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Amazon has everything. I mean EVERYTHING. They even sell WEIRD stuff like:
- Nothing (I kid you not… They sell “nothing“)
- Daddle Saddles (People actually buy this?)
- A coloring book of farting animals (which is actually a #1 best seller)
- A candle for lefties
- And a book where you can learn 52 ways to poop called the “Kama Pootra“.
I know. I know. You want to buy ALL of those things right now. But! There’s one thing holding you back…
You don’t know if Amazon is safe to buy from.
DON’T WORRY! I’m here! I’m an Amazon-O-holic so I know the ins and outs of how to stay safe and how to NOT get scammed on Amazon. It’s easy! Really!
Let’s get to it!
Please Note: I’m not a financial advisor. I’m just a super cautious online shopper.
- Breathe. You’re Safe.
- Is it Safe to Use Debit and Credit Cards?
- Is it Safe to Buy from Amazon Third-Party Sellers?
- How to Buy Directly from Amazon
- Is Amazon Reliable?
- Summary (Video)
1. Breathe. You’re Safe.
Number one. If you’re terrified of using a credit or debit card while shopping online, skip on over to the Amazon gift card section so you can shop at ease. It’s totally fine.
Still here? Let’s continue…
The main reason shopping on Amazon is safe is because the site uses SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) software to encrypt your card number.
WOW!!! SOUNDS COMPLICATED!!! HOLY MOLY!!!
I recommend you watch the video below to learn more about what SSL is and how it works to make websites secure.
The video tries to explain, as simply as it possibly can, how websites are safer than ever.
Even if you don’t understand everything, that’s OK. You’ll get the basics of why Amazon and other online stores and banks are much safer than you think.
Plus… knowledge is sexy.
The BIGGEST lesson out of the video above is that when you go on Amazon’s website, you should look to see that you’re ACTUALLY on Amazon and not a site that LOOKS LIKE IT.
Here’s how to do it (it’s easy, I promise).
When I go to Amazon.com, my screen looks like the picture below. Actually, it looks like “https://amazon.com/” and then a whole bunch of letters and stuff after the last ” / ” (it’s my affiliate link).
In the red box, I’m highlighting where you should look on your screen for “https://www.amazon.com/”. You want to make sure you always see this before you buy anything.
It doesn’t matter if there’s letters or numbers after that “https://www.amazon.com/”, as long as it starts with “https://www.amazon.com/”. So it could look something like “https://www.amazon.com/keajdfjksklaf=akdjfja/blahblahblah/asjdfjjlakjf/”.
You get the idea.
If you’re in another country, like in Canada, then you would look for something like “https://www.amazon.ca/” or in the UK, you would look for “https://amazon.co.uk/”
2. Is it Safe to Use Debit and Credit Cards on Amazon?
The most popular methods of paying for items on Amazon are with credit cards and debit cards.
First things first…
Why I Prefer Credit Cards Over Debit Cards When Shopping Online
Personally, I prefer to use my credit card when I shop online because it comes with protection against fraud and a zero-liability policy. This means I don’t have to pay for any purchases I did not make.
Please Note: Make sure to look up your debit or credit card provider’s liability policy as it can vary.
My opinion is that debit cards usually should not be used to shop online. There are two reasons why I think this way:
- You’re not as protected against fraud when you use a debit card as compared to a credit card. And getting that money back into your bank account can be a slow process.
- If somebody uses your debit card number to make fraudulent purchases, the money will be taken directly out of your bank account. That means you might get stuck without being able to pay for expenses like food or rent for a while.
I’m not saying it’s not safe to buy things on Amazon with a debit card. All I’m saying is that I like to have that extra back-up, just in case.
Storing Your Credit Card Information
When you’re about to make your first purchase on Amazon, you have the option to store your credit card information in your Amazon account. Storing your information makes it easier and faster next time you want to order something because your personal information will be kept on record.
Again, this is totally OPTIONAL and you DO NOT have to keep your credit card information stored in your account.
However, if you do choose to store your credit card information, SSL encrypts your personal information as it’s entered and keeps it protected.
If you’re a little worried that someone might steal your personal information, just opt to not store your credit card information on Amazon. The only thing is that you’ll have to fill out your information again next purchase (which is no biggie, really).
If just the thought of using a credit or debit card online scares you, don’t worry! The next section was written for you.
Buy Amazon Gift Cards at Participating Retail Stores
If you’re still uncertain about ordering items from Amazon using a credit or debit card, or you simply don’t have one of these cards, there’s another popular and safe option:
Amazon gift cards.
There are a lot of stores that sell Amazon gift cards (here’s a list of stores that have Amazon gift cards in the United States) and they come in $15, $25, $50, and $100 denominations.
All you have to do is follow the instructions here to redeem your Amazon gift card.
3. Is It Safe to Buy from Amazon Third-Party Sellers?
What Does a “Third-Party Seller” Mean?
Third-party sellers are individuals or businesses who sell items using Amazon’s website, but they do not directly work for the Amazon. These sellers are in charge of packaging and shipping orders. They’re also responsible for customer services, such as giving refunds and accepting returns.
Placing an Order with a Third-Party Seller
Ordering from a third-party seller is the same as ordering an item directly from Amazon.
Amazon will transfer your payment to the third-party seller. However, the seller will NEVER get any of your financial information.
Keep Your Personal and Financial Information Safe
Never give your credit or debit card information directly to the seller.
If a seller asks you to send money or a card number directly to them via email or some other messaging system, do not place the order. Contact Amazon as soon as you can to report this.
Third-Party Seller Reviews and Contact
Customers can review third-party sellers by leaving a 1 to 5-star rating and leaving a comment about their experience. Reading these customer reviews will help you figure out which sellers you can trust.
If you have any questions for a third-party seller:
- Go to the product page of the item you’re interested in purchasing.
- Click on the seller’s username.
- Click on Contact the Seller.
This is a great way to see how the seller treats customers BEFORE you even buy from them!
How to Spot Fake Amazon Reviews
Some sellers will actually pay to get fake reviews on Amazon so they can promote their products on the site. Or sellers might sell their items at a discounted price in exchange for a positive review.
In order to protect buyers from fake reviews, Amazon marks some reviews with “Amazon Verified Purchase”. These reviews have been verified that the person writing the review purchased the product by using the website and didn’t receive the product at a discounted price.
If a review isn’t marked with “Amazon Verified Purchase”, it doesn’t mean it’s worthless or fake. It just means that Amazon can’t confirm that the reviewer actually bought the item on the website or the customer bought the item at a discounted price not offered to other customers.
How Do You File a Complaint?
If you have a problem with a third-party seller, and you can’t resolve the issue by contacting them, Amazon’s A-to-Z Guarantee is there to protect you!
Under the A-to-z Guarantee, the condition of your purchased item and its delivery are guaranteed.
4. How to Buy Directly from Amazon
I prefer to get items directly from Amazon because I already know that I can trust them.
If you’re like me, all you need to do is look for “Ships from and sold by Amazon” or “Sold by [third party seller’s name] and Fulfilled by Amazon”.
“Fulfilled by Amazon” (FBA) is a service Amazon offers to sellers that lets them store their products in one of Amazon’s fulfillment centers. Once a product sells, Amazon is in charge of packaging, shipping, and providing customer service.
Learn more about what “Fulfilled by Amazon” means by watching the video below.
5. Is Amazon Reliable?
In my opinion, and the opinion of most of my friends and family who love to shop online, Amazon is VERY reliable. I believe that this site’s excellent customer service and speedy shipping is what made Amazon grow to be as big as they are today.
Plus the deals you can find on this site are absolutely amazing (especially if you’re an Amazon Prime Member, which I am. Click here if you want to try Amazon Prime FREE for 30 days).
Compared to other e-commerce sites I’ve dealt with in the past, I also find Amazon to be the fastest when it comes to replying to my emails. And they really seem to want to work with me to resolve any problems I have with their site or products.
And last but not least…
What I find VERY impressive about Amazon is how dependable they are during the holiday season. Even though it’s the busiest time of year for most e-commerce sites, Amazon is still able to keep up with the massive number of orders that come in. This is something other sites sometimes struggle with.
Overall, this site has always surpassed my expectations.
6. Summary (Video)
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Thank you and happy shopping!!