1. Read customer testimonials before you buy anything. People are delighted to complain about bad service online, so search for sites and testimonials which can be terrible so you are aware what you're getting into. You need to take bad reviews having a grain of salt, but if you see many, you know there exists a problem.
2. To protect yourself use a credit card when you shop online. The federal government has passed laws to protect consumers in the event of fraud. The amount the buyer is responsible for is a mere $50.00 as compared to atm cards where the entire balance could be withdrawn by internet hackers.
3. Sign-up for any identity fraud protection your credit card company offers, especially if you shop online often. No matter how safe you are or how diligently you believe you are able to protect your details, it's never one hundred percent guaranteed. Take full advantage of automatic ID protection and know you will have back-up, should the worst occur.
4. Prior to making a purchase, compare prices on several websites. Try to find special coupons and offers on these websites to make sure you are getting the best offer possible. Also look into what it really will cost for the shipping on your items and in case there are free freight options accessible to you.
5. Sign up for the website's newsletter if they have one. Many times stores will give you a reduction or some kind of deal once you sign up for their newsletter. Find out if there is a deal associated with subscribing to the newsletter at any store you want to shop at.