5 top tips for Christmas shopping 2016
It’s that time of the year again and for some, the dreaded Christmas shopping is looming. A few of you might have already started your yearly festive purchasing with the majority of us waiting until the week before to get it all done. Either way, if you are yet to start or you still have a couple of gifts to get, Dean Dunham gives his top tips for consumers to think about when you are Christmas shopping this year.
1. Website scams
Fraudsters are very active this time of year, looking to scam as many people as possible. These scammers prey on the vulnerable and those who are not very tech-savvy. With that said, Dean advises shoppers to buy from reputable websites and to avoid websites which are not secure. Web security expert, Martin Astley provided Dean with some great advice for staying away from potential scams.
You can check to see if a website is safe by checking the URL. Look at the address bar of the website you are on and check to see if the URL starts https://www. – you will notice that a secure website will have a ‘S’ after the’HTTP’ part and will look like this ‘HTTPS’. This is very important especially if you are on a payment page of a website. The other thing to look out for is the padlock symbol in the address bar which also indicates that a web page is secure and you can be confident in using its payment system.
2. Returns policy
Make sure you check the retailers’ returns policy if you are buying a gift for someone else this Christmas. Not all retailers have the same returns policy so it is worth checking if you can return an item for an exchange, refund or credit note. Also, make sure you keep a note of when you buy Christmas gifts for someone because if it does become faulty in the first 30 days of purchase you do have a right to return it to the retailer for a full refund, no questions asked.
3. Protection on purchases
Did you know that buying your Christmas gifts with a credit card will give you more protection if something goes wrong with the product? Under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974, your credit card company is jointly liable with the retailer for anything you buy, provided the item costs over £100 and under£30,000. This protection is especially useful for undelivered and faulty goods.
4. Delivery date
Imagine buying the perfect gift for a member of your family or a friend and the gift didn’t arrive before Christmas. You would be so annoyed. If you have to do last-minute shopping both in-store or online, then Dean advises shoppers to make sure they get a guaranteed delivery date from the retailer to avoid disappointment.
5. Gift receipts
Gift receipts are very popular if you are buying clothing for someone. We’ve all received items of clothing at Christmas only for the size to be wrong, either too small or too large. A gift receipt allows you or the gift recipient to take the item back to exchange for the correct size or even change the colour.