We understand that there are some people who might be reluctant to trust Amazon.com, like they would be with most other websites where you have to put in your credit card information and pay someone money. But we here at Techboomers wouldn't be showing you how to use Amazon if it wasn't safe to begin with, and there were easy ways to keep yourself protected while using it.
Amazon only shares certain information about you, and only to groups that are involved in processing your transactions. This information is transmitted securely, and its recipients are not allowed to use it for purposes other than those relating to your orders. This means that, among other things, it is very safe for you to input your credit card information into Amazon in order to pay for items.
Even then, you will never be required to purchase anything from Amazon or any of its affiliated businesses, and you can unsubscribe from any emails that Amazon sends you, either on behalf of itself or its partner sellers.
Amazon also protects you in dealings with third-party sellers on its website. If you ever enter a dispute with someone other than Amazon over something that they sold you through Amazon, you can file an A-to-z Guarantee Claim. Read more about that here.
Contact third-party sellers directly. You can do this by finding the product that you want, clicking on the seller's user name, and then under "Further Information”, clicking Contact the Seller. This will allow you to ask them any questions you have about their product, from its condition to its estimated delivery time.
Check a third-party seller's reviews and ratings. Customers on Amazon can rate and review third-party sellers, so have a look at what people say about that seller to determine whether they're trustworthy or not.
Don't make payments outside of Amazon. Some sellers may ask you to make a payment for their merchandise outside of Amazon, and say that Amazon will guarantee the payment, refund your money if you're not satisfied, or will be paid what they are owed after the transaction is over. This is generally not a good idea, as the person is likely, at best, trying to get out of having to pay Amazon any money for their sale, and at worst is running a scam. When possible, pay for your merchandise bought on Amazon through Amazon to avoid complications.
Watch out for fake emails. Certain emails may look like they come from Amazon, but in reality do not. Be careful of emails that:
- come from an email address that doesn't end in "@amazon.com"
- contain order confirmations for items you know you didn't order (do not open or download the attachments!)
- ask you to update your billing information
- ask you for personal information, including your Amazon user name or password
- contain links to websites that aren't part of Amazon.com or its international derivatives
- contain spelling or grammar errors
When in doubt, log into your account on Amazon and check your order history and account settings. If nothing is out of place, then chances are that you're dealing with a fake email. It's best to just delete it.
If you think something's up, try changing your account password. If you think someone has figured out how to get into your Amazon account, or might know a way in, go to your account settings and change your password. This may throw them off.
When you're done using Amazon, log out. This is more for if you're using Amazon on a computer that other people will be using, in order to keep them from being able to automatically log into your account and mess with it. But it's still a good general tip.
Usually, Amazon itself is pretty reliable when it comes to getting your physical merchandise to you. If you live in the U.S., goods usually take between 1 and 7 business days to get from Amazon to you, depending on where you live and the shipping speed you've selected.
Third-party sellers are a bit of a different story. They will usually ship your merchandise within 2 business days of you placing your order, but depending on where you live, the shipping speed you choose, and whether the seller ships through Amazon or another common courier service, delivery times can fluctuate greatly. If you live in the U.S., they can range from 1 to 21 business days (but usually not more than 14), or if you live abroad, they can take from 3 business days to 12 weeks (due to customs delays)!
Again, this is why it's important to check a third-party seller's shipping policies, ratings and reviews to get an idea of if they're reliable or not, and contact them directly to discuss any concerns you have with getting your stuff in a timely fashion. And, if all else fails, you can file an A-to-z Guarantee Claim.
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