Shopping overseas from your couch
A word of advice about buying from overseas.
8 August 2011
A whole day of shopping without getting sore feet, it’s no wonder internet shopping has taken off. But before you hit that “checkout” button, check out what protections you have if something goes wrong.
If you are taking advantage of the high dollar to do some spending in another country, then find out what consumer rights that country provides. Or check the company’s terms and conditions to see what you can do if the goods that arrive are not acceptable.
Don’t forget to calculate the cost in New Zealand dollars and check if your bank charges extra for spending money overseas.
Postage and packaging
The cost of postage could make your purchase a lot more expensive than you thought. Also the company may not take responsibility for the item getting damaged or lost in the mail. Some companies may not even deliver to New Zealand! Find out if there are safer options for getting the item, even including whether the goods are locally available and consider getting transit insurance for big items.
Before you decide to buy, check that the site is secure. The payment web page needs to start with “https”, instead of just “http” and there should be a padlock icon in the browser to represent a secure page. If it isn’t secure, then you have less protection if you buy anything through this website.
Paying by credit card
You may have more protections when buying using a credit card because if the goods don’t turn up you may be able to get a charge back. This means you can contact the credit card company to tell them there is a problem and they may be able to reverse the payment. Check the terms and conditions on your credit card to see if you can do this. There is usually a short time limit for asking the credit card company to do this, so you need to act fast.
Looks too good to be true
If something looks too good to be true, then it may be a scam. Scams are made easier through the internet since people can pretend to be anyone and anywhere. Sometimes a quick ‘Google’ search on the internet will tell you it’s a scam, but if you can’t find out for sure, then give the deal a miss.