What is important to know about your favorite online shopping websites
“The e-commerce industry is a force that no investor can afford to ignore” © Cushla Sherlock, Corporate Communications, Credit-Suisse.
One of the most significant trends of the 21st century is characterized with replacement of traditional retailing with online shopping, gaining the central stage. Ensuring the highest level of convenience for customers has become a motto for thousands of companies offering their products and services online. Why? A happy customer means more sales!
While millions of consumers agree that online shopping is convenient, many people still avoid it, as they don’t want shipping fees, want to pick up the item immediately or see it in person before purchasing. However, one of the biggest factors is security concerns. Here Blueninja.io provides few useful tips that will help you to determine whether the online shopping website you are going to buy from is a reliable site:
Domain name (URL)
If you’re wondering whether a particular website is legitimate, however, probably the most important thing is the domain name. Look in the address bar of your browser and see what the URL is. For instance, you have found a great deal on a Zara website. The website was complete with Zara logo, product search, online shopping cart, and more. But a closer look revealed that despite of Zara logo, the URL of the website was not www.zara.com, but rather www.NewPerfectStyle.com. (This website has been shut down and is now facing legal action for selling counterfeit goods, but beware of others like it that still exist today.) It’s not unusual for merchants to offer their products on third-party sites, thus, being familiar with this tip will help you to discover a fraud website.
When you visit a website, right click on the main page and have a look at the source code. Most professional and trustworthy websites are created by web design companies from scratch, therefore, if you see there a sentence that looks like this “Created with HTML Generator Plus”, it might be a sign that something is wrong.
Check the SSL Certificate
Look at the URL of the website. If it begins with “https” instead of “http” it means the site is secured using an SSL Certificate (standing for secure). SSL Certificates secure all of your data as it is passed from your browser to the website’s server. To get an SSL Certificate, the company must go through a validation process.
Too steep discounts & coupons
Looking for cheap and affordable goods? Be careful when you see ‘too-good-to-be-true’ discounts. The unrealistic prices can be a warning sign of a fraud. Can a dress of a good quality cost RM10? Is it possible for a new smart phone to be RM100? Of course, no! Discounts are good, but only when the price remains realistic enough.
The most common examples of fraud e-commerce websites involve huge discounts, but what happens next? You pay for your goods online and patiently wait for delivery – but it does not happen. You check the website, but it is empty! Your ‘sellers’ spend your money, while you are trying to find out what happened. Be careful and check twice before pressing “Purchase”.
Gift card scams
There is no doubt that you love gift cards – but not only you: online scammers who want to steal your information and money love them too. You may get an email or SMS with an offer for a deeply-discounted gift card. It might say you won a $25 gift card for $1. Or it might say you won a $100 gift card for free! However, be careful. If the email asks for banking or credit / debit card information, delete it straight away. A legitimate and trustworthy company would never ask for that information.
We admit that some online stores do have real gift card giveaways. So, how can you tell if your gift card prize is the real? Some online shops do offer gift cards delivered by email. So, for example, someone can order an Amazon gift card for you and have it appear in your inbox instead of your mailbox. First, call the person to ensure they actually sent it (also, it’s a good opportunity to thank them). Besides, a real gift card will have a special code you can put in on the website to claim the money. The reliable e-commerce store won’t ask you to supply any identity information, download an attachment or take you to a third-party site.
According to the website, Finder.com, below we provide the list of the most well-reputed online shopping websites:
- Forever 21
- Urban Outfitters
Interestingly, in the arena of the world online shopping, not only buyers but also sellers can become the victims of online scams. eBay scams committed by buyers are one of the most well-known examples we are going to discuss further:
Item is not received
Scammers often take advantage of new sellers that don’t understand the rules of using PayPal (e-commerce website payment system). Many new sellers don’t know about delivery confirmation. The scammer will use PayPal to pay for the item and wait for it to be delivered. Once the package arrives, the scammer will check if delivery confirmation was used. If it was, then you are safe and the scammer and will try to find another victim. However, if delivery confirmation is not used, the scammer will open a dispute with PayPal and claim the item was not received. Unable to show proof of delivery, PayPal takes the funds out of the seller’s account and returns it to the scammer. There is nothing the seller could do other than learn a hard lesson.
To prevent this type of scam from occurring, clearly state delivery confirmation will be used in the item listing. This will prevent scammers from bidding on your items in the first place. Shipments using UPS, FedEx, and DHL automatically come with delivery confirmation. You must add delivery confirmation for packages shipped by USPS. Keep the delivery confirmation number for at least 45 days after the payment was received. This is the time limit for buyers to initiate claims against sellers.
Buyer asks for shipping to different address
This scam usually occurs when an innocent victim’s PayPal account has been hijacked. The scammer will not change the hijacked account’s shipping address as this will send an email to the true account holder. Instead, the scammer will try to convince a seller to ship the item to a different address which is often in another country. Typically the scammer will claim that he is moving or that the item is for a friend. Don’t fall for any stories. Ship your items only to the confirmed address. If the buyer want to ship to a different address, insist that the buyer change the shipping address on their PayPal account to where they want it shipped and reconfirm it. Otherwise you will be liable if a chargeback occurs.
Blame the Shipper for Damaged Item
A scammer will have a broken or damaged item that he wants replaced for free. The scammer will search for an eBay seller selling exactly the same item and offering shipping insurance. After the item is received, the scammer will switch the unbroken item for the bad one and claim it has been damaged.
If the shipper grants the insurance claim, the scammer will get his item replaced for free. If the insurance claim is denied (because there is no damage to the box and the scammer forgot to smash it), the scammer will have the credit card company reverse the charges. If the purchase was eligible for seller’s protection, then you will be protected and PayPal will eat the loss. Otherwise, PayPal will take the money from your account. This is a tricky area as PayPal will not cover claims of shipping damage.
You can protect yourself from this scam by taking pictures of serial numbers or other unique identifying features. Be sure to include them in your listing. Scammers will avoid listings that can prove the item has been switched.
Knowing more about these types of scams will help you to prevent any of those situations to occur. Tips provided by Blueninja.io are your key guidance in the world of online shopping websites. Explore new opportunities and ensure your security in the internet arena! Want to create an e-commerce website that will earn the trust and win the hearts of thousands of customers? Call Blueninja.io!