Monthly Archives: June 2012

How Should You Pay For Online Purchases

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Many people buy online on a regular basis, whether on internet auction sites, huge retail websites such as Amazon or via entertainment services such as iTunes. Since it’s your money that is being used when you make a purchase online, you want to know that your identity is safe and that whatever you buy over the internet is protected if something goes awry. Luckily, two of the most popular methods of buying goods online – via credit cards and with the PayPal service – offer various methods of online purchase protection.

PayPal Protection

 

PayPal is aware that many buyers on online auction sites will be suspicious of sellers and require some confirmation that sellers are who they say they are. PayPal operates a seller-verification system to check this.

When it comes to the receipt of the goods, if you’ve not received what you ordered or find it in quite a different condition than as described online, you can claim a full refund through PayPal. This helps if you receive fewer items than you believed you should be getting or parts of goods are missing. You simply open a dispute and PayPal contacts the sender.

PayPal also protects online consumers through its daily activity. The service employs workers to regularly check through transactions to identify anything that may be amiss. You should also inspect your transaction history in case something comes up that doesn’t ring true. In this case, you can report the suspicious transaction to PayPal and the site will investigate how to get the lost money back to you.

The liability for unauthorized transactions program run by PayPal requires you to make a report within 60 days, though, or you won’t be able to attempt to get this money back.

Since PayPal is a popular option for buyers making purchases through PayPal’s partner, the auction giant eBay, Buyer Protection is a frequently utilized service. This guarantees eBay purchases in case the seller is not genuine.

Using Credit Cards

Credit cards offer less in the way of seller-verification features but do provide extensive identify-theft protection when used to purchase goods online. 3D Secure, for example, applies to a number of credit cards and appears on screen when making a purchase.

If your bank uses 3D Secure, you’ll be asked for an additional password at the time of making a purchase, which is a means of ensuring the rightful card owner is the individual making the online purchase. This extra verification provides a safer online shopping experience when buying goods from independent merchant websites.

A number of card manufacturers have designed schemes to help avoid card fraud online. For example, MasterCard uses SecureCode, which is a further verification step that asks consumers to provide a unique code at the point of purchase online.

Which Is Best?

Both PayPal and credit-card companies place huge importance on protecting online purchases. PayPal is perhaps more useful when buying through auction sites, especially PayPal’s partner site eBay, since it offers much in the way of compensation if a purchase is not as you expected and helps avoid other pitfalls if you’re buying from an online seller.

Credit cards, meanwhile, offer plenty in the way of extra security against online fraud, which can be helpful if you’re making a purchase from a retail store online or through an online site that you’ve not used before.

Sam is a journalist who specializes in personal finance and often writes for MoneySupermarket.com.

Saving the Planet and Making Money by Recycling Used Electronics

Today’s technology is advancing so quickly that the computer you are reading this article on was probably obsolete about three months after you bought it. Almost every year there is a new version of your favorite smart phone or a new operating system for your desktop and laptop computers. This rush to continue making electronic devices that are faster, smarter, and newer has left a huge mountain of obsolete electronics piling up in its wake. You can put those old relics from two years ago to work for you by earning cash for them, or you can do your part to keep the planet safe by recycling the electronics you don’t use anymore.

The Dangers of Electronics in Landfills

When you throw an old cell phone in the trash, it usually winds up at the top of a pile of garbage in a local landfill, where it will eventually degrade and become part of the earth underneath the landfill. That means that the chemicals inside the cell phone will leech into the soil and eventually find their way back to the local water table. This is not such a terrible thing if you are only talking about one or two cell phones, but think about how many people you know who replace their phones annually. Now think about how much space those discarded phones would take up in a landfill. Multiply the chemicals in one phone by the hundreds of phones thrown away each year and you begin to see an alarming amount of toxic material that could eventually work its way toward your kitchen tap.

Retailers Recycle for Free

The good news is that it is easy to recycle old electronics through most electronics retailers. Companies like Best Buy will accept your old computers, cell phones, and other obsolete items and make sure they are disposed of in a way that is not harmful to the environment. Look for specially marked bins at the front of the store where you can dump your devices and feel good about it.

Online Services Offer Cash for Used Electronics

It’s great to have the chance to get rid of old devices for free, but it’s even better to be paid for dumping your devices in an environmentally friendly way. Several websites offer to pay you for your old electronics. Sites like Nextworth, Gazelle and eBay will evaluate your device and send you payment for it as soon as they determine what it is worth. Amazon will put money on a gift card for the value of the electronic device you send in.

Some Electronics Have Great Resale Value

You can always try to earn even more for your old device by selling it yourself. Some electronics still have an excellent resale value, even if they are not in good condition. Look around at online sites like eBay or Craigslist to see what people are selling similar devices for. Items like old iPhones can sometimes sell for about half as much as you paid in the first place, even if the screen is cracked. Selling on your own can take more time, but you can pocket more cash if you are successful.

Jessica Bosari likes to write about ways to save money, especially green ones. You can find more of her tips on managing money at SavingTools.com.