Technology admin  

How to check the reliability of online stores

Online stores, including those hosted by Blogger and LiveJournals, are blooming like flowers after spring rain, thanks to the widespread availability of the Internet. Offline stores have also discovered that it has an online presence. While the Internet offers shoppers a wonderful array of options and styles at their fingertips, there are also instances where buyers are misled by fraudulent websites.

Here are 10 tips to help you establish the trustworthiness of online stores you’re not familiar with:

#1. Do not be anxious to buy from the online store if you are not sure if it is safe. Watch your online activities for a while. Does the store update new items regularly? For fast-paced consumer goods like women’s fashion, updates are usually done weekly, if not every few days. If the store doesn’t have updates for months, probably no one is handling it.

#two. Sign up to be on the store’s mailing list. A legitimate store will want to get leads to get on their mailing list. After signing up for the store mailing list, you should receive updates from the store. If all seems calm, you may have a few question marks in store.

#3. A good way to check if the store is ‘legitimate’ is to email customer support to test their response. Did you get any response from the store? Was the response quick or did it take say 2 weeks to get to you? A prompt response of between 1 to 3 days (maximum) is usually the expected response time.

#4. Another good way to reduce the risks of buying clothes online is to shop at stores with positive reviews. Testimonials are a way to find out if customers are generally satisfied with their purchase. Stores will usually post testimonials online.

#5. Google the name of the store and see if the store is discussed on forums and websites/blogs. Such discussions can be helpful in finding out if there are any complaints and problems the store may have.

#6. Check the reviews and ratings of the store. Some online stores are reviewed by online shopping directories, which will likely show up when you Google the store (see Tip #5). Follow the links to these online directories where the store is listed to see if any reviews have been made.

#7. Look at the merchandise in the store. Is enough detail provided to help you make an informed selection? Serious stores should provide the necessary information to help their customers select their merchandise. For example, does a fashion store provide specific measurements for ready-made clothing? Are measures taken to ensure that the buyer knows what she is buying?

#8. Read the payment details What kind of payment methods are available? Does the store accept PayPal or, better yet, are they PayPal verified? PayPal Verified means that PayPal has gone through a process of verifying the trustworthiness of the PayPal account you are paying to. If you are not sure about the store, please avoid paying by direct bank transfer. Paying through a secure method like PayPal gives you the opportunity to dispute the charges if there were indeed problems with your purchase.

#9. Is the store venturing beyond its online storefront to social networking sites like Facebook? Social networking sites are another means of getting customers, so legitimate stores would want to be a part of them. With so many ‘Friends’ of stores, it’s hard for an online store to be of a dubious standard.

#10. Last but not least, check if the store is registered with the local authorities. For example, in Singapore, stores must be registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) and as a consumer, you can request store details from the ACRA.

Armed with these tips, it shouldn’t be difficult to choose reliable stores to buy from. Just keep the above in mind and you will enjoy a safe online shopping experience!

Leave A Comment