"A few tips on how to buy safely online and what to stay away from."
The world is getting to be a smaller place these days. The internet and specifically internet buying has become an everyday thing for most people and bargains can be had from all corners of the globe, but is this a good thing, or a bad? Well, It depends on who you buy from.
As a rule, the best way to buy online is from a large reputable company. The reason is, that they usually sell from a position of being in the retail sector for many years. Large companies have traded in shops for years and years and their success has naturaly taken them from the shop, to online. The reason that this is the best way to buy is because they know how to look after customers already. The online side to their business is an extention of the existing customer and shop base business, so you can be assured that 1. They know how to look after customers and 2. They sell original product and there is after sales service, if anything goes wrong.
This last point is probably the most important. Let's face it, things go wrong. Somebody clicked the wrong button and ordered the wrong size, shape, loft, brand, whatever... The show of a good online company is the way they handle this side of the business. Most of the great ones have a way to return and a way to exchange. If they don't, then you should be very wary about buying anything from them.
Take this recent horrible story that happened to me. eBay is thought of as a great place to buy things. I can tell you from personal experience, that this is not the case when it comes to sellers that want to swindle and lie to you. Don't think that there are not plenty of them out there either. eBay protect these sellers because they refuse to give you details about them and in a problem situation, they will always side with the seller. After all, it is in their best interest to look after the people who pay them to be in business. DO NOT THINK THAT EBAY CUSTOMER SERVICE WILL HELP YOU OUT, because they will not. They will tell you they will, but in the end, they will not.
I recently purchased an item on eBay and the seller decided that they just did not want to send me the item. Apparently, they were not going to make enough money on the sale, so demanded that I take a refund and forget the sale. I was not prepared to do this, so asked for some help from Paypal and eBay. After telling my story for about 10-12 days, there was still no movement from the seller. Paypal told me they would force the seller to send the product. Ebay told me they would force the seller to send the product. Both companies just completely lied to me and sided with the seller. This left me with nothing. The seller made a commitment to the sale, I paid for the item, they refused to send it and eBay and Paypal did nothing to help. Why? Because the seller is always right and the customer DOES NOT MATTER! Just so you know to stay away from them, the sellers name was byme_925 and they sell from China. Stay away from this seller and stay away from buying on eBay from China. The sellers remain anonymous and you can do nothing about it.
That's the bad, but don't let it take you away from buying online. If you buy local, it is the best way to get the best and safest deal. When I say local, I don't mean in your neighborhood, I mean within Australia. There are plenty of large online companies in Australia that give you great deals on all things golf. Sure, there are some great companies in America that will send you products, but sometimes the exchange rate and the cost of import tax can bite and you will end up paying far more than what you pay here.
If there is something that you just absolutely "have to have" because it is not sold in Australia, then this can be the only option. If you have to, then use a big company like RockBottom Golf or Golf Galaxy. I have received items from both of these companies and they are great to deal with. Just always check the current exchange rate, because it is sometimes an expensive excercise.
Of the Australian companies, Golf Clearance Outlet and GolfBox seem to be the cheapest. Both of these guys send things anywhere in Australia and most of the time, there is no shipping costs either. The other retail outlets like House of Golf, Golfworld and Drummond Golf do send product around Australia, but they are a little more expensive than the previous mentioned two.
It is always a good idea to check product out before you buy online. If there looks to be a great bargain online and you are thinking about getting it, you should go to your local golf shop or talk to your golf pro at your club about it. Make sure it is the thing that will suit your game, not just the thing that is cheap. Some bargains are just not for you. Don't charge into buying a set of stiff flex irons if you swing slowly.
Beware of the click, click, click websites because sometimes, even though you think you have it right, you click the wrong thing. Check it's left or right handed. Check it's the right loft and the right flex for you. Check the colour of the golf ball you are about to buy. A recent customer of mine bought 3 dozen golf balls because they were cheap, but on arrival, they were pink! His friends thought it was hilarious, but he did not, so be careful what you click. Always check out what you have purchased before you hit the final pay buttons.
Cross your t's and dot you I's when you order online and make sure you order from someone who will be there if anything goes wrong. Sometimes, it is your fault, sometimes it is theirs, but either way, if you buy from a reputable company, it will be sorted out for you and the product WILL arrive exactly how you want it to, intact and ready for the course. If you are worried, just give the company a call. They will always have a help line that will make your purchase easier.
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Well, There you have it. Stay with the big companies and you can't go wrong. Stay away from eBay and similar sites because you just don't know if you will get anything back after you buy it.