Buying Christmas Hampers Online - The Checklist.

Buying Christmas Gifts Online - A Handy Checklist

You go online to buy a gift for a loved one - because it is quick, simple and hassle free. But there are a lot of websites out there and you might not be confident placing your order. So here's a simple checklist with some easy to note indicators of whether a website is reputable or not, and what to expect when dealing with an online business to ensure your order is delivered as requested. What makes a delivered gift hamper from an online store different is that the recipient is distinct from the person who orders the gift. Whilst much of the hype about internet scams and fake businesses is indeed hype, there are some easy to spot identifiers of a genuine website.

1. Read the about us page. The About Us page is like the profile or account page for the business. For sure it will still have a certain measure of sales pitch and marketing talk, but also useful information on the business. An email address should be available to answer your queries. Other information should detail the physical location of the business, the owners and the history they have with the business and industry, and even some history of business. Scant information might well be a sign that the business is less than reputable, so be mindful that the business should be willing to share these details.

2. Does the business have a physical address and phone number? Although you are buying online and expecting delivery by courier, a website offering an address and location instils confidence even if it is a warehouse that does not welcome walk up customers. As a online business owner with a warehouse, we are certainly don't encourage customers to visit our warehouse, as we do simply not have sales staff or a showroom, and the product is not displayed at all. There is not much to sell about looking at shelves full of cardboard boxes! But it is re assuring to know that the business does have an address you can perhaps visit to resolve any disputes should they arise.

3. Does the business have a privacy policy? A Privacy Policy is an important indicator of a business's professional code of conduct, and acts as a safeguard that your credit card details will not be shared or given to outside sources. Further, a privacy policy acts as a guard against spamming your email inbox, as your correspondence email will not be shared or on-sold to other businesses. Beyond this, a well written policy acts as to protect the delivery address of the recipient from being shared - which is something that the recipient has definitely not agreed to share.

4. Does the business have a delivery policy? Confirmation of delivery time, delivery address, and delivery costs is important prior to placing your order. With delivery time, it is preferable to have written confirmation that the order will be despatched within a day or so of being received by the business.
Likewise, confirming that the estimated delivery time to the recipient's address is indeed what the website copy says is reassuring. In my experience, guaranteeing a delivery will arrive by a certain date is more difficult to predict the further the package has to travel. So if you can, aim to use a gift delivery service as close to the recipient's address as possible. Steer clear of businesses that have a vague or indistinct delivery policy, as often any confusion over terms and conditions will be at your expense.
Also, it is worth noting the difference between despatched, shipped and delivered. Despatched and shipped mean the product has been packaged and put out for a third party courier, whist delivered means the product has arrived at the delivery address.

5. Does the business have a substitution or variation policy? When you are buying a gift for delivery online, it is often the case that the item may be oversold or out of stock. In this case, the business will either substitute a like product of similar value, or hold over the order for confirmation from you. I prefer the idea of sending a substitute of like goods, as holding over the order can mean chasing up the customer (you) and lead to significant delays in getting the gift shipped. This is especially important for time based gifts like birthdays, or fruit baskets to hospitals.

6. Credit Cards - Of course, the big safety issue is having a secure online encrypted handling of your credit card details. But much more than this, look for easily recognised banking symbols, and test the link. If backed by a big bank or financial institution, the website is fine to do business with.

Certainly ordering a one off gift online is a different experience for most of us, and by taking advantage of these handy tips you should be able to make your own experience risk free and ensured of delivering a memorable gift. Listen to your instincts, follow the recommendations on social media, and most of all, enjoy yourself - having a Christmas gift hamper shopping experience can be a journey of discovery and finding new things that appeal to both you and your recipients.

Murphy, B. P. (2011, October 23). Buying Gift Hampers Online - A Handy Checklist. Retrieved November 21, 2011, from­Gift-­Hampers-­Online-­-­-­A-­Handy-­Checklist&id=6645453

1 comment:

altiusgifts said...

Hi there,
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