Online shopping has without a doubt become the norm as the internet continues to reshape the way we shop.
With retail apps and social media stores adding to consumers’ online options as well as the recent coronavirus pandemic, more people have opted to shop from home. But online shoppers aren’t the only ones keeping up the pace with retail apps and social media stores. Cybercriminals are also on the lose.
According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), online purchasing is the most common scam type reported to the Bureau. In the first seven months of 2020, about 38 percent of complaints were reported to the BBB’s Scam Tracker; a rise up from 24 percent in 2019.
If you need some useful tips on how to make purchases online without being scammed, Collected Reviews might have a handful of tips for you.
The most common shopping scam start with a bogus website, mobile app or social media ad so if you need help with finding authentic and real brands or stores, here are some helpful reviews about online shopping sites you can check out.
Signs to Look for on E-Commerce Sites
The Better Business Bureau emphasizes: “Almost anything that can be shipped can be counterfeited and sold online…It is difficult for the general public to know if a site is real or is selling counterfeit goods.”
So with this in mind, you’ll likely be wondering how consumers can tell if they’ve found a good deal, or one that’s too good to be true?
The best way to expose a fake trader or illicit online shopping site is to search for reviews before purchasing.
When determining whether you’re shopping from a safe site selling authentic products or an illicit site, here are some factors to consider before making any purchases:
1. The Seller
A legit e-commerce site should clearly identify the seller behind the product. You need to check if the seller is the brand owner or if it is a third-party e-commerce site.
2. Contact Information
An authentic online shop is also more likely to list a company-specific email address, physical address and a phone number in the website’s contact information whereas illicit sites mostly often have a P.O. Box rather than a physical address, a “contact us” page and/or a generic email address.
3. Website Content
The advancement of technology, computer education and the availability of free website building and hosting services makes it easy for anyone to set up a professional-looking website and mimic the appearance of authentic sites as well as feature product pictures that are the real thing. Consumers are encouraged to know the hallmarks of real products, including brand markings and other unique details. This will help them to quickly confirm that the product is the same as what’s advertised on the e-commerce site, and is, in fact, the real thing.