According to the U.S. Department of Commerce consumers spent $26 billion last year online.
Do you research before shopping:
Shop Online Safely "The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues , visit www.ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel , a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad."
"Be "cyber" smart and make your online experience safe."
Safeshopping.org created by the American Bar Association to help consumers order safely online.
The National Consumers League, the nation's oldest consumer organization, identifies, protects, represents, and advances the economic and social interests of consumers and workers. A private, nonprofit advocacy group, NCL provides government, businesses, and other organizations with the consumer's perspective on concerns including child labor, privacy, food safety, and medication information.
The ConsumerMan -- With a 25-year track record of helping people across the country, Herb Weisbaum is America's Consumer Expert. His award-winning reports have exposed everything from quack medications to bogus investments.
Product Reviews -- Our experiences with the products we use ourselves.
Check for recalls regularly:
Ouch! Have you been burnt? (you don't have to take it anymore!)
Federal Trade Commission - File a Complaint
Popular products that come highly recommended from consumer experts:
WATCH's "10 Worst Toys" toys with the potential to cause injuries, or even death. For a list of safe, educational and popular childrens products, click here.
Teens' Top Ten Books of 2003 -- Sponsored by The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA).
The below businesses have an excellent long term reputation for providing safe consumer shopping. Many of these businesses were established long before their Internet. They are names that can be trusted online and have liberal return policies in most instances.