The arrival of online shopping has revolutionized the retail industry. Now, it is possible to shop whenever you want, however you want, without even needing to get dressed. While online shopping brings the benefits of tons of choice, convenience, and delivery to your door; there is also a less attractive side to buying goods online.
Unfortunately, not every single online seller is honest. There are many different ways that innocent shoppers can fall victim to unscrupulous sellers, so it is vital to be aware of the potential pitfalls of shopping online, as well as enjoying the many benefits that it offers.
Without a face to face experience, it is hard to tell who you are doing business with. Therefore, it makes sense to remain as vigilant as possible when purchasing items on the internet. Here are some points to think about before buying from an online seller:
Are the Goods Real or Fake?
Part of the appeal of online shopping is that you can find plenty of bargains. However, before you get out your credit card, you need to know if your bargain is really a bargain at all.
The luxury goods market, in particular, is rife with counterfeit goods. Often these fake items are very similar to the genuine article, so it can be incredibly hard to spot whether it is real or not. If the item is priced at a figure that seems too good to be true, then it may be a fake, so it should be avoided.
As well as counterfeit luxury items, luxury items are often sold through the gray market too. The term gray market refers to genuine goods, being sold through unauthorized distribution channels. Gray market items are often sold by unauthorized dealers from other countries so that they can achieve a better price; the items are then known as parallel import products. Luxury items such as parallel imported watches are often sold for far less than they would cost from an official retailer. The gray market is not illegal, but it does mean that the products have come through unauthorized distribution channels, and won’t have a valid manufacturer’s warranty.
Check Reviews Before You Check Out
Before you commit to an online purchase, you need to ensure that the seller is reliable and genuine. Online reviews and star ratings are a useful way of checking this out. Looking at the online reviews for every seller that you purchase from will minimize the chances of your money being taken, and your goods not arriving, or being stuck waiting for your products to be dispatched by an unreliable seller.
Make Security Your Priority
Staying security-aware is the best way to avoid hackers accessing your details, and viruses invading your computer.
Always look out for the padlock icon on the address bar of websites that you shop from to ensure that they are secure. Ensure that you have anti-virus software set-up on your computer, and keep your computer updated to keep it as secure as possible.