Four Questions to Ask When Shopping Online

Check out our top tips for staying safe when shopping online.

1. Who are you buying from?

  • Try to shop with well-known companies or companies that have been recommended by friends and family
  • Remember, just because they’ve got a state-of-the-art website doesn’t mean they are professionals
  • Be wary if the only contact info for the website is a post office box number or a mobile phone number

2. Is the site secure?

  • Check the site is secure if you’re entering your bank details – the ‘http’ at the beginning of the web address will change to an ‘https’ or you will see a padlock image appear in the URL box
  • Never provide information that isn’t necessary for your purchase, such as bank passwords or PIN numbers
  • Use a secure payment method such as Paypal

3. Are there any additional costs?

  • Watch out for hidden charges, such as VAT and customs duties, when buying from abroad
  • Check if there are additional costs for delivery and packaging

4. Do you have receipt of purchase?

  • You’re entitled to receive information about goods and services before you buy and confirmation of the purchase in writing (or email) 
  • Print out and save a copy of the web page/email showing your purchase
  • Make sure to keep a copy of your order form
  • If you haven’t got a printer make sure to save everything on your computer


Your goods are the retailer’s responsibility until they arrive with you. It’s important to check your purchases as soon as they arrive to make sure they are fit for purpose.

You can cancel a purchase for a full refund within seven days of ordering, except for digital downloads such as software, music or games.

Got a Problem?

Find out more about your rights when shopping from Which, or call the Young Scot LawLine to discuss any consumer problems. 

Visit our #YSDigiKnow page for more information about being safe online, keeping your personal data secure, opportunities to learn more and how to kick-start a career in the digital world!

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