Smart Shopping

Written by: Beth Britton
Freelance fashion journalist and lifestyle writer. She searches for the best in vintage and bargain shopping for high fashion.

With Christmas being this weekend, many are still doing last minute shopping. With all the hustle and bustle and constant swiping of that credit card be sure that you are careful with online purchases and understand exactly what you are buying. You might just end up with a chunk of black coal, a.k.a hidden fees, shipping rates, or worse, delayed shipment.

Safe advises to double check pricing. It may not be as good as you the think it is. Also be sure to read the fine print and print off a copy of their policies.

Ebay has a Buyer Protection plan. Is the seller of your item not co-operating? After going through the process of trying to work out the problem with them first, you can then seek help from E-bay's Customer Service. They will contact the seller and if the issue can not be resolved your case will be covered by the Buyer Protection Plan. eBay will refund your full purchase price plus original shipping into your PayPal account. Best part of this plan? Its FREE and part of your ebay purchases.

Etsy , other online shops, and most independent sellers use PayPal. Once you set up a secure PayPal account, you can be assured in safe online transactions. Etsy does allow non-PayPal members to use a credit card as payment. If you are sending the item as a gift to a friend in another country instead of a personal purchase, be aware that PayPal may not allow this. In these cases, you will have the opportunity to change the shipping address for your order on Etsy before finishing checkout.

PayPal suggets the best way to fight idenity theft is to set security programs in place on your pc and check your online credit card and bank accounts on a regular basis to look for unfamiliar transactions.

Amazon has posted their Christmas ordering cutoffs. With great deals and still some free shipping rates up to Wednesday of this week. And local express delivery on the 24th in some select cities!

Smart shopping equals successful shopping. So what are you doing still reading this? Go! Get to shopping!