In recent times, online shopping has become the go-to place for most Ghanaians who may not have enough time on their hands and are running tight schedules to make purchase. Currently, there are many digital shops available online that caters to almost every human product or service, such as food, clothes, hair, electronics, and health.
Although online shops are often a fast, safe and convenient way to make purchases, it has got its own challenges and pitfalls that could mare a shopping experience for an unsuspecting consumer. Lately, there have been a lot of complaints on social media platforms calling out fraudulent online shops. Well, Christmas is fast approaching and as usual, many people might opt to do their shopping online. Thus, how does one ensure that they don’t fall victim to fraudulent online schemes? Here are a few points to consider before you make that purchase.
DO A THOROUGH BACKGROUND CHECK ON THE STORE: You can do a background check on the shop by checking their Facebook page for recommendations by others who may have done business with them. You can also go through the comment section to check what other buyers are saying about their product or service. You are likely to come across a negative review from comments or page recommendations if there are any. And if they don’t have or own a social media page, you can ask friends and family for their opinion on their services.
READ ABOUT THE PRODUCT DETAILS OR SERVICE BEFORE YOU MAKE PURCHASE: Most online vendors usually post details about their product or service when they put them up for sale. If it is a product or an item, pay particular attention to size, colour, delivery services available and dates. It is also important to ask about return or refund policies before you make the purchase. Not every store has a refund or return policy, therefore, it is pertinent that you ask about their return or refund policy.
PC MAG.COM ALSO RECOMMENDS THAT TO FURTHER ENSURE YOUR SAFETY WHEN YOU BUY ONLINE: Never buy anything online using your credit card from a site that doesn’t have SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption installed—at the very least. You’ll know if the site has SSL because the URL for the site will start with HTTPS—instead of just HTTP. An icon of a locked padlock () will appear, typically to the left of the URL in the address bar or the status bar down below; it depends on your browser.
HTTPS is pretty standard now even on non-shopping sites, enough that Google Chrome flags any page without the extra S as “not secure.
BEWARE OF OFFERS THAT ARE TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE: when something sounds too good to be true, it is probably not true. There are many online shops offering mind-blowing reduced deals and sales this Christmas that may turn out not be true. Compare information with what is available on other sites. Ask others if they have bought items from such shops before making any purchase. Not every mouthwatering deal is a good deal some might just be a scam waiting to take your money.
ALWAYS CHECK ITEMS WHEN DELIVERY ARRIVES: It is also important to always cross-check your item before the delivery person leaves. Most companies might insist you check your delivery to ensure if it is the right order or not broken. But if you are not asked to check your order please ensure you check your items before the delivery person lives your presence.
These are important tips one must consider when making purchases online so as to not fall victim to unscrupulous characters online. Online shopping is an enjoyable exercise don’t let anyone ruin it for you this festive season