Get ahead of the Christmas rush and busy shops and try to do some of your Christmas shopping online. I am often asked if it is safe to buy online. The short answer is yes as long as your follow a few rules.

1. Always use a credit card if you have one or Paypal if you don’t. Most credit card companies offer protection against card fraud so if your details are stolen (which is still unlikely) you won’t have to pay the bill. This isn’t always the case if you use a debit or cash card. Paypal is owned by eBay (the online auction site). You can link your PayPal account to your bank account if you don’t have a credit card. Paypal have their own code of conduct for failed deliveries /faulty goods and you can also claim against your credit card if your good don’t turn up (terms vary).


2. Use a well-known site. If this is your first foray into online shopping. Stick to the big names. Either those you know from the High Street like, or familiar online sites like,, to name just a few.

3. Look for the HTTPS at the start of the website address. This may only appear at the checkout (payment) stage but it is good indicator that your card details are protected (encrypted) so they are less easily hacked (stolen).

4. Check online delivery charges and delivery times to make sure your good will arrive in time for Christmas.

5. Visit price comparison sites to find the best deal, but still consider rule #2. If a price is too good to be true, then it probably is. It could be counterfeit, or seconds, so read the small print. I use the price comparison sites described here

6. Know your rights! Goods bought online are subject to distance selling regulations. If you visit this page it takes you to the Money Saving Expert page that explains your rights in plain English.

Happy Shopping Caroline The ‘PuterTutor