Thankfully for us, holiday shopping does not have to include a trip to a crowded store for a great price on a small selection of gifts. Instead, many shop online from the comfort of their home and get fantastic prices on a vast range of items. Seniors can take advantage of the Internet as well. They can easily enjoy lower prices and better choices for their gift-giving needs.
Shopping from home does not come without a few risks. The technology that allows us to stay in our bunny slippers also enables crooks to steal from us from anywhere in the world. There is no reason to let that stop you from taking advantage of this technological age. All you have to do is follow these tips.
Tips for Safer, Happier Online Shopping
At Home Instead Senior Care Mississauga, we provide senior care that helps you or your loved one stay at home and independent. Our staff can help you or your elderly parent get their shopping done or provide other practical support. Use these tips when shopping online:
- Shop stores you are already familiar with: These can be stores you would head to the mall to shop at or that a family member recommends. No matter how tempting the price of a coveted gift appears, taking a chance on a new retailer can result in gifts arriving after Christmas or never. Even worse would be if that new online store is actually a guise to steal your identity.
- Shop from a secured Internet connection: Unfortunately, the convenience of free internet at the library or local coffee shop comes at the price of low security. Thieves take advantage of this by using phishing software to gather credit card information from an unwary shopper.
- Avoid clicking on an email link to access an online store. If you know of a great online deal on a pair of velvet slippers at your favorite store, go straight to their website from a search engine. Sometimes links in an email is just a cleverly disguised phishing message luring you from the real site to a fake site to take your information.
- Buy gift cards from familiar stores. We all love a bargain, even with gift cards. However, there is no bargain if you use an online auction site to buy a gift card only to discover it is empty. Stick with buying directly from the store.
- If a deal looks too good to be true, run! Trusting your instincts has been around long before the web. Look for those bargains, but not at the cost of funneling you onto a suspicious or poor website with no recourse.
- Look for the return policy before you buy. The chances are that cute sweater you want to buy your niece is not her style. Check out the online retailer’s return policy just in case a gift needs to be returned or exchanged. Some will allow you to make returns at their brick and mortar stores. Other do not, and that can quickly become a headache.
Online shopping is a convenient way to cater for everyone on your holiday gift list without facing the crowds. With a few best practices, it can be a safe place to shop as well. At Home Instead Senior Care, we assist seniors and their families with a variety of in-home care options and caregiver support. Our professional caregivers are highly trained and ready to help you and your family enjoy the holiday season.