So yesterday you searched Google for XYZ brand boots and now you see these boots on Facebook, eBay and just got an unexpected XYZ boot sale email? You can find anything on the internet, but unfortunately that comes with a caveat: you can easily be found (and tracked) too. Google’s remarketing campaigns can be good for companies, but it doesn’t help insure trust in the internet. There aren’t many of us who haven’t received a letter in the mail letting us know that due to some giant data breach, your credit card or department store card or even medical history has been compromised. Actually, all three have happened to me from in less than a year. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to deal in local, cash only markets and there is an inherent personal safety risk in that as well.
So, what do we do about it? The BBB and Federal Trade Commission offer some solid tips, but understand nothing is 100%. Black Star Surplus is a secure website, as is The Better Business Bureaus #3 tip; just add something to your cart and see the https and browser icon update! You can check out with Paypal or call to place your order over the phone directly with our small US based business where Chris is almost certainly the person you will speak to. If you’re near Oklahoma City, you can also shop with us in person (with cash or credit card)!
What about tracking your every move on the internet and getting personalized ads for the next two weeks? Like almost every internet based business, we are associated with several third-party sites that collect anonymous but detailed data about what people do on our site, such as Google Analytics. We use this to see how people are finding us, what they are looking at and even why they left the website. It helps us make site improvements like grouping our camping essentials into a single search area- which has helped sales. The information is anonymous, but if you still have concerns we recommend this add-on to your browser to help YOU see and control what information is being tracked and by whom (just don’t opt-in to their anonymous sharing program). This does not mean you can shop without anyone knowing, but it does mean WE won’t see your anonymous browsing on our site. You might also be interested in a search engine that promises not to track your search information. Keep in mind that this privacy search does nothing to protect you once you click on any of the results. Although we know everything can be tracked back to you, these steps help eliminate issues most of us have: seeing remarketing ads all over the internet and knowing 10 third part aps (or more!) are getting your information and making us feel like big brother is watching every search we make. We use the anonymous information we gather only to try to survive in today’s market. We are a small business trying just to support our workers and their families and compete in a world where marketplaces eat a lot of our profits.
If you still have questions or concerns, give us a call from your neighbors phone and we’ll be happy to help you place your order 🙂
Written by Sierra Vaughn for Black Star Surplus July 2015.