Ways To Find & Verify Suppliers You Can Trust
Online shopping is welcomed for its convenience and economy. However, some people are still skeptical of online shopping believing that they are more likely to be taken advantage of online than in a shop. With that in mind and conscious that the Christmas season is about to get underway, we have put together ten top tips on how to stay safe and secure when shopping online.
When you’re verifying a potential supplier you are essentially looking at these two aspects:
Does the supplier have the ability to produce the products you want to buy?
Is the company a legitimate business with good reputation and not a scam or business on the verge of bankruptcy?
10 Tips When Shopping Online
1. There is a return policy.
Reputable website will spell out their return policy, including their shipping policies. If you can’t find this information on the site, shop elsewhere.
2. Registered address and phone number
Any legitimate online business will have a registered address and phone number easily available on their website, so you can call them if you’re nervous about entering your details online.
3. Privacy statement
All major retailers will have a legal privacy statement on their website, which tells you how they protect the information you give them about yourself – including your credit card and other personal details – and whether they sell that information on to other companies. If you can’t see a privacy statement, contact the business to find out more about how they handle your information.
4. Good experiences from other users
If you know someone who’s used the site before, and had a good experience, that’s a promising sign
5. Trusted payment gateway
Lots of smaller online businesses use a payment portal such as PayPal to conduct their online transactions for them. If you’re redirected to a trusted payment site when it’s time to enter your card details, you can feel secure.
6. Call the business.
If the business has a number listed, call the number. See if they answer as the business and sound professional. If they do, this doesn't necessarily mean they are legitimate. However, if they don't, that's a sign you should take your business elsewhere.
7. Ask friends and family
A quick way to check is to use social media. Post the name of the online business on your account, for instance, and ask your friends if anyone knows anything about the company. Oftentimes, someone you know will have used the business, and they can confirm it is legitimate.
8. Review the company
Search engines like Google can also help uncover lots of useful information about a website. Try searching for reviews about the company – you may even uncover previous warnings from disgruntled customers or from the authorities
9. Look out for https URL and the padlock symbol
The ‘s’ in https incidentally, stands for secure. Websites that use https are safe because they utilise SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) to encrypt any information that is distributed online, such as your credit card details.
10. Be wary of dodgy offers that are too good to be true
It is advisable to be doubly vigilant during holiday seasons, like Christmas, where there does tend to be a lot of amazing and genuine offers. The more reliable the brand and the more secure the URL, the more likely it is that it’s authentic. If not, then walk away.
If The Supplier Dosen’t have a website.
If it’s too good to be true, guess what? It’s a scam.
Try to meet in a safe, public place and bring a friend.
Always call the seller. You’re a great judge of character! Also, you have just verified his or her phone number.
Agree on a plan. If it changes at the last minute, cancel.
If you are intimidated or made to feel guilty, leave immediately. It’s a scam.
Check the item before paying. If the item is electronic, plug it in or get it charged to see if it works the way you hoped! This is also true for housing rentals. If you can’t tour the house or apartment before renting it, it’s likely not available.
If you’re buying a cellphone check if the serial number (under the battery) is not 11111111111 and check if the serial number is the same as the one printed on the box. If it isn’t, walk away.
Always pay in cash and ask for a receipt. Walk away if the seller requests a deposit.
Only pay via EFT if you don’t feel comfortable carrying cash. Do the seller a huge favour by clearing the funds immediately and check with the seller if they actually did receive them. Everybody will sleep much better!
Never give out financial details to a stranger. They’re for your eyes only.
A quick way to check is to use social media. Check Profile for genuine friends.
Follow these tips to end up a happy shopper.
If you have any tips, email us - firstname.lastname@example.org