eCommerce is bigger than ever, and most of us find it much more convenient to buy our fashion and beauty products online. Whether you want to add more clothes to your wardrobe, get an outfit for a special occasion or try out a new beauty product, there’s often a bigger selection of brands, options and prices to choose from online. However, shopping online does not come without its downsides, and one of these is being scammed. From fake shopping sites that will steal your card information to products that turn up looking nothing like what you expected, here are some of the main ways to avoid falling victim to a scam when buying fashion and beauty products online.
Check the Site Security
The first thing that you will want to do before you buy a product online is check the security of the site. This is usually an easy find; all you need to do is look for https:// before the website address or the padlock symbol in the browser bar to indicate that the site has an SSL or Secure Socket Layer certificate, which means that all information entered into the site – including your payment details – is encrypted. Do this even if you’re purchasing from a well-known site or a site you’ve purchased from before to confirm that it has not been hacked and replicated.
Check the Site Reputation
If you are planning to purchase from a site that you have never used before or don’t know much about, it’s a good idea to do a Google search for it before you buy anything to see what other customers have had to say. Check the site’s reputation by searching for it on social media to see what people are commenting, as well as checking Google and Trustpilot reviews to find out more about the experiences that other shoppers have had. While there are always going to be some complaints, if the reviews are generally positive, you’re usually safe to shop there.
Use a Secure Payment Method
The payment methods that you use when shopping online can be chosen strategically to protect you in the event that you are scammed. For example, you will usually be able to get a refund from your bank or credit card provider if you are scammed when shopping with your card online. PayPal is another ideal option to consider since this conceals your payment information, making it harder for criminals to steal.
The item being completely different from what you expected is a massive frustration when shopping online. You might want to ask around in social media fashion groups and forums to find out if anybody has purchased items from this particular brand and if they were as expected. Some Facebook groups are specifically set up for customers to take photos of the items they receive so that others can see exactly what they look like before buying, which can be helpful.
While online shopping is mostly safe these days, there is always the risk of getting scammed whatever you buy. Keep these tips in mind to avoid falling victim to common eCommerce scams.