1. Although it may look tedious, ensure you read the contract and terms before you purchase with a website. These documents have valuable info on what you can and cannot do when you have a problem with the item that you bought. Read them thoroughly so that you do not have an unwelcome surprise when trying to return items.
2. Read customer testimonials before you buy anything. People are more than pleased to complain about bad service online, so try to find sites and testimonials which are terrible so that you know what you're getting into. You need to take bad reviews having a grain of salt, but if you see many, you know there exists a problem.
3. When you find yourself making a purchase online, make sure that you use a credit card to pay for the transaction. Credit card users are protected against fraud by federal law and they are only accountable for $50 in these cases. Some card agencies will even go so far as to wave the $50 for you, meaning that you will not be out of pocket.
4. If you're purchasing clothes or shoes online, be careful with the sizing. Some items typically run smaller or bigger than normal. Some shopping sites will advertise if an item runs true to size. If the site doesn't list anything about sizing, glance at the reviews. In most cases, if the item is running larger or smaller, the reviewers will let you know.
5. To protect yourself use a credit card while shopping online. The federal government has passed laws to protect consumers in the event of fraud. The amount the customer is responsible for is really a mere $50.00 as compared to atm cards where the entire balance may be withdrawn by internet hackers.