Tech Chat 78 - Tips for Holiday and Online Shopping Year Round

Most deals available online, though many will only last for a few hours or less.
When comparing prices, be sure to account for shipping costs.
Beware of stores selling you extra accessories for high prices.
The best deals aren't always on black Friday or Cyber Monday.
Know your merchant. Check out smaller companies online by searching for complaints.
If in doubt, just use sites that you know or that others have recommended.
Guard your password. Don’t ever give out your password to anyone, not even the merchant. A person who asks for your password most likely is someone who shouldn’t have it.

Use a credit card. Unlike a debit card, credit cards are not directly linked to your money, and by law, require consumers to be responsible for only the first $50 in fraudulent charges.

Keep your receipt. In case something goes wrong, make sure that you print out your receipt, and keep it on hand until you receive your order.

Confirm the online seller’s physical address and phone number in case you have questions or problems.

If you get an e-mail or pop-up message that asks for personal or financial information, never reply or click on the link in the message. Legitimate companies do not ask for this information via e-mail.

Know exactly what you are buying” and read the fine print. Watch for words like refurbished,” “vintage,” or “close-out.” These words “may indicate that the product is in less-than-mint condition, while name-brand items with ‘too-good-to-be-true’ prices could be counterfeits.

Know what the item you are buying will cost, including shipping and handling. Check out competitors’ websites for price comparisons. Do not send cash. “Check out the terms of the deal, like refund policies and delivery dates. Make sure you understand the seller’s return and refund policies. Find out when you can expect to receive your order. A Federal Trade Commission rule requires sellers to ship items as promised or within 30 days after the order date if no specific date is promised.

Print and save records of your online transactions, including the product description and price, the online receipt, and copies of correspondence with the seller. Read your credit cards statements as you receive them and be on the lookout for unauthorized charges.

Remember that e-mail is not a secure method of transmitting financial information like credit card numbers, or your Social Security number.

Check the privacy policy. The Web site should let you know what personal information its operators are collecting, why, and how the info will be used.

    Call the business. Find the telephone number on their contact page. If the company has no way to telephone them, then avoid conducting transactions with them. You can also try emailing them, but understand it will take longer for your email to be responded to. Always pay with a credit card. This gives you up to one year to dispute a transaction, and is also helpful if you get the wrong product, damaged items or unwanted charges. Always keep receipts, confirmation purchase web pages, and emails, and write down the date and time of any telephone correspondences including the person you spoke with. If all else fails,

  1. U.s. and Canadian residents can file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau
  2. Useful Links for Deals and Information

  3. Follow blindBargains on Twitter for Great Deals
  4. Follow SeroTalk on Twitter for the Latest Assistive Tech News
  5. BlindBargains Accessible Toys for the Young and Young at Heart with Vision Loss
  6. Second Podcast With SAMNet User's Favorite Online Shopping Sites - November 26, 2008.
  7. November issue of "AFB AccessWorld" Provides Gift Ideas for Everyone on Your List
  8. Accessible World presents Stocking Stuffers, November 8, 2010
  11. Three Price Comparison Sites

  12. from Google
  15. Links for 2010 Holidays

  16. Blind Bargains
  17. Blind Bargains Apps for Jaws and Window-Eyes
  18. Blind Bargains Classifieds
  19. Tech Gadgets

  20. New: Moshi Voice-activated Clock/radio for $59
  21. New Talking Instant Read Probe Thermometer for $35.95
  22. iBill Money Identifier for $99
  23. Accessible 4th Generation iPod Touch 64GB for $382.54 Shipped
  24. Accessible 6th generation Ipod nanno 16GB for $171.54 Shipped
  25. Black November at Newegg
  26. Amazon Black Friday starts Monday, November 22
  27. Cell Phones

  28. Accessible iPhones Starting at $19
  29. Wirefly (accessible Android and Symbian phones)
  30. Recreation

  31. New Bop It for $12.54
  32. 15 percent off Braille and Electronic Cookbooks at Blind Mice Mart Through December 5
  33. Brailled Pourfect Measuring Cups and Spoons
  34. Other Cool Stuff

  35. Groupon - One daily deal for your city (great for gift certificates)
  36. Try Amazon Prime for Free and get Free Two-Day Shipping, $3.99 Overnight Shipping
  37. Amazon Prime, Free for Students for a Year
  38. Amazon Prime, free for moms and Caregivers for 3 months
  39. 2010 Holiday Shipping Guide
  40. Tech Chats Made Possible Through Technology from Serotek Corporation

  41. Visit the Blog and Podcast for the Latest Access Technology Information
  42. Email Your Comments, Suggestions, and Ideas for Future Tech Chats and Podcast Segments
  43. Download iBlink Radio, Free App for the iPhone, with Radio Stations and Podcasts Created by the blind, Plus Radio Information Service Audio
  44. Serotek Corporation - System Access Screen reader, System Access Mobile Network, (SAMNet)< Remote Incident Manager, iBlink for the iPhone, and Accessible Event
  45. Try a Free Fully Functional Seven Day Trial of System Access and SAMNet Today by going to
  46. AccessibleEvent Makes Meetings and Webinars Accessible to the blind, Deaf, and Deaf-Blind
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