Online shopping has become a normal thing in this day and age. Since the past decade, the e-commerce industry has grown exponentially. More and more people are showing interest in buying things from online stores with each passing day. E-commerce giants like Amazon have made it easy for people to buy anything online. People have fallen in love with the idea of online shopping and there are plenty of good reasons for it. The first one being convenience. If you want to buy something online all you have to do is select the item you want to buy, fill in your address, select your preferred payment method and place your order. That’s it your order will be delivered to your doorstep.
Another reason is the wide range of products to choose from. If you want to buy a shoe and you go to a local store they have only a limited number of models. But if you visit online stores you will have hundreds if not thousands of models to choose from. Apart from all these benefits, you will also find great deals on online shopping platforms. However, many people fall prey to online shopping scams. Many people don’t know what to do in such situations. Most of the time there is nothing you can do after you lose money. But you can definitely prevent yourself from getting scammed.
Here are a few tips that you can follow for safe online shopping.
Buy from reputed e-commerce websites
This is the most simple thing that you can do if you want to get a safe online shopping experience. A lot of people keep searching for good deals on the internet. During this time they stumble upon these offers that are unbelievable. But oftentimes what happens is these offers are given by e-commerce websites that no one has heard of. People pay the money but do not receive any product. Sometimes they receive the parcel only to find a damaged product. Buying from a reputed e-commerce website like Amazon exponentially decreases the chances of getting damaged products and even if you do you can always return it or ask for a refund.
Always keep track of your orders
If you buy anything from any online shopping platform you will be able to track the package in real-time. Most of the popular e-commerce websites are using blockchain technology to provide information about the shipments in real-time. So if you ever place your order you should be able to track your package. Even if you are buying from a lesser-known e-commerce website you can still track your shipment. Track & Trace shipment using online parcel tracking systems like PostTrack. This will help you know where exactly your product is and when it is going to be delivered.
Check out the details of the merchant
This is something that a lot of people do not know that they should do before buying an item online. When people shop from online shopping platforms like Amazon, most of them think that Amazon is selling products to them. This is completely wrong. These platforms act merely as a bridge between the customer and merchants. Merchants join Amazon and list the products they sell. When a customer places an order the merchant packs the item and gives it to an Amazon agent who then starts the delivery process.
Many times fake retailers sign up to Amazon and list the items they don’t own. These people give ridiculous offers and people buy from them thinking they are legitimate. Only after receiving the parcel, they will know that merchants are fake. Most of the popular e-commerce has a particular symbol to assure if the retailers are legitimate or not. Look out for that symbol or icon before buying anything even from reputed websites
Check security and Create strong passwords
Identity theft has become very common in this day and age. The number of cyberattacks is increasing every year. Even though many of the e-commerce websites are very secure you still have to be a little cautious. Sometimes you may receive links which if you open will direct you to the e-commerce website that looks identical to the ones you use to shop but they are not. You can know this by reading the URL completely as there will be a slight change in the name of the website. Do not fall for these scams.
When you open an e-commerce website check whether the URL starts with “HTTPS”. The easiest way to protect your personal information is by creating strong passwords. Do not create passwords using your phone number, name, or date of birth. Go for a complex one that has letters, characters, and numbers. This will make it very difficult to crack your passwords.
Share minimum personal information
Social media platforms and many other websites are asking you to provide your personal information these days. The amount of information that you have to provide on social media and e-commerce websites is unbelievable. But if you notice that you can get your job done without providing more information then go for it. Once you sign up for a website using your Facebook account or Gmail account you don’t have to provide more information. In case if any website asks you for more information it is better to back out.
See if the deal is legitimate
Sometimes you will find these ridiculous deals on e-commerce websites. They would be offering products from top brands for a very low price. Most of the time these retailers who put up those offers would be selling fake goods. So before buying the product do some research to see if the deal is legitimate. The easiest way to know this is by looking at the user reviews. If someone has already bought products from them they will definitely write a review if they receive a fake product.
Buy using mobile payments
Most people only use two types of payment methods. Those are payments through credit card or cash on delivery. Payment using a debit or credit card is still risky sometimes. Instead, use your mobile to pay for the goods you order. This is a new but very effective payment method. Using Google Pay or other similar applications is better than using a debit card.
Report fake retailers
As mentioned earlier there are many people on e-commerce websites who pose as legitimate retailers and sell fake products. It is sometimes hard to identify them. But if you bought something from such scammers then make sure that you report them to the company’s customer support. They will remove them from their website after you report them.
Compare items on multiple e-commerce sites
People shop online not only for convenience but also to get the best deals. So if you want to get the best deals you must not stick to a single e-commerce website. Check out multiple e-commerce websites and compare the price. Give a look at what is the price they are quoting for the same product on each of these websites. This will make sure that you get the best deal for a product. Once you confirm that it is from a legitimate retailer, place your order.
Know the return policy
You have to know the return policy so that you can return a product in case you don’t want or like it. The return policy for every site is different so read it thoroughly. Sometimes even if you get the product you ordered it could be damaged, the size could be smaller or the color could be different. Knowing the return policy will help you know the best way to deal with such situations.
You may have done a lot of online shopping and may not have faced any problem till now. But dismissing the possibility of a potential threat is foolish. You never know what could happen. So it is good to make sure that you follow all the steps to ensure that you don’t get scammed. Following the tips mentioned above will ensure safe online shopping.