If you shop online you can usually find electrical goods at heavily discounted prices. If you take the time and shop around you can usually save at least 10-20% off the retail outlet price making shopping online for these goods a particularly beneficial saving for those on a tighter budget. However there are a number of potential pitfalls when you shop online, Australia or India being no exception to these problems despite the solid legislation governing the sale of electrical goods online. With that in mind we’ve put together a list of some top tips when buying electrical goods to ensure that you don’t get burnt when buying your new cooker, TV or other electrical device.
So our top tips:
1. Check the Voltage
In Australia or India the standard voltage for all electrical appliances is 220-240 volts AC and of course a three pin standard plug. If you are buying any electrical goods online you need to check that they are at the correct voltage and that they come with the correct adaptors and plugs if applicable. Plugging in electrical goods at different volts can burn them out rendering them useless, trip your electrical system and in the worst cases start an electrical fire. If you need to buy a transformer for the electrical product you’ve just bought you will end up paying up to around A$ 70 in additional to your costs.
2. Check the seller’s contact details
Just because the site you are buying on appears as .com.au that is no guarantee that the site is actually based in Australia. Make sure you can see the full address of the company that you are purchasing from and that you recognise the address as being domestic.
3. Always use secure payment
Sites with secure payment generally have a padlock on the bottom of the payment screen or the starting URL https:// always be reluctant or avoid inputting any payment details if you don’t see this sign. If there is no security symbol it generally means that your details are potentially visible to third parties rather than being encrypted.
4. Price checking
Whilst you can save a lot online its worth looking into and checking the retail outlet prices of any electrical goods you are buying. If the electrical goods online are 50% or more off the price you’re seeing offline then you need to start asking yourself why they are quite so cheap. If online use a price comparison site to check the recommended retail prices.
5. Check reviews
Whilst the internet may be a hot bed of scams it’s also a hot bed of consumer watchdogs and a quick search will usually let you find reviews of products and companies meaning you can quickly research any company you are dealing with.
6. Read the product guarantee and warranty
Check the seller’s terms and conditions carefully and make sure that should anything go wrong with your item you can return it without hassle. Respectable online retailers will have a clearly outlined policy on their website and if you can’t find one shop elsewhere.
7. Pay by credit card
If you pay over a certain amount usually 1-200 A$ on your card then it will be fully insured against any potential problems and you can hold the trader liable. Using a credit card in this way will give you ample security.
8. Keep records
Of paramount importance is keeping detailed financial records of all transaction you make online. Usually a company will send or display to you a digital receipt for any purchase and it is worth printing this out and saving it so you have a full account should anything go wrong