Online Shopping 101

Written by Mairead McGonagle

‘Tis the season for online shopping! The holidays are just around the corner which means lots of time spent gifting for others and, okay, maybe yourself. As someone who has worked for big ecommerce websites, it’s important to keep your finances & packages safe during the busiest buying time of the year. Here are some tips:

Enroll in Safestoop: 
Have you heard? There’s been an uptick in stolen packages in the city. Keep your gifts safe with Safestoop, a package delivery company designed to take the pain out of using traditional delivery services. How it works: When you join, you’ll receive a unique shipping address to your very own Safestoop locker. Enter your personal Safestoop address during the online check out process, it’s only yours! Once your package arrives, they’ll text you immediately to arrange a 1-hour delivery window for when you’re home. It’s delivery done right. Sean from Safestoop says, “It’s simple – convenience and peace of mind. Today, people are busier than ever and always on the go – especially during the holiday season. The last thing you want to do is take a trip to the post office after work to pick up a missed delivery or spend half your Saturday waiting around for the delivery man to bring your stuff.”  We couldn’t agree more!

Invest in Insurance: 
If you’re mailing a gift to a family member or friend cross-country, it’s better to be safe than sorry! Invest in insurance. Most services like USPS, UPS, and FedEx offer reasonable rates (sometimes less than $5!) to insure your precious cargo.  Keep the receipt, and if anything goes wrong, you’ll have insurance to back it up.

Track it:
It’s 2017! Which means the days of “Where the heck is my package?” are long gone. Almost all retailers offer a confirmation and notification when your package ships from their warehouse. Make sure when entering your information you provide a valid, working email address. Tracking numbers are sent directly to your email when your gift is on its way. Always keep your order number! In the rare case you haven’t received any info or contact, reach out to your retailer ASAP.

Be Wary! 
When placing an order look for: https:// or a yellow lock before the website’s email address at the top search bar. This means the website is secure and will protect your credit card information.  Refrain from sending important information over email or chat and check your credit card statements regularly. Never send money through a money order, and if the situation seems sketchy or too good to be true, it probably is! Trust your instincts.

Problems? Call!
Almost all popular retailers like Amazon, Bloomingdales, Rue La La and L.L. Bean (just to name a few) stock their customer service centers with extra help during the busy holiday season. And it always helps to talk to a live person! Have your order number ready and be polite! It’s easy to get frustrated if you’re having an issue, but customer service professionals are humans too and it’s easier to solve your problem if you’re being nice ?

Happy shopping!

Pronounced like “parade with an M,” Mairead loves all things nautical, Vineyard-y, and Irish (in case the name didn’t give it away). She can often be found bopping around Adams Village , testing out the local nacho scene, and running marathons strictly for the post-race beverages.