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Shop Safely On-line - E-commerce: Article or Project

We all find ourselves needing to buy various things from supplies to finished ware and many of us here also sell things in the same categories. It can be frustrating when something goes wrong with your purchase or your sale. There are many ways to pay safely, that protect both buyer and seller.

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Here are 2 things explained below that are helpful:
1. As a buyer, Use a credit card rather than cash, check or debit card
2. As a buyer and a seller, Use/allow a “payment gateway”

Be sure to report inappropriate behavior from sellers not only to protect you, but others in the future to the BBB or SBA. (Small business association 1-800-U-ASK-SBA)

If you have been burned when buying something this information might be helpful to you in the future.

If you are not picking your item up to inspect it in person, but are going wait to receive it in the mail, avoid using cash or check or even your debit/bank card. When using plastic to pay, use an actual credit card, not your debit card that withdraws funds from your bank account. Credit card companies usually have fraud protection and can refund your charge, but if you use your bank card and find out it’s fraud, the money is already gone and more difficult or even impossible to recover. As long as you don’t use a credit card to over charge beyond your means, it is a safer way to purchase in this day and age. (http://www.dummies.com/…/use-credit-cards-for-safer-ebay-p…/)

Also If You are a “cash only seller”, you might read this to see if you should reconsider the options available to you to make your customers more comfortable purchasing from you, boosting your sales.

This is not a specific ad for Paypal, but am listing it as an example of a “payment gateway” that can protect you as a buyer or a seller. When something goes wrong on either side of the transaction, you didn’t receive payment or didn’t receive goods as described, a 'Gateway' helps you with dispute resolution.

There are no additional costs to buyers who purchase using PayPal or other gateways, however many sellers may not offer services like this as a “way to pay option” because of the fees associated ($2.9% + $.30 per transaction). But credit cards charge fees as well to sellers so no reason not to offer this as another option. (Remember, there are other methods rather than Paypal and some are free for the seller). Many
'gateways' do require that both seller and buyer sign up (for a card or service-free)

As a seller, here is something to consider- If you are stating “cash or check only” and have to ship the item, you wait for funds to clear protecting you, but offer no protection to your customer other than your word. Not a confidence builder for your customers.

As a buyer, I personally appreciate the peace of mind knowing I have dispute resolution help if needed, should my product not arrive as described, or not arrive at all, not only through my credit card company but through the gateway. Double protection.

Here is a great article that discusses 10 great gateways to consider - there are several other good ones also available.

https://www.webpagefx.com/…/web-des…/online-payment-systems/

If you are scared to use online payments systems, I understand, it’s a scary age with scammers and the like trying to get our money but this article might give you some understanding to make a good decision for you.

https://www.nationmerchantsolutions.com/…/are-payment-gate…/

With us being spread through the country (and the world) many of us rely on purchases and sales online. I Hope this helps you enjoy your ceramics to the fullest!

CME would like to thank Shelly Long for her insight and sharing for others who shop online.

 

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