1. If you are shopping online, never give out your Social Security number. There is not any website that needs this number for you to buy something. If you are being asked for your Social Security number during checkout, you may be on a scam website. Leave this site and find one which has a better reputation.
2. If you have questions while shopping, choose a live chat function on the online store. Many big brands (and even some boutique stores) now have this functionality. You are able to chat immediately with a customer care representative to fix any issues or answer any questions prior to buying. That can give you a lot of satisfaction.
3. Before buying coming from a new online retailer, do your homework on them. Check online reviews from other customers to see the way it handles items like customer service, shipping, and its overall buying experience. You can also look at the BBB to find out if it has any disputes and whether those disputes were resolved professionally. Try contacting the company via email and phone number, if it's posted to ask questions on its business before you buy anything.
4. When you are shopping on the web, you should only shop at reputable stores. If the store does not have a strong reputation, you may be asking for trouble. Some people have had their credit card and personal information stolen from shopping on less than reputable websites. Be careful and protect your private information.
5. Sign up for the website's newsletter if they have one. Many times stores will give you a price reduction or some type 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.