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Online Gift Stores and Safety Tips for Shopping

Updated on August 28, 2013

Avoid the Crowds

Are you tired of fighting the crowds every time you go shopping? Especially around the holidays? If so, then turn to the internet for some great buys and check out some of the e-commerce artisan sites. The internet offers a slew of entrepreneurs who are trying to find their niche in the e-commerce world, especially during this time of economic chaos. So instead of giving your money to the big conglomerates, who purchase their items from who knows where, and padding the CEO's bonus check, try looking at the little stores. It's a more personal experience, the items are mostly handcrafted, and you are helping some family try to make it through these tough times. online can be done in the comfort of your own home - even in your pajamas if you want.

Shop the Artisans

It is amazing how many artisans are out there offering their services and selling their handcrafted wares. They have spent laborious hours setting up their e-commerce shop, crafting their items to build an inventory, and getting things behind the scenes, just for shoppers like you.

Sure, you can shop on eBay and find just about anything, or shop Etsy to discover handmade objects, even Skymall, Amazon and offer good deals, but what about helping develop the small B2C (business to consumer) sites? These are the stores that will offer you personalized service, unique gifts, and a sense of satisfaction because they care about their customer. After all, your purchase is what helps keep their store thriving, not to mention, when you shop from the entrepreneurs personal site, you aren’t making the conglomerates rich, you are actually putting money back into society (the small “mom & pop” shop) where it belongs.

What you may not know is that these e-commerce entrepreneurs probably sell on eBay, Amazon, Etsy and the like; however, they have to give an enormous amount of money to these sites in order to sell there. So, let's say you bought something small on eBay for $10 and the shipping was free - the person you purchased it from made $6.03. See, eBay took their 11% + 20 cents and PayPal took their 3% plus .30 cents and the person had to pay shipping of $2.07 (I used a package weighing 1-3 oz) - and I didn't count in the amount if they had an eBay store or the amount they paid to make the item. So, you see, if you had purchased that item directly from that entrepreneurs e-commerce site, they would not have had to pay eBay and PayPal and they would have actually made some money

So, give it a whirl and see what you find, but read below before you get to "shop happy" because there are some sites that may not be safe to shop in and you should avoid them at all cost.

Safety Before Shopping

So... you found that perfect gift for Suzy at this cute little e-commerce store, well before you put in your credit card number you should be well-versed on “shopping safely” on the internet.

The internet is a big place and unfortunately there are a lot of scammers in the world today. So, before you get comfy and start clicking on sites buying that perfect gift for Suzy, utilize a few safety tips to ensure that you are perusing safely.

Safe Site Codes

Safety Before you Click

  • Green Check Mark - site has been tested and is safe
  • Gray Question Mark - site has not been tested, so use caution
  • Yellow Exclamation Mark - there may be some risk issues, use caution or possibly avoid these sites (why take the chance?)
  • Red X - stay away from these sites. They will infect your computer

Web Page Safety

Once on a web page look for some type of safety seal such as:

  • Site Lock Secure
  • VeriSign Trust Seal
  • McAfee Secured
  • Trust Guard
  • PayPal

Just to name a few

Have Fun Shopping

Now that you know the safety rules, sit back, get comfy, and start perusing for some sites for some unique gift giving ideas for holidays, birthdays, weddings, hostess gifts, etc.

Avoid the hassle of driving in the traffic, fighting for parking, the rude shoppers, and the exhausting hunt for one item. Instead, let your fingers do the work - and in the process of shopping the "big" sites, don't forget about the little entrepreneur who is trying to make a name for themselves.

Happy Shopping!

© 2011 bellartdesigns


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    • Betty Reid profile image

      Betty Reid 6 years ago from Texas

      Great idea, bellartdesigns. I buy from artisans, and I buy online, buy I've never bought from an artisan online.

    • DonnaCosmato profile image

      Donna Cosmato 6 years ago from USA

      Good tips and resources for shopping safety no matter what the season or occasion. Voted up.