852 275 • Email
• Bash Gift Concepts is an innovative Gift/Hamper service based in Brisbane and Sydney delivering Australia Wide. Bash Gifts creates stunning gift boxes and hampers for newborn babies, corporate, gourmet, wine, pamper and homewares.
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Shopping for Digital and Electronics

Digital Home
• Sydney • Ph: 1300 887 257 • Email (Pre-Sales Questions)
• Located in Sydney, although they warehousing is done throughout Australia. Products include home audio visual, iPod and mobile entertainment, mobile phones, cordless phones, digital cameras and printers, computers, networking and internet, software, gaming, music and movies.
Digital Cameras Online • Adelaide
• Ph: +61 8 8338 6495 • Email
• Products include digital cameras, computers and peripheral, displays, handhelds, video cameras, projectors.
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It and Computers

Landmark Computers
• 2 Foam St, KILCUNDA VIC 3995 • Ph: 1300 133 165 • Email
• Providing the latest computer products and technologies with customer service. Has shop fronts in Victoria.
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Travel Accessories
• 2 Foam St, KILCUNDA VIC 3995 • Ph: 03 5678 7343 • Fax: 03 5678 7033 • Email
• Has a huge range of travel accessories including bags and luggage, travel guidebooks and maps, travel security, travel health, foreign language courses and outdoor gear.
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Natural Health Services and Related Other Products

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