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How to Avoid Hidden Charges for Online Purchases

Hidden charges for online purchases are overlooked by many persons on a global scale. With shopping online, one of the biggest concerns that most people have is identity theft. However, what the majority of e-customers donít know is that credit cards are charged without their knowledge, with hidden fees and charges added for online purchases.

How Hidden are These Charges?

First of all, not everyone can spot hidden charges for online purchases with ease. They can be disguised in the form of alluring offers like free shipping, free trials, or great discounts. When a product has a lower price, compared to similar items on offer at other websites, there must be something hidden. Be careful with free trials because your credit card may be billed automatically when the trial expires. Therefore, the only way to get protected, especially in view of hidden charges for online purchases, is to stay well-informed.

Reading the Fine Print

It is quite important to read the terms and conditions for purchases before you complete an order. This fact is especially true for subscriptions that often come with recurring billing. Online memberships, magazine subscriptions, and other purchases that require recurring payments can automatically charge your credit card. Although free or discounted trial prices are offered in the beginning, they will automatically charge at regular prices after the expiration of the trial period. Therefore, always make sure you read the fine print on the website of a company offering certain product or service. If the print is so deeply hidden that it took you three hours to find, it is best to look for another company. These fellows are really hiding something from the poor customer.

Hidden charges for online purchases may be overlooked when you buy from companies that advertise free shipping and almost unreal discounts. Usually, free shipping applies only after you satisfy some other requirements of the retailer, e.g. buying other products, filling out a survey, etc. Make sure you have done these or the shipping may cost you a good amount of money.

Checking for Additional Fees

When products are offered at low prices, additional fees may apply. In some cases, shipping and taxes may cost you a fortune; so, check for additional fees below the subtotal of the purchase. When purchasing items from a foreign country, donít forget that in addition to shipping fees, taxes and customs may apply. As soon as the company ships the product, you have to pay for the additional costs, before you can even get the product. Customs and taxes will vary depending on the destination and the type of product you purchased.

Always Read the Return Policies

Some products online are offered with cash back guarantees, but that may apply only over a certain period of time. When you return a product that is damaged or just faulty and not working, you may be required to pay for shipping. This practice is not to your advantage because with some items, shipping may cost you tons of money. Always make sure you read the return policy and check if they offer free return shipping. If they donít, do comparison shopping and check if other companies offer better return policies and terms at lower costs. Armed with a good amount of knowledge, you will be able to avoid hidden charges for online purchases.

This one is self-explanatory, but you should always double check your shopping card before hitting the payment button. Check if all items, quantities, and prices are correct and make changes if necessary.