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Online shopping for the holidays? Check this list.

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In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it pays to slow down and take some precautions when shopping online. You see, the FTC has recently seen a spike of complaints about online retailers who didn’t deliver goods when they said they would, or didn’t deliver them at all. Late or no-show deliveries can make for less-than-jolly holidays. So here are a few tips to help make your online shopping merry and bright.

  • Do your research. Use search engines to find out more about a product, brand or seller. Type the name into a search engine with words like “review” “complaint” or “scam.”
  • Read reviews from other people, experts and columnists. They can give you an idea of how a product performs. Don’t put all your trust in any one review. Some reviews are based on testing by independent experts, others are from people who purchased the product. Both types can be useful.
  • Check the terms of the deal, including delivery dates and refund policies. Can you return the item for a full refund if you’re not satisfied? Who pays the shipping costs or restocking fees? When will you get your order? Can you pay extra for faster delivery? Federal law requires sellers to ship items as promised or within 30 days after the order date if no specific date is promised. Many sites offer tracking options that let you see where your purchase is in the delivery chain, and when you can expect it to arrive.
  • Look for contact information. Several sites that generated complaints to the FTC had little or no information on how to get in touch with the company. If you don’t see a phone number or email address, consider it a red flag and take your business elsewhere.

For more tips, visit our online shopping page.

Tagged with: complaint, shopping
Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit



I always check all the contact information, and check to see if the website is up to date, check online to see any objective reviews and call them to ask alot of questions ahead of time if I am considering ordering. And check out other comparable sites that are well known. Impulse buying does not work well when using an unknown online company!Take your time checking websites out and get all information on them confirmed before handing over your information!The BBB may have info on them too.


In order to reduce the risk of identity or other theft, I choose not to purchase items online, but rather to find the customer service or order telephone number and call in the order.
Recently I am finding many more sites who do not provide a telephone number. When I find a number somehow for the site, I often am told that they do not allow telephone orders. Ravelry seems to be one of the sites that do so.
I can't imagine that I am the only person who tries to protect their personal info. I guess sales really aren't important to sites that deny telephone orders!

Online ordering is more cost effective than phone ordering, and is becoming more secure in some ways than handing over your credit card to brick and mortar places. Remember Target and Home Depot?

If you are a total security stickler, there is always old fashioned snail mail. But every ordering system has some small risk. No system is 100% fool proof, except maybe paying cash in person.

Thanks again for info is very helpful.

I bougt something like two months ago
I still didden got it

don't know if this is the correct people to complain a company advertising as clevhous for kitchen products. I ordered a sealer small item They list a phone number but no one to speak to. It came damaged 20 emails later I aked them to refund me I sent them the picture of the product and the envelope it came in 10 emails later they said they would replace it. I said no just refund me. it was 19.95 I then get an email to send it back. I go to Ups over 100.00 to return. they do not pay for shipping. What a scamn idont know what to do other than nothing. Please advise

If you paid with a credit card you could contact your credit card company and dispute this charge. Explain that the item wasn't delivered as agreed, and was damaged. This FTC article tells more about disputing credit card charges.

You can report this to the FTC at The information you give about the company will go into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. You can also contact your  state Attorney General and report this.


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