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Online shopping has become extremely popular with the advancement of science and technology. Any brand that you can think of at the moment will probably have a website that you browse through and shop from online. Nowadays, it’s even possible for buyers to opt for international online shopping. Everything is within your reach as long as you have a gadget (smartphone, laptop, tablet, etc,) and a functional bank account! That’s all you need! But, when it comes to shopping online, there are some prevalent fears buyers have about the legitimacy and safety of shopping online, especially international shopping. If you are hesitant about shopping online from international websites and brands, this article will help you navigate your way through this process. Read this article to make your shopping experience safe, pleasant, and cost-effective.

Fears and Issues Associated With International Online Shopping
Is the Website Authentic?
The internet is full of websites advertising brands that may not even be legitimate. People are scared of falling for these false advertisements, deals, and schemes. So, questioning whether the international online shopping website is authentic is very common. This is especially true when customers come across websites that have very little content, lots of ads, no location details or contact details, and poor design. It may come off as scammy.

Safety of Personal Information
When it comes to international online shopping, cash on delivery is often not provided as a payment option. This means that customers have to disclose their bank details if they want to purchase a product. However, the question of whether it’s safe to disclose one’s bank information and other personal information, especially if the website doesn’t seem authentic, is a pertinent fear. There have been so many incidents of breach of security that customers generally become very hesitant to shop online, especially from international brands and websites.

Is It Going To Be Very Expensive?
One of the main drawbacks of shopping online from international sites is that buyers may be unsure about whether the cost of the products is reasonable or not. Customers may have a hard time comparing the price of the product they want to buy with the price of that same product on other competitor websites! For very price-conscious customers, this is a major concern. Even if a customer does end up adding products to the cart, the final price at checkout may be very high owing to additional charges such as GST, delivery charges, currency conversion charges, and so on.

High Shipping Charges
Shipping charges are another added expenditure when it comes to shopping online from international sites. Although there are retailers who offer free shipping over specified amounts, it may mean that your order might take ages to be delivered and the safety of the product may not be insured. For very price-conscious customers, high shipping charges may be a deal-breaker. Customers also fear that their orders may be lost in transit.

Questions about the Return Policy

For international online shopping, the return policy is very important. Customers are often left confused about the return policy of different international brands. They may be confused about the time limit within which the product may be returned or the cost involved in returning a product. Customers are also often confused about whether the product they want to order is even eligible for return. An unclear return policy often leaves potential buyers feeling hesitant to go ahead with a purchase.

How to safely shop from international websites
Keeping the aforementioned fears and issues of international online shopping in mind, here are some pointers you can keep in mind to have a pleasant international online shopping experience:

Check whether the site is authentic
If you wish to buy something from an international site, to check the authenticity of the site, be on the lookout for certain signs. First and foremost, is the website designed well? Are you able to browse through the website easily? Look for an ‘About Us page on the website. Check for location details and social media information about the brand on the website. Look out for customer testimonials too.

Ensure that your personal information is safe
As mentioned earlier, cash on delivery is not an option, especially if you’re shopping from international sites. So, you have to disclose your bank details if you want to buy something. Before disclosing any such information, look for trust marks. They are basically logos that are accredited to a website by external accreditors such as TRUSTe, BBB, Paypal, Verisign, McAfee, and so on. Look for payment system logos from PayPal and other credit card providers. Check for an SSL button as well as a privacy policy.

Price consciousness
For all of you who do not want to overspend on a product, there are certain things you can do. Firstly, compare the price of the product you want to buy with the price of that product on other websites. Secondly, look for coupon codes you can use and other discount options by signing up for newsletters, downloading the app of that website, etc. Calculate the shipping charges that will be involved, hidden costs such as GST, currency conversion charges, delivery charges, etc. Read through the return policy to understand how much return fees you may have to pay in case you want to return the product you’ve purchased. All of these calculations will help you get an idea of how much money you’d have to spend.

The authenticity of the product
Say you’ve decided that you want to buy a specific product from an international site because it’s available at a good deal. Before you add it to your cart, stop for a second and think whether this deal is too good to be true. If it seems like it’s too good a deal, then there may be a chance that the product isn’t authentic. If the product you wish to buy has ample positive customer reviews, a long description of the product, and evident social proof, then the product may be authentic.

Remember the pointers mentioned in this article before purchasing anything online. This will make your shopping experience pleasant and safe!