Victim of An Online Shopping Scam? Check These Tips on How To Prevent Them

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Online shopping is becoming the main option in buying almost anything. Gone are the days where you must drive or travel to a certain physical store to buy something that you want. Nowadays, almost anything can be purchased with just a few clicks or taps on your laptop or smartphone. It will then be conveniently delivered right at your doorstep. Online shopping is so convenient that statistics have shown that there is an exponential influx of people do online shopping and prefer it than buying things on physical store. More people are doing it and eventually more sellers are venturing into this platform to sell their products.

You are probably one of these people and probably have done quite a few times already. You use this platform because of a lot of advantages to you, but how well do you know its disadvantages / risks? Read on to know about it further:

  • You cannot see the actual product until it gets delivered to you. This is the major disadvantage of shopping online. When shopping at a physical store, you have the freedom to look at the product closely and observe its details (even up to the minor details) before you buy them. In online shopping, you are limited to the images / videos the seller uploaded on the page, and you rely mainly to them to deliver you the product with the best quality possible.
  • It has a shipping fee. Normally, shipping fees are excluded on the price tags upfront so some people may be surprised to see how much the total amount to be paid would cost specially to bulky and heavy products that they buy online.
  • You CANNOT barter for the best price possible. Unlike shopping at a physical store, bartering is almost (if not completely impossible) impossible in online shopping.
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OK, let’s say you understand all these risks and disadvantages and have accepted them. You are doing a lot of online shopping but have encountered horrific surprises when the product was delivered to you. Horrific surprises such as wrong color, wrong size, wrong item, or even wrong product compared to the images on the seller page (completely different). Yes you can, you just have to be fully observant and vigilant.

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Here are a few hacks for you to beat these online shopping “scams” and do the below first before “add to cart” and finally do a “check out”:

1. Read between the lines

Always be on the lookout for all the things mentioned on the seller’s page. You have to be mindful much like buying at a physical store

Look out on the following:

  • Product description. Sometimes there are details included on the description that you may have missed out before doing an “add to cart”. Details such as below:

The above items shows an image of a branded cap, however, if you look further on the details, it is saying otherwise. In this manner, you should look out for this further.

  • Variants. Sometimes product descriptions can be misleading (let’s face it, sellers do that to attract browsers / potential buyers) so it is best to check variants first. People tend to be attracted to the price without fully knowing what comprises the price they are buying. Some people are attracted to the image of the product first and missed out on the price range that corresponds the items they want to buy. Again, online shopping should always be regarded as same with shopping at a physical store, so checking out the details is key.
  • READ the product details and specifications. Again, images can be misleading and sometimes even the product’s main description as well. In this regard, do the right vigilance in reading all the details and descriptions. They are usually in fine print or in small fonts so you won’t bother to read and just “add to cart” and “check out”. In reading this, you can fully understand the items that you are planning to buy and if it is up to your liking, then you can “add to cart” with ease and confidence.

2. Be aware, always be aware.

Let’s face it, there are a lot of sellers out there that may be a scammer or selling items that are too good to be true. You really have to be mindful of them before “add to cart” and finally do a “check out”. Here are some pointers:

  • Check the authenticity in accordance to its price. Some sellers put up an image of the product emphasizing the brand, but its actual description and sometimes the price does not actually correspond to it. This is a flag that you have to be aware of. If you checked out just by relying on the image alone, or you got attracted to the price because it is just 1/10 of the original or usual price, then you may be buying a counterfeit item or an imitation of a genuine one.
  • If in doubt, ask the seller. Usually, things found on the seller’s page is intended to attract the buyer like you. But if there are some things that don’t add-up or confuse you, you have all the right to ask the seller before finally purchasing the said item.
  • Shipping disputes is really a pain specially in online shopping. The hassle of shipping the item back to the seller and wait for another time to get the correct item you bought will add to the burden. Much worse, following them up endlessly to deliver the correct item is sometimes inevitable. Online shopping is very convenient, but if you do it the right way. Do your diligence and be vigilant.
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Just enjoy shopping

Do the above things before finally purchasing the item and surely you will enjoy the item you have bought. You will then avoid this hassle and move on to another item to buy on your online shopping adventures.

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