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How to Buy Online - Introduction to Online Shopping

Updated on December 14, 2009

How to buy online - An introduction to online shopping

I'm focusing here simply on how to buy online - not how to buy a car, not how to buy stocks, but back to the basics for those interested in the many options of online shopping.

Online shopping is becoming more and more popular, and has opened up markets to an international audience.  Shopping online is not difficult, it just requires an acceptable method of payment.  Payment by credit card is easy, though you want to assure your security when giving away your credit card number. Another option is payment through Paypal.  There are other options to increase your security, including online wallets, but sometimes your best option is to ensure the security of the website you are looking to buy from before giving away your credit card number. 

Shopping online

How to buy online
How to buy online

How to know if a website is safe and secure

Sometimes the best option is to shop on known websites, or with well known stores. To make sure your credit card number is secure, pay attention to the website address. In the top address bar where you see http://www.... this address should change to https://www.... when you are at a screen which is asking for your credit card number.

Another benefit of paying online with with a credit card is that you will have a proven record of the transaction, if there are any disputes.

It is difficult to spot websites which are frauds and do not actually follow through with providing the service which they guarantee. If they are an American or Canadian company, you can always check with the Better Business Bureau to ensure they are legitimate and don't have complaints launched against them

An Introduction to Paypal

Paypal is an alternative to giving away your credit card information, and a way for smaller business to provide trust to their customers. Paypal is a trusted third party which you can give your financial information to, rather than to untrusted companies.

Once you create a Paypal account, you can transfer money into it from your back account, and then from Paypal, transfer the money to anyone or any company online.

This also creates an easy way for new and small business to receive money from its customers, without worrying about creating a safe and secure means of doing so.


In summary, when you buy online there are a few key points to consider:

  1. Is it a safe, major, trusted company?  
  2. Does the address change to a httpS://www... address when I enter my personal information?
  3. Should I have a record of this purchase and use my credit card? Or is it more important to keep my financial information private and therefor use Paypal...
A few points to consider in this new, ever changing online marketplace.


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    • ForTheInterim profile image

      ForTheInterim 8 years ago from Montreal

      Thanks for the information - I haven't heard of Alipay.

    • shoppingcartsplus profile image

      shoppingcartsplus 8 years ago from United States of America

      PayPal is a good choice of a third-party payment scheme, but Alipay is better because they will not release the money to the seller unless the buyer receives the merchandise.

    • websitesecurity profile image

      websitesecurity 8 years ago from Utah

      Great hub! I especially love the part about secure shopping because you can never be safe enough these days!