Do I need a Credit Card to shop online?
Many online stores in the UK offer you the choice of paying via a Credit Card or a Debit Card to make online purchases. The two major debit card networks are Maestro and Solo - to know which one you're with, just look at your card. The store you wish to purchase from should tell you in their Help or FAQ's pages what payment methods they will accept.
Do I have to pay for delivery?
If you live in the UK and are ordering fairly small and light items, delivery will often be free. Otherwise the delivery cost will be added to your total at the checkout stage of your order taking distance, weight and delivery time into account.
Some stores like PC World and Argos offer in-store pickup, whereby you can order online and pick-up in person at your nearest store.
Is shopping online safe?
Generally, yes. Almost all online retailers use encryption technology to transfer your personal information. You can check if this is in place by looking at the address bar in your browser when you're on an order page. If the information transmitted is encrypted you will see the address will begin with https:// instead of the usual http://. Also, you can look for a small padlock in your browser that will show as locked.
Many credit cards these days offer fraud protection in case your card details are obtained and used by a third party. It is a good idea, as always, to keep an eye on your bank statements to look out for any transactions you're unaware of so you can alert the bank as soon as possible.
Can I return an item for exchange?
You should check the Help pages of the store to read their returns policy. Usually exchanges are no problem but you will have to pay for postage to send them back. Generally you won't be charged postage again to send the new item out to you. If the store has retail shops, you may be able to visit a store for your exchange, provided they have the item in stock.
Can I return an item for a refund?
You should read the refund policy to determine this. Usually you will have no problems obtaining a refund if it is within a certain time period of your order. As with exchanges, you will have to pay for postage to send the item back or you may be able to return the item in-person if the company has retail shops.
How long will delivery take?
Check for delivery information on the retailer's site. There are usually options for delivery that vary in cost depending on time. Some items like flowers can be delivered same-day by courier, but most items will have standard delivery (usually within 5 working days) or Next-day delivery options. If a retailer offers free delivery, it is almost always via standard delivery.