The risks of online shopping
Some may blame the sudden rage for online shopping on the pandemic but if experts are to be believed, the click and buy retail methods had been silently and not-so-silently wooing us for quite some time now. Owing to the convenience of not having to step out of the home, to easy exchange offers and lucrative discounts, online shopping methods have piqued the interests of avid shoppers and garnered buckets of praise for themselves over the years. While some people may have fallen prey to cheats along the way, the instances were few and far between. However, as the online market sees an unprecedented boom, cunning sellers behind keyboards have also increased in number and might, making this love affair a fickle and dubious one. As such, the best way to save yourself from tricksters on the other end, is to look for some fairly common red flags.
While it is easy to be lured by low prices, it is always good to remember that quality products demand a certain price point. If most other sites or seller pages are quoting a common figure for a product and one slick vendor is promising it at a heavily discounted rate, run. Shut the site, get off the page and offer a small prayer of gratitude for not giving in to the temptation. It is nothing but trouble and more often than not, buyers will either receive nothing in return for their payments, or at best, a messy copy of the product they originally ordered, after multiple delivery delays.
Often times, sellers will be selling high-end items from a rural area or a small town where their wares are neither heard of, nor available. Whether they even have the items they claim to sell is open to interpretation. These vendors regularly ask customers for advance delivery charges or 50 percent of the product price, citing long delivery distance and high delivery costs as their reasons, often pressuring them to act fast by offering attractive deals. Once the money is wired, these pages block the buyers off their social media accounts or sites and are nowhere to be found. Needless to say, the product is never delivered.
There is something suspicious behind a page owner that does not like sending actual pictures of their products and relies instead on photos taken off the net. Naïve buyers may sometimes get blinded by the allure of photoshopped imagery and dolled up models and throw away hard earned cash without first checking the product they receive. Honest owners will never hesitate to send pictures, product QR codes and everything else they can, to assuage buyers' concerns and anyone that does is not looking out for your best interests.
It's a new page without a lot of posts, none of the pictures look authentic and most importantly, the page does not have a section where customers can review them. Duped customers are a scammer's worst nightmare and they often wish to break all contact with them once they are done with their deception. As negative reviews can hurt their intention to cheat more buyers down the line, they design their sites and pages in such a way that customers can neither tag them, nor provide honest reviews for their products. If the page also asks for an advance payment, that's a deeper shade of red for your proverbial flag. Steer clear of such sites and seller pages, they reek of organised sham.