Online shopping has made our lives easier. It helps us to avoid going out to buy stuff in harsh weather conditions. It allows us to buy whatever we want with just a few clicks from all over the world and it helps us to get great discounts on sites like eBay and its alternates.
But like everything, online shopping has a few downsides too. One of the downsides is the advent of fake products online. When you are shopping online, it’s harder to recognize a fake from an original one as compared to when you are shopping offline.
If you have been cheated before or someone you know has been cheated via the advent of fake products online, you should learn the 7 ways to detect fake products online mentioned here. It will help you to be a smart shopper and avoid losing your money.
- Check the Prices
Many online sellers offer discounts from time to time to keep the shoppers hooked and motivate them to buy more. While there is nothing wrong in considering those products, you should realize that there is a limit to the maximum discount a seller can offer. After all, they are doing the business to earn money and won’t like the losses. So, if you see an expensive product sold at extremely low prices, like Nike sports shoes being sold at less than 50$, a price that is too good to be true, you should avoid such a deal.
- Examine the Seller Page or Website
A genuine seller would make an effort to mention about the company; its products, shipping policy, and probably create FAQs to help buyers get what they want. So, if the seller has not provided any information about himself, herself, or the company he or she is representing, you will be smart to skip that seller. The same principles apply to online shopping websites.
- Read the Return Conditions
Every genuine seller of products would create a return policy that will explain whether you can cancel an order or not, how soon you can return an item for a refund, in which cases the refunds would be allowed and who will pay the shipping costs when it comes to returning a defective or wrong product. If the Return policy is not there, check the contact details and ask them about it. If you get generic answers or no response, it’s better to shop elsewhere.
- Confirm Authenticity
In case a seller or a website owner is claiming to be an authorized dealer of a particular brand, it’s smart to confirm their authenticity by contacting the brand. It will ensure that you don’t get cheated. In most cases, you won’t even need to pick up the phone; you can simply visit the brand’s website and see the list of authorized sellers there. If there are too many, you can simply search by using the control plus F feature and find the name you are seeking.
- Do This Simple Check
If you have a shred of doubt that the deal offered by an online seller or website is fake, you should do a simple check. Look for the website’s history of cheating other customers. Just go to any search engine, type the seller or website name and type BBB or Customer Complaints along with it. The results will let you know whether the company has cheated customers in the past or not.
- Ask Around
When you suspect that an online seller or website might cheat you, ask people in your personal, professional, and social circles about whether they have shopped from it. You can also take the help of social media platforms to ask the opinions of others. A person in your network would likely have tried or had been scammed by that seller or website.
- Learn the Basic IT Security Features
If you are visiting a website that has “HTTP” instead of “HTTPS,” you are risking your online safety. Similarly, if the website is asking for a specific payment method, it should be an alarm bell. Do some internet research and learn some basic IT security protocols before you try online shopping. A fake goods seller would never spend money on IT security while a good brand would never hold back on investing in IT security if it helps customers get some peace of mind.
In essence, it can be said that though there are many fake product sellers online, you can prevent yourself from being trapped by them by being smart. Follow all the tips mentioned above and try to avoid sharing your personal details or credit card details with anyone you don’t completely trust. Remember, if you are not careful, a $100 discount can lead to the hacking of your sensitive information and losses of thousands of dollars! You can also refer to one of our previous blogs ‘Prevention from Online Scammers‘.