Last month we published our comprehensive guide to our Garden Furniture Collection. We touched on a number of reasons why you should purchase from Lazy Susan, we gave details of how we ensure your personal info is protected, and we looked closely at how we mitigate the fact you’re shopping online for new garden furniture with our Sample Packs, Customer Photographs and Customer Reviews, etc.
This month we wanted to take a broader look at safe shopping online for Christmas. Discuss the things you can do to ensure the transaction is a secure one. Now, of course, most of this advice applies regardless of the time of year. However, Christmas is a busy time for online shopping, particularly in the wake of the pandemic.
According to research by Barclays, online sales are growing at such a rate that:
In December 2020, almost half of all consumer spending was online. And with the ongoing restrictions of the pandemic, online shopping continues to boom with a 22.6% year-on-year increase.
Whilst Reuters recently reported that:
70% of Britons now prefer shopping online and on mobile, up from less than 50% pre-pandemic.
More of us than ever before are shopping online, and, unfortunately, with that comes a rise in online shopping-related scams. And we can all fall for them, regardless of age, so it pays to be vigilant. If in doubt, we always say, don’t click "buy".
That said, we all know the benefits of shopping online, especially at this time of year when we’re busy, trying to track down unique gifts, and find value for money, etc. So, the Lazy Susan Team felt it would be beneficial to pool our knowledge, provide you with some tips to keep you safe.
The first point we should stress is that we’re getting to the business end, Christmas is only a few weeks away, so you must check delivery dates before you click buy. Make sure that whatever you are ordering will actually be delivered in time for you to wrap and give it.
Here at Lazy Susan, if you are looking to make a purchase from our Christmas Gift section, then you must order before the 13th December for Christmas delivery!
When it comes to shopping at this time of year though, the key is to not cut any corners, avoid any panic buying (clicking), no matter how busy you are or what you are shopping for.
There are a number of proactive ways you can keep yourself safe when online shopping at Christmas:
- Reputable Sources
Try and stick to sites you know such as recognised brands and high street names. If you see a gift you want to buy for somebody on a site you don't know, then see if you can get it from a site you have shopped at before such as Amazon.
- Read Reviews
Always check and read if the website has been reviewed on a third-party review site such as Trustpilot.
If it is a site you don't know, then do your research and check the authenticity to make sure the website is safe and genuine. Things such as our Customer Photographs are on our website to do this as much as show what our furniture could look like in your garden.
- Returns Policy
Always check they have a sound returns policy and that the company has physical contact information with full address, etc. You will find ours here.
- Secure Connection
Make sure your broadband connection is set up correctly and is fully secure. If you have any concerns, speak to your provider. Wired's How to Secure Your Wi-Fi Router and Protect Your Home Network article shows you the steps you must take to do this.
Make sure the HTTPS padlock icon is visible on your search bar. Look at the top of this page/browser window and you'll see it in the address bar next to lazysusanfurniture.co.uk.
- Stay Home
Never shop on public WiFi as it is un-secure and you are potentially leaving your personal information open to hackers.
- Keep Your Cards Safe
Always use a payment method that is safe and secure, check what fraud protection you have on your credit or debit cards and always keep an eye on your accounts to see what is coming out. The Visa guide to shopping online with credit and debit cards is definitely one you should read
- Third-Party Providers
If you’re using a third-party provider such as PayPal, then please make sure you know their T&Cs and also what protection you have when you make a purchase. They offer a "buy now, pay later" option for example which means you don't pay until after delivery. However, this is like a credit card, so make sure you know what's what.
- Update Software
Make sure your device has up to date with the latest antivirus software and that you’re running the latest version of your operating system, such as Windows, Android or iOS on all your devices.
- Latest Web Browser
Always install and use the latest update/version of your preferred web browser (Safari, Edge, etc) as this will also have tools to identify hoax websites and block them as unsafe.
- Update Passwords Regularly
Always use strong passwords and change them on a regular basis.
- Use Different Passwords
Always use a different password for each website that asks for personal or financial information such as credit card details.
- Stay Vigilant
But most of all, stay vigilant. If a price looks too good to be true for example, then it probably is. Know your rights and know who you're buying from.
The NCSC (the UK Gov’s National Cyber Security Centre) has pulled together a great guide that explains how to shop safely online and their video below is definitely worth a watch:
If you have any concerns or questions about shopping online with Lazy Susan, then please pick up the phone and call us on 01243 684245. The team will be more than happy to help and talk you through our order process, etc.