Buying online is a pleasure most people love to hate and many have learned to master. I’m right next to those who have learned to master the art and now, I’d like to share with you my tools of the trade. Online we can order in bulk and save money, we can join different websites and save money by finding the cheapest listing or simply buy used but good products for less.
Now, let’s share those precious tips for performing safe purchases online:
- Do. Your. Research. Never settle down for the price you will find in one place and rather look around different and trusted websites to find the best price. Take into consideration shipping and handling costs. If the marketplace allows you to bargain with sellers, don’t hesitate to send them a message and ask for a deal. Researching will take some time so be patient and bring a cup of coffee with you.
- Don’t believe the positive reviews. Many seller and small business owners will buy reviews by people online and pay them to write misleading and fake reviews on websites such as Yelp and Google. So, instead of paying attention to these fake 5 star reviews, pay attention to the negative and false positive reviews. (False positives are reviews ranking from 3-4 stars which are categorized as good or satisfactory but still lower the company’s overall rating).
Negative reviews tend have long and detailed explanations and sometimes by just reading the story you can tell if the buyer was too unreasonable or if the seller/company is a scammer.
- Never give your private information. Legit websites shouldn’t require your personal information such as phone numbers, social security numbers or any type of ID numbers. If they do, this is a red flag. Usually, legit websites have addresses that begin with https:// when you’re placing a payment and have legit payment methods such as PayPal, Payoneer, WePay and others.
- Make secure payments. Like mentioned before, use legal payment methods enabled by companies similar to Paypal, in other words, company that require legal information from their users in order to allow the handling of money. The reason for this to prevent your credit card and bank accounts to be involved in money laundering and stealing.
- This last tip leads to the most important tip of all: only buy from trusted and popular websites such as Amazon and Ebay or websites from stores you know in real life such as Sears.com, Kmart, Walgreens, etc.