Online Food Shopping
The most obvious advantage of online gourmet food shopping is its convenience. Nevertheless, there are some important concerns about buying gourmet food online that all consumers should be aware of:
Food safety can be a concern with any food you buy, whether it's at the corner store or online. Standards for online food are as tough as those for all other foods.
Frozen food can be packed into dry ice which will keep products frozen for several days, even during the heat of summer. Fresh food, including live lobsters and other shellfish, is shipped in sealed containers. Check each company's web site to find precautions they take to ensure food safety.
Any reputable company guarantees that its products (such as wine baskets) will not arrive broken. Any breakage will be the fault of the courier company. The sales company will be responsible for straightening out the situation.
You can count on gourmet food to be expensive. However, there are some companies that inflate prices with limited justification. On the other hand, it is often true that you get what you pay for. If you look for a bargain in gourmet food, you may compromise quality.
Credit Card Security
Credit card security can be a concern anywhere, whether it's at the gas bar, at a gourmet restaurant or online. Many internet companies guarantee credit card security. Don't deal with one that doesn't. Keep a record of transactions by printing them out and filing them.
Guarantees and Return Policies
One simple rule: don't deal with any company that doesn't prominently stress these.
Three final suggestions:
- Check a company's website for customer testimonials.
- Check their history. How long have they been around?
- Use the website of the Better Business Bureau to investigate any company.