What do international online shoppers need to know?

Whether you are living internationally or domestically, sometimes the best way to obtain favorite brands, products and items is online. Here are five simple tips to keep your online shopping experiences stress-free.

1. Read carefully before you shop.
Research online merchants with which you plan to do business. Know what policies apply to customers, and what methods of recourse are available if you need them.

2. Familiarize yourself with importation laws and restrictions.
Depending upon the shipping and destination countries, your purchases may be subject to inspection or tariffs. You may also be required to pick them up from the customs agent, rather than have delivery directly to your home or business.

3. Choose merchants who ship using trackable methods.
Although delays and errors may still occur in delivery, problems can be more easily resolved -- and replacement items often shipped more quickly.

4. Be wary of email requests for personal information.
If a sender looks legitimate, such emails may be attempts to “phish” for personal information. Consider contacting a merchant or service directly, before responding to such a request.

5. Review your credit card invoices carefully.
Even if you use all tools at your disposal to prevent fraud, credit card theft is still possible. Consider using a globally accepted credit card that does not draw directly from a bank account, and that includes multiple forms of fraud protection. When you travel, alert your credit card issuers. Issuers often monitor card activity themselves, and this will ensure that your purchases are authorized.

Submitted by:  Living Abroad