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Last updated on April 28, 2019
Ecommerce is amazing, which is proven by the fact that millions of people shop online and that number is growing by millions every year. In fact, 8.8%of all retail shopping worldwide was done online, and it was only 5.9% in 2014. The ecommerce industry generates about $2.5 trillion in revenue, but it also suffers huge losses. Scams and chargebacks cost this industry over $6.7 billion a year. Those are the money lost by people like you, who choose to shop online for the sake of convenience and better offers. However, millions of these people become prey for scammers, which means they lose quite a bit of money.
To avoid this, you need to know what to watch out for and how to avoid common online shopping scams.
In This Post:
3 Tips on How to Avoid Online Shopping Scams
1. Run a full security and reliability check on the website
Does the website have a security certificate? Is it HTTP or HTTPS? What kind of payment methods does it use and how secure are they? Does the business have a physical office with the address provided on the website? Is the website mistake-free and does it look professional? Are Terms and Conditions as well as Return Policy clearly explained? What kind of encryption does the online retailer use?
Only buy from an online shop is answers to all these questions are satisfactory. Take your time to research what kinds of digital security certificates exist so you can understand how safe the website is.
While running a check on the website itself, don’t forget to research the shop itself. Is the brand popular? What do customer reviews tell about it? Is it accredited with the Better Business Bureau or some other reputed authority?
2. Ditch eBay
One of the best methods of avoiding scams is avoiding online shopping platforms that are infested with scammers. Sadly, eBay is one of them today. It’s true that there are good reliable sellers there, but the huge number of frauds makes the risks too high, so for the sake of preventing problems, you should consider an eBay alternative. Today you have many of those, like TrueGether, Amazon, Etsy, ArtFire or Walmart.
Note that those platforms have some scammers too, so you need to be vigilant at all times. However, these online retail websites don’t come with as many worrying news reports about fraud as eBay does. Today you can find multiple stories of scams coming from both sellers and buyers. The majority of those complain about how unhelpful the eBay customer support is and how the platform itself is abetting frauds by refusing to punish them yet blocking honest users who didn’t break any rules.
3. Get a reality check
The most dangerous ecommerce offers are the ones that seem too good to be true. They appear this way because they aren’t true. Therefore, you should do some market research to determine average prices of the stuff you want to buy.
If the shop you want to buy from offers below average prices (but not by much), you might have actually gotten lucky and scored one of the rare great deals that make online shopping so good for money-savvy people. However, if the average price on the market is $500 and you see a $100 deal, move on to something a bit more realistic. The chance is that even if you do get the item you pay for, it will be extremely low quality.
Please bear in mind that online shopping scams are becoming more sophisticated because frauds understand that the consumer of today won’t fall for a fool’s trick. Therefore, you should always be on guards and double-check everything before paying for anything.