In today’s modern society, we find that brick-and-mortar stores are slowly fading in favor of eCommerce stores. Not only is this down to convenience, but the COVID-19 lockdown accelerated this fate since we weren’t allowed to visit physical stores. In spite of the convenience of online shopping, there’s no denying that it’s a lot easier to encounter scams online. This is especially true when anything and everything, from ladder accessories to hair curling tongs, can be ordered online. Therefore, it’s important to be on look out for signs of scam products when online shopping. Listed below are some of the top tips for avoiding scans.
Be Wary of Ridiculous Prices
First and foremost, it’s important to note that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. If you spot a brand-new pair of Christian Louboutin stilettos going for $50, the likelihood is that you’re being defrauded. The product will either show up and be a cheap counterfeit, or it may not be delivered at all. If you’re unsure, paying with PayPal means that you’re entitled to PayPal’s money back guarantee should you be scanned. Therefore, a site not accepting PayPal as a form of payment is also a red flag.
Investigate the Return and Warranty Policies
A suspicious warranty or returns policy is another tell-tale sign of a scam, so make sure to examine this ahead of purchase. Suspicious warranties include those that have a warranty shorter than a couple of weeks. Similarly, suspicious returns policies may have a very limited window; otherwise, they may insist that you pay for the product’s return, which is usually to an overseas address. The most well-renowned brands will all have certain return or warranty standards and, if the product you’re dealing with doesn’t adhere to these, it’s almost certainly a scam.
Scrutinize the Reviews
Reviews are a key element of deciding whether or not a product is legitimate; after all, why not learn the first-hand experience of real people? Despite this, consulting reviews isn’t as simple as looking at the rating. Retailers know how valuable reviews are, which is why so many will fake them. It’s usually quite easy to spot fake reviews. For instance, if a series of good reviews were added the same day or a handful of five-star reviews sit amongst various other one-star reviews, it’s likely that these aren’t genuine.
Do a Reverse Image Search
When selling fake products, vendors will often use an image from a legitimate vendor or a stock image. Performing a reverse image search will reveal where an image has come from; however, finding the image on another site isn’t sure fire evidence that the product isn’t legitimate. If the product is distributed across many retailers, they may well use the same image. Therefore, further checks are required after a reverse image search to determine the legitimacy of a product. If you feel as though a website gives off suspicious vibes, note that a recycled image contributes to this suspicion.
Research the Product Name
You should never underestimate the power of a traditional google search, as there’s a lot to be learned from such. Google is very good at collating online reviews so, if someone has had a bad experience with a product, you’ll likely discover this via a Google search. If you can’t find any information about the product from your standard Google search, it’s likely that the product has been made up. As a general rule of thumb, Google knows everything so, if Google doesn’t know, then nobody does.
Do you feel safer shopping online?