How to be a Well Informed Online Shopper


 How to be a Well Informed Online Shopper

"Never give a sucker an even break." - George Burns

This is the first blog post in a four blog series that takes a look at how to be an informed online shopper. The goal of the series is to help people better understand shopping behavior and how they can insulate themselves from scams, rip-offs, and other shady business practices. As an online shopper, you want to be smart when it comes to protecting yourself from such missteps. By reading this blog post you will learn all about the different types of scams out there and what should be avoided while shopping in general.

I want to first explain to you what an online shopper is. There are many different kinds of online shoppers out there and it's important that we all know the differences between them in order to better insulate ourselves from scams.

The first type of online shopper is also known as an impulse buyer. You have probably seen this type of shopper at your local shopping mall and it's just as common on the internet. This type of shopper usually doesn't research a product before buying it online. Instead, they are just impulsive in their buying behavior and buy products based off things like emotions or peer pressure. They are usually not prepared and don't read reviews or product descriptions before buying.

The second type is the serious online shopper. This is the person that goes to your local store like Target or Wal-Mart and actually asks questions about the products under consideration. They research the product to see if it's worth purchasing and read reviews on sites like Amazon before buying products online.

A third type of online shopper are known as bounding shoppers or shopaholics. These people have an insatiable appetite for shopping and buy whatever strikes their fancy whether it be a new pair of shoes, a car, a TV set, an appliance, etc... Basically they can't keep their hands off of anything in retail stores.

The fourth type of online shopper are the people that just can't stop buying stuff. You might know these people as bargain hunters or even hyperfans. They are obsessed with finding the best deal and are often on Ebay at all hours of the night searching for deals and looking to get free stuff in exchange for returning unwanted merchandise back to Wal-Mart or Target.

These four types of online shoppers evolve as you become more familiar with shopping in general and I highly recommend you read up about them online so that you can learn how to avoid falling victim to a particular kind of scam along the way. But enough about the different kinds of online shoppers; now let's move on to look into how scams works...

"If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit." - The Amazing Randi

So let's say you are a sucker and we are going to take a look at the many different kinds of scams that exist. I will be touching on both the scams that exist in the physical world along with the ones that exist online. I will also be looking into what each scam entails and how people can avoid them. But remember, just as there are many types of online shoppers out there, so too are there many types of scams...

The first type of scam is known as shill bidding and it's common on Ebay. The idea of a shill bidding scam is that you will be competing against other people to purchase a product. You'll then find out who the other people are and you send them the product to be shipped at your expense. When you receive the package, they will often claim that they mailed it to a friend but they didn't and refuse to refund or take back the product.

The second type of scam is known as door-to-door salesmen or "salesmen" for short. They will go door-to-door and try to sell any kind of product from cosmetics, cleaning supplies, water filters, etc... You should never let random strangers into your home without first being sure they are licensed professionals. You can find out if any salesmen you see are legitimate by asking them for their business cards and learning more about how they got started in the business. Many times, these sales people will look for ways to make a commission like charging money to use your utilities, etc… and are nothing more than shysters.

The third type of scam is known as door-to-door type cons. An example of this would be someone asking you to pay an invoice or taxes before moving into a new home or apartment. Communicating with such criminals usually goes down like this...

You are looking for a place to live and someone knocks on your door and says you should really pay their invoice to avoid eviction. They tell you that you should pay the invoice with cash because it cannot be traced. When you refuse, they might try to pressure you by saying that the police will show up at your door if you don't pay their invoice. You can avoid this type of scam by not paying invoices or taxes without first going through a licensed professional, etc…

The fourth type of scam is known as when someone locks onto some unknown frequency on your radio and starts broadcasting announcements or advertisements. This can be especially annoying when trying to listen to the radio on a long trip. To avoid this type of scam, you just need to tune your radio to a station that doesn't use satellites and is only broadcast on the airwaves.

The fifth type is also known as the "sweepstakes" scam. An example of this would be someone claiming that they have won a contest or sweepstakes, but they are unable to collect their prize in person and so they need you to bring it overseas for them. Let me tell you right now not to fall for these types of scams because they are usually fake and will lead you into trouble like being jailed or robbed.

The sixth is known as insurance frauds, which I touched on in my previous post about how one should protect themselves from scam artists at work.

The last type of scam is known as the "grandma" con, but don't call your grandma's phone number or email address for that matter. This is a scam that involves pretending to be someone else and convincing some unsuspecting person to send them money. You should never wire money to anyone who you haven't met in person unless you are certain that they really have authority to collect the money from you in terms of being a real organization or government agency. You can read more about these types of scams on Wikipedia at this link: .

Conclusion: I hope this has given you a better understanding of how scams work and how you can protect yourself from falling victim to these types of offenders.

That'll do it for the first part of my series about online shopping scams and other types of scams. As always, I hope that reading this blog has proven valuable and that you will stick around to learn more, which is why all the articles on my site have been written in bite-sized chunks. If you're not already a member then now would be a great time to sign up, because once per week over the next couple weeks I will be launching new posts by email, Twitter (@JonTronShow), Facebook (Find Me) and RSS (RSS Feed).

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