Guardian Self Defense and Security Blog

Selecting Online Self Defense Products

OK, you are looking for non-lethal self defense products for yourself, family or friends. A quick web search and you will soon realize that the selection of self defense products are endless. So how do you choose a product(s), how do you know that you'll get what you paid for? There are so many companies out there marketing pepper spray, stun guns, tasers, personal alarms, etc. It is quite overwhelming...what factors should I consider before I choose a company to put my trust in? Consumers face these questions each and everyday and lets face it ninety percent of the companies out there are "here today and gone tomorrow". Statistics show that most small businesses will fail within the first year! The first thing you should be aware of when shopping for on-line self defense products, or making any online purchase from a website for that matter is contact information. Does the company or website list a phone number that you can call for customer service? If they don't and only provide an email address that should be a "red" flag. Next, are they an established company, are they incorporated and members of the Better Business Bureau (BBB). BBB members are held to very high ethical standards, so look for the Better Business Bureau seal. How long has the company been in existence? If it is less than a year this should also set off a "red" flag. Chances are if you need to return a product or have problems in six months they will have gone out of business. Website security is huge today. Is the page where you are asked to input your credit card information secure? Look up at the URL and make sure it begins with HTTPS; if not I suggest you exist the site immediately. Their are companies out there spending thousands of dollars each month to ensure your financial information is safe, secure and encrypted. Look for "Secure Site" seals, for example Control Scan is a company that specializes in website security as well as business background checks. Security Metrics is another service that ensures the security of your financial information. The look and feel of a website can tell you a great deal about the company you are dealing with. Is the site a "cookie cutter" with the exact same design as hundreds or even thousands of other sites. This should be a "red flag". The site should be customized and unique in its design with easy navigation and a professional presence. You will also want to review the "return policy". This one can really burn the consumer. Make sure that if you order a product and it's not what you wanted, it's defective or it breaks in a year that you will be able to return for an exchange or refund. Some companies have a "All sales are final" return policy, which means "buyer beware." What type of shipping is offered and is the cost reasonable? Some companies will reduce the price of their products and claim to have the lowest prices. They will then turn around and "gauge you" with the cost of shipping. Another question to ask, what happens if you don't receive your shipment? The tracking says the product was delivered, but you have not received anything. Are you out of luck? Make sure that your shipment is insured. This means if you don't receive the shipment for whatever reason your still covered. There are certainly other factors to consider but we consider these to be critical. Hope you find this information to be helpful when you are shopping around for self defense products or anything on the web.
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