If you were to go to the market to buy a product, you would select your product, inspect properly, and make a direct payment for goods that you are sure are in good condition. It is a different ball game when shopping online.
There are a lot of risks involved while shopping online. Countless things could go wrong, and you may end up losing your money, getting a damaged or fake product, or not getting any at all. You do not want to get scammed online, and this is why you have to watch out for red flags and warning signs when shopping online.
When on an eCommerce site, especially if it is one you are not familiar with, there are guidelines that you should follow to ensure you have a good experience or, at worst, you do not fall victim to paying for a bad deal. Here are six tips that should help you.
1. Use a Trusted Site
The first step towards having a smooth ride shopping online is choosing a credible site to shop. There are various kinds of platforms you can shop from, some with mouth-watering deals. It is, however, safe for you to stick to known and reliable sites.
Online shopping could also entail buying from a vendor on social media. Here you must be sure that the source you are purchasing from is verified in the least or links you to an appropriate website. You do not want to pay to a fake site or account for a product that never existed.
Signs that you are on a secure and trustworthy site:
- HTTPS in the browser bar and/or click on the padlock to confirm the site has a valid SSL/TLS certificate
- A legitimate trust seal
Any suspicious pop-ups or redirects should be taken seriously. If you encounter either of these in your web search, your best bet is to not take any action on the page and to navigate away or close it out immediately.
2. Check the Product Specification
Product Specification is that part that tells you all about the product you are about to purchase. It is where you should take your time when shopping online.
Pictures of products can often mislead you, but when you carefully go through the product description or specification, you can get all the needed information on the product you want to buy to help you create the product’s right mental image.
Important features to note will be size, color, weight, production material, and functionalities if you are going for a technological device.
3. Reviews Will Direct You
It’s possible you are on a new site or buying from a new vendor on a trusted site; reviews will always guide you on what product to get and what to ignore.
Reviews are comments and feedback given by other customers who have purchased and used the product you are about to get. Most times, you will see a star rating of 1-5. Products with 4-5 stars are generally worth buying.
4. Delivery and Shipping
Delivery could ruin what could have been an outstanding shopping experience. Goods could leave the store in good condition and get destroyed during shipping. If you know you will have to ship your goods down to your location, especially when shipping will take days or weeks, you have to carefully choose your shipping options.
While faster delivery will cost more, they are mostly safer than cheaper options. You can request recommendations on the best company to use for delivery and maybe look out for opportunities to insure your goods while in transit.
Payment options are also essential considerations to look into when shopping online. Payment is the point where you make a financial commitment, and after this, you become a massive risk bearer in the transaction, at least until completion.
If you are shopping on a platform that you are not familiar with, you should choose to pay on delivery if possible. You may often lose certain privileges by selecting this payment option, but it is safer until you can trust their payment platform enough.
Avoid making payments into a personal account. It is a big red flag when you are shopping online. Pay using trusted payment platforms or pay into corporate accounts as they are less likely to be associated with fraudulent activities.
6. Terms and Conditions
There are always terms and conditions of use on every online platform, especially when trading is involved. You should carefully read through these sets of statements to fully understand their operation’s dos and don’ts before making payment.
Terms and conditions mostly protect the sellers, and this is why you have to read through them carefully. If you have clauses that you feel puts you at risk during the transaction, refrain from using that particular online platform for shopping.
The pandemic has definitely induced a style of shopping that is almost exclusively online, be it commodities, or other products, such as e-bikes, jewelry, clothes and the list goes on, so it is important that you as a buyer feel confident in your purchases, and that’s why you need to make sure that you are aware what the Terms & Conditions imply. However, comfort is of no use if you do not get value for the money paid on products. It is why you should always use tested and trusted sites that deliver a quality online shopping experience for all kinds of quality products.
Note: This blog article was written by a guest contributor for the purpose of offering a wider variety of content for our readers. The opinions expressed in this guest author article are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect those of GlobalSign.