Internet commerce is a massive industry these days. And you probably buy from the web yourself. But you need to make sure you don't get ripped off when buying online.
Woman happy while shopping online - Image Courtesy of Pixabay
Check Out the Reputation of the Seller
Always check the reputation of a vendor before making a purchase decision. Unfortunately, some vendors will lie about their products. So you must do everything you can to verify they are worth the time and money. For instance, a reputable vendor selling a 3 carat diamond ring will always have verified sales. You can find this information by Googling the business or using review sites like Trustpilot. However, these might contain fake reviews. Fake reviews typically have bad grammar, are overly positive or overly critical, or tell an unnecessary personal story.
Check an eCommerce Site's About Page
The "About" page is an often overlooked part of a website. While many people don't consider it important, the About page is there for a reason. It is designed to engage with users and provide them with details they need to identify with a company or individual. Dishonest eCommerce sites will often ignore writing a good About page. So always check. Because you can tell a lot about a company from this area of their site. You can tell a less-than-reputable site because their About page will be vague with no authentic details or genuine contact information.
Don't Ripped Off When Buying Online with Hidden Fees
Another standard rip-off tactic by poor vendors is adding on hidden fees when you buy something. One of the most typical is adding a high delivery charge at the end of the checkout process. This is why shopping cart abandonment accounts for 70% of failed transactions on poor eCommerce sites. But they can also include other charges such as a first-time buyer fee, a one-off subscription payment, or even a bank charge. Additionally, some very dodgy businesses might also set up recurring payments for something in the tiny print of the Ts & Cs.
Always Shop Around
There are always multiple choices for buying something online. So no matter what you are looking for, you can shop around for what you want. Of course, it's a good habit to compare prices anyway. But even if something is more expensive somewhere else, it might still be cheaper if others charge for delivery. So it becomes a bit of a game, deciding from which site to buy. If in doubt, always go with the biggest and most reputable vendors, such as Amazon. And even on Amazon, you can still support smaller third-party resellers on their platform.
Look for Signs of Data Security
It's helpful to stay vigilant about your data when shopping online. This is one of the main reasons why it's better to use larger platforms; they often have top-notch cybersecurity. When you buy something from an online vendor, you must hand over personal data such as your address and bank details. And that's it. A reputable seller doesn't need your social security number or your mother's maiden name. Additionally, you can check that the site is secure by looking for the padlock symbol and whether the URL begins with 'HTTPS://' instead of 'HTTP://.'
You can get ripped off when buying online. But you can help prevent disappointment by checking a vendor's reputation, looking for hidden fees, and reviewing data security.