Should I Shop Online during the Lockdown?
There is no reason why you shouldn’t shop online. Spending money online can keep small businesses afloat in tricky times. If you are confident that you are dealing with a real business, and that the staff are getting the chance to maintain a safe distance then go for it. You are contributing to keeping livelihoods going.
Are All Online Shops Open?
Sadly, not all online shops are open. Sometimes you just have to look and see. I suggest that you sign up for all your favourite shops’ newsletters and they will hopefully keep you updated. You can also follow shops that have accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and any other social media they use.
Do I Still Have the Same Legal Protections
You absolutely do! You have a fourteen day period to change your mind when dealing with traders in England and Wales, and you are still covered by the same rules.
Are Delivery Times Affected
Things are very odd right now. A few sites state openly that they cannot guarantee the delivery times that they normally promise. In these times, I think it is worth making a note in a calendar and checking to see what comes, allowing a few days extra. However most parcels are getting through and I’ve been pleasantly suprised at the ones that have arrived here via Royal Mail.
How Do I Know Which Shops to Use?
This is tricky. The obvious stores, such as Amazon and the supermarkets, are still working, as are a lot of department stores, such as Marks and Spencer. It is worthwhile, however, looking for the smaller places. I looked for online butchers local to me and found quite a few. Some will deliver, others are click and collect, and some are not delivering but staying open. These are the businesses that need our support.
How Do I Know a Site is Safe?
There are no guarantees. However you can look for reviews of the site online and ask friends and family if they have any experience with the firm. It’s worth checking on how they take money. If it is via a trusted site like PayPal or WorldPay, and if the url of the payment page starts with https then it is more likely to be safe. If it looks too good to be true, it is probably a scam. If you have any doubt then walk away. You have worked too hard to lose your money.
Remember the three questions you need to ask when online shopping – Do I need it? Where am I going to put it? How am I going to pay for it? Buying something just because you can right now is not always the right idea.