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Online shopping. Where in the world are you buying stuff?

Alex Christie

10 August 2009

I don’t like shopping at the best of times. People, parking, and getting my moth ridden wallet out. But when I am forced to go into an actual shop, I always get the feeling I have found what I want but could get a better deal online. So I toddle out of the shop and plug in my computer.

Even though I know the prices will probably be better online – I still want the security of knowing that the item is coming from in the UK, and can be relied upon to appear some time soon. Searching for something on amazon.co.uk instead of amazon.com not only gives me confidence in the knowledge the currency I’ll have to pay in will be relevant to me (and less than in a high street shop), but that delivery time will be of a minimum because it’s a UK site. I can be sure it will be posted to me from only a few miles away, right? Wrong.

online shopping

That sense of security we all have with co.uk sites and all the legitimate labels of legitimacy that are always offered aren’t necessarily true. Anyone can buy a co.uk website it emerges, from anywhere in the world in fact. You can catch them out by WHOIS’ing a website, as purchasers of domains are legally bound to produce a valid address when registering. But really, who is going to think of doing that as you’re getting all excited over that fantastic and amazing toaster you’ve always wanted…? Countries such as France and Spain don’t allow companies outside their country to register and use their national name within a domain, but us British are just a bit too soft…

So a word of warning, when those fantastic new trainers you’ve always wanted come up for sale on a co.uk site at £25, there’s no guarantee they’re authentic. But is it worth trying your luck anyway? They are cheap, and oh so shiny..!

Tags: Domain, whois


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