The Art of Buying Safely Online

Why do you want to buy online?

You would like to buy online because:

Convenience

  • You do not have to ride to the mall.
  • You do not have to drive around ten blocks to find a parking place.
  • You do not have to jostle around with the crowds in the mall.
  • You do not want anyone following your every move with a hawk’s eye.
  • You do not want some one to convince you into buying, something that you do not need.

Well, I think they are good enough reasons why you would like to get onto the net and go buy something online.

Standard Features of online malls
Most of them are visitor friendly. Let us look at one such Online eMall I came across.

Let us now see how these Online eMall websites are designed.  This is a generic website.  Of course you understand that this site does not exist and it is only for demonstration purposes I am mentioning it here.  Let us call it simply – Online eMall.

The customer-friendly Online eMall website is cleanly laid out. The website name is very clearly displayed on the home page.

A key feature of this Online eMall is, it  offers franchises.  Normally, the franchise’s name appears to your left, right beneath the Online eMall profile. Then you have the navigation bar that indicates the e-franchise home, orders tracking and a tab to invite friends to the site.

Then you see those small folder icons: The name of the folders indicate the contents and within brackets the number of items too. For example the first folder is Beauty and Personal Care and it is displaying 43. When you click on the folder, the column to it’s right displays all those items that fall under the “Beauty and Personal Care” category. Each item has a small picture of the product / service with pricing, availability and probable shipping time.

So, all the visitor has to do is click on the folder on the left, view items that appear on the right, add her choice to the shopping cart, fill the forms and pay, to have them delivered at her doorstep. But before she confirms the order, it is up to her to make doubly sure that she is ordering exactly what she expects.

When the shopping season approaches, the Online eMall  owners will update the site and announce really amazing products and services to it’s customers, at great prices.

Phishing
OK, so what makes you think it is safe to buy online? Haven’t you heard of those who collect your credit details and siphon off monies without you ever knowing about it?

Yes, I have heard about that and read about it too. But then there are always those elements around. All you have to do is take a few precautions and you are better off.

Now let’s see what those precautions are:

FAQ’s
Every online shopping mall would have a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) and a privacy policy. Read them both carefully and if you are convinced that it is a good site and is taking care of your interests go ahead and do your shopping.

Warranties and Guarantees
Check if the the site is offering warranties and or guarantees on the products and services they are offering before you make your purchase decision.

Postal Address
You must take care to see if the postal address of the site is given on the web site. If it is not there, then their intentions are in doubt and I advise you not to do business with them.

Cash
There may be occasions that the company or any individual you are buying from asks for cash, say no. Tell them that you would prefer to pay with your credit card. That way you are protecting yourself from avoidable fraudulant transactions.

Help and Support
There are genuine sellers and are helpful. They would be more than happy to help you with your doubts and queries that you might have. Some of these sites do have a live chat service where you get instant answers. Some of them have Feedback forms for their customers and they always write you back about your concerns.

Search and Research
Use the search engines to learn about the online shopping mall that you are trying to buy from. This would help you learn more about them and you can make a buying decision based on that.

Reviews
If there are reviews left by customers read them. It would give you a better insight about this online shopping mall and how they go about treating their customers.

Return Policy
You should also make sure what their Return Policy is, so that you know exactly what to expect.

RESOURCES
There is this excellent site that tells you how to protect yourself from online phishing scams. Please click here to visit the site.

Happy Shopping!

Note:
This article was first published elsewhere on August 6, 2009 and the site is no more available.  Hence I am posting it here again.

https://web.archive.org/web/20101123150210/http://rightword.blogsome.com

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3 Tips to bid on Guru’s Best Projects and become a Winning Guru

This is about a feature  “Add to Watch List” on Guru.com, where you go to pick your freelance projects.

You are busy.  You are busy with your content.  You are that busy you don’t even have time to log into your Guru account and check out those projects. And that is pretty bad news. You are busy now. But what about tomorrow, when your current assignment ends?   You will have to find a new project, bid on it and win it to keep you occupied.  It could take an other three days to three weeks and may be beyond.

Don’t despair.  Not all is lost.  Guru has a nifty feature.  “Add to Watch List”Log into your Guru account.  Click on the “Get Work” tab.  Set your search filters of your choice and now you have a list of all those projects that are open.  Neatly tabulated under various headings and they include Employer Statistics too.  IMHO, this is the most important column.  It informs you a great deal about this client.  (Read Employer = Potential Client = Client.)  It informs you if this potential client had paid her bills.  The number of projects she had posted and the kind of rating the providers gave them.

1 – The FIVE STAR rated client is the best.  That means none of our clan had any issues with this client.

2 – How much did this client pay?  A couple of thousands.  Oh.. I like this client more.  She’s been around for some time.  She knows how the system works.   She deserves your complete professional attention.  One you would like to retain for ever and be in her black book.

3 – Does she pay all her bills?  She does. Fantastic.  You ought not miss her projects.

What do you do now?  You are busy with your current project and yet do not want to leave this excellent potential client.

That’s where your Guru’s feature “Add to Watch List” comes in.  You just click on that tab “Add Watch List” and it goes into your “Add Watch List”.

Now you can go to your My Account and there under your “Manage Your Proposals”, reach your  “Watch List”.  Click on it, to go to your “Watch List”.Filter your watch list projectsYou can also set your filters from the drop-down list that provides you four options.  The first one is “Newly Listed”, then “Ending First”, the third is “Project Budget – Highest first” and the fourth is the “lowest first”.  Set your filters here and Guru will deliver all your watch-list projects  neatly tabulated.

At one glance you can now check out the best of the projects, the best paymaster, saving you plenty of time.Guru Add to Watchlist OptionsThere are also other filters that hide all those projects you have applied for, projects that viewed, those that need on-site work and vendors only projects.

Keep working on your projects, make some time go to your “Watch List” and present your bids.  That way you can keep both your hands busy all the time.  What you say?  🙂

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My Favorite Feedback

Carl Shapiro said, “Positive feedback makes the strong grow stronger and the weak grow weaker.”

It is the feedback like this that keeps me going!  This is one of the many positive feedback’s that my client’s at oDesk gave me. You can read them here.

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What are Green Jobs?

Doesburger windmill, Ede, The Netherlands.Image via Wikipedia
Green jobs are jobs that are associated with initiatives and or activities that either directly or indirectly reduce the harm caused to the natural environment around us. These jobs are naturally with companies that are conscious of their social responsiveness.

There are also different types of Green Jobs. Let us for the sake of clarity divide them into two.

1 – This type of Green Job involves discharging duties and help reduce the harmful impact on the surrounding environment. In this job, one need not necessarily be in an eco-friendly industry.

2 – In this second type of Green Job, it involves a certain responsibility with a company or an institution that works towards reducing the harmful impact on the natural environment.

While in the first one, the individual discharges a certain duty that impacts and possibly reduces the harm caused to the environment, in the second instance it is an enterprise whose aim is to contain and possibly diminish environmental pollution or harm caused to it. In other words these entities improve the quality of the surrounding natural environment.

For example if you are looking at a company that is into harnessing wind turbine technology, we can say that this is an enterprise that is working towards reducing the dependence on fossil fuels and hence is green and eco-friendly. Therefore one who is pursuing this career is said to be in a Green Job.

For example, let us look at a person who earns his bread, repairing bicycles. This individual is helping us bring down our dependence on fossil fuels that drive our vehicles and therefore is contributing to keeping the environment around clean and sustainable. While this individual may be pursuing this job with the complete knowledge that it is a Green Job chances are until this moment even you may have not thought on those lines, that is, this is a Green Job!

So we can term any career that involves an eco-friendly technology and contributes to reducing carbon foot print on environment is a green job.

So if you are looking for a change look at a green job, in a green industry that is promising a bright and green future.

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Ideal dress for your baby

“Children are a handful sometimes, A heart full all the time…”

During the first few weeks the baby‘s skin is soft and tender and is growing. It is rich with the hormones from it’s parents. This may cause some rashes which disappear after some time. These rashes do not cause any harm to the child. However it is advisable to have the opinion of the the gynecologist that delivered the baby or a pediatrician that is attending the baby.

Any cloth made of natural fiber is best. However cotton tops the list. Soft colors are ideal. Strong colors retain heat. So are best avoided.

Babies grow fast. The dress you choose for the baby should be a size large than her. It is ideal that you choose clothes that are easy to change. The neck opening should be large enough to help remove it over the head without any discomfort to the baby. It is better that the dress does not have any buttons for they can come off and cause unnecessary concern.

Baby’s fingers may get caught in the lace which adorn the dress. So it is best to avoid clothes with lace work. Though a lot of fancy dresses are available in the market they are best left alone. The stitching on the cloth should be soft.

Baby’s dress needs to be changed quite often. So make sure there are plenty of them available. Use a disinfectant while washing the baby’s clothes. Some disinfectants may irritate the baby. Look for those signs. Baby crying soon after dress change could be a reason. Dress that you choose for the baby need not require pressing. As long as the baby is comfortable with the dress you need not unnecessarily worry about it.

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