Online purchase: Limit the risks when ordering

When placing an order on the Internet, some steps are needed to prevent an online purchase turns into a nightmare.

MAKE SURE THE PAYMENT IS SECURE

Before paying, read the summary of the order. In addition to shipping costs, merchants add "processing" or "preparation" fees. Some people do not hesitate to charge extra eco-participation or private copying tax, which should, however, be included in the price displayed. Finally, check that the merchant has not inserted a warranty accessory or extension into the basket. The law forbids it.

CHECK YOUR CART

Prefer merchants based in France and check that the product is in the European Union. If not, you may have customs duties and VAT to pay. Above all, in the case of litigation, your actions will have almost no chance to succeed.

BE WARY OF SITES BASED ABROAD

Regardless of the site and especially if it is little known, take the time to read the terms and conditions and make sure that there is clearly the name of the company, a physical address, and a phone number. Finally, get an idea of the reputation of the site by consulting customer testimonials on the Internet forums.

EVALUATE THE SERIOUSNESS OF THE MERCHANT

If you buy on a site offering a marketplace, look who is the seller and who is responsible for delivery. In any case, be careful that the seller is a professional. Otherwise, you will not have any right of withdrawal, for example. Ask a question by e-mail before the purchase allows to get an idea of the responsiveness of the seller.

CHECK THE IDENTITY OF THE SELLER

Do not be fooled by the low prices and the attractive discounts. Take the time to compare not only the cost of the product but also the availability, the delivery time announced (beware of delivery promises within 24 or 48 hours that are unlikely to be held), services offered (time limit retraction, accessibility of customer service ...), what the warranty includes, etc. Also read the product description carefully (do not settle for the picture) and check that it is new (some sellers offer used or refurbished items).

COMPARE PRICES AND SERVICES

For this, a padlock must appear on the screen and the URL must begin with "https" and not "HTTP" (screenshot below). If there are any doubts, the merchant may ask you for additional proof such as a photocopy of your identity card, a bank account (Rib) or a receipt of electricity. However, refuse to send him a copy of the credit card that was used to pay. Above all, never send money to a stranger via a money transfer system, such as Western Union. Most banks offer "virtual card" systems that allow you to pay on the Internet without having to send your Blue Card number. This solution can be useful if you have fears about the seriousness of the site.