Online shops, including those hosted on Tumblr and LiveJournals, are springing upward like flowers after the spring rain, thanks to the widespread availability of the internet. Off the internet shops have also found it de rigeur to have an online presence. As the internet opens up to shoppers an excellent array of choice and styles at the fingertips, there are also cases whereby shoppers are cheated by scam websites.
Here are 10 tips to help you create the reliability of online shops you are not familiar with:
#1. Do not be anxious to purchase from the online store if you are not sure if it is safe. Observe its online activities for a while. Does the store update brand new items regularly? For fast paced consumer goods like ladies fashion, the particular updates are usually made weekly, otherwise every few days. If the shop does not have any updates for months on end, then, most likely nobody is manning it.
#2. Sign Up to be on the store’s subscriber list. A legitimate store will want to garner customers to be on their mailing list. After registering for the shop’s mailing list, you should receive updates from the store. If almost all seems quiet, then I may have a few question marks on the store.
#3. A good way to check if the store is ‘legitimate’ is to send an email to the customer program to test their response. Did you receive any reply from the store? Was the reply prompt or did it take, say 2 weeks to get to you? The prompt response of between 1 to 3 days (maximum) is usually the expected response time.
#4. Another good way to reduce the risks associated with online clothes shopping is to obtain shops with positive feedback. Recommendations are a way of finding out if the customers are generally happy with their purchase. Usually the stores will publish the testimonials online.
#5. Google the name of the shop and see if the store is discussed by forums and websites and blogs. Such discussions may be helpful in finding out if there are any complaints and problems the store might have.
#6. Check for reviews and ratings of the shop. Some online shops are usually reviewed by online shopping directories, that is likely to show up when you Google for your shop (see Tip#5).
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Follow the hyperlinks of these online directories that the shop is listed on to see if you can find any reviews made.
#7. Look at the merchandise of the store. Are there adequate details provided to help you make an informed selection? Serious stores should give the necessary information to help their clients select their merchandise. For example , really does a fashion store provide particular measurements of the clothes made? Will there be efforts taken to ensure that the consumer knows what he/she is getting?
#8. Read the payment details. What kind of payment methods are available? Does the shop accept PayPal or even better, are they PayPal Verified? PayPal Verified means that PayPal has conducted a verification procedure on the reliability of the PayPal account that you are paying to. If you are not sure about the store, avoid paying through direct wire transfer. Paying via a secured means like PayPal permits you the opportunity to dispute the charges in case indeed there were problems with your purchase.
#9. Does the shop opportunity beyond its online shopfront to the social networking sites like Facebook? Social networking sites are another means of attaining customers, so legitimate shops would want to be part of it. With the many ‘Friends’ of the shops out there, it is tough for an online store to be of suspicious standard.
#10. Last, but not the least, check if the shop is registered with any local authorities. For example , in Singapore, stores are required to be authorized with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) and as a consumer, you can request for the details of the shop from your ACRA.