A Seniors’ Guide to Online Clothes Shopping: Choosing Clothing Stores on the Internet with Care
It’s well known that I love online clothes shopping for a variety of reasons, as described in this post earlier.
However, it isn’t the case with everyone. Many of my friends, aged 60 and over, are wary of shopping on the Internet and in particular, leery of online clothes shopping.
After all, they’ve heard so many stories of being scammed of their credit card details, dealing with nightmarish return policies and not getting what they ordered for.
Yet at the same time, online shopping has its benefits. You don’t have to drive anywhere, you usually end up saving money and also, you don’t have to deal with snarky stores clerks and sales people.
So, to help them and any of your senior citizen friends, here are some tips the elderly can keep in mind when choosing clothing stores online:
1. Always Use Word-of-Mouth References
Before you hit the online stores, check with family and friends who’ve shopped online. Find out which sites do they recommend and check those out first to see if they’ve got what you want.
Word-of-mouth references are much better than just reading the reviews of a store online.
When checking with friends, also find out about return and shipping policies for the stores and how easy or difficult was it to deal with the site.
2. Check if the Online Store Has a Customer Support Phone Number
Many online clothing sites will offer a contact phone number where you could call to ask for additional details, product information and more.
If the sites you’ve narrowed down have a phone number, keep it handy and if you’d like, call them as well to clarify your questions before you place your order.
Speaking with them will give you an idea of how customer-friendly are they and their policies.
Do you get lost in a maze of automated voice instructions? Was it super-easy to reach a representative? Did that representative understand what you wanted quickly? Was he or she respectful and patient?
Yes these are a few things to keep in mind and pay attention to when dealing with online salespersons.
3. Protect Your Personal Information
At no point in time, should you be asked for sensitive information, such as your Social Security Number or bank details, other than your credit card information and mailing address. Also, enter your birthdate, mailing address and other identity-related information only on secure sites (see #4).
4.Use Secure Websites
Finally and most importantly, always check that the websites you use have secure payment gateways. You can check this by looking at the URL of the site which should begin with https:// which indicates that the data you enter is encrypted in transit. NEVER enter bank or credit card information into a site which does not have the https://.
The FBI or Federal Bureau of Investigation has a detailed section on fraud prevention for senior citizens that offers helpful information on different types of scams that one may fall prey to.
So, go ahead, shop online with peace of mind but keep these few things in mind to make the whole experience not just hugely convenient but also safe and easy too.