MU Extension MU Extension       University of Missouri    ●    Columbia    ●    Kansas City       Rolla     ●    St. Louis - Money Matters - Consumer Action


Quick Answers...Shopping


Is it a good idea to buy items by mail?

Buying by mail is an easy way for some people to shop. It saves time and energy, and sometimes money.

To avoid any problems, ask yourself a few simple questions before placing an order:

  • Is the item you want to buy described well in words, not just pictures? Is it really what you want?
  • After adding the handling and shipping charges to the regular price, is it still a good buy?
  • If you are not happy with it, can you return the item and get a refund? How much would it cost to return it?
  • Know your rights as a consumer when buying by mail. The seller must send the item as promised. When no date is given, the item must be sent within 30 days. If not, the buyer may cancel the order and get a quick refund.
  • Protect yourself - do not send cash. Send a check or money order. Keep a copy of the ad, your order and payment receipt. If you have a problem, ask your local post office to help you.


Written by:
Sandra McKinnon, Family Financial Education Specialist, University of Missouri-Extension
Cynthia E. Crawford, Ph.D., Family Financial Education Specialist, University of Missouri-Extension



Can't Find Your Question Here? Try Searching Our Quick Answer Knowledge Base

Last update: Wednesday, April 19, 2006




University of Missouri logo links to

Site Administrator: 
Copyright  ADA  Equal Opportunity

MissouriFamilies is produced by the College of Human Environmental Sciences,
Extension Division, University of Missouri-Columbia