Online stores, including those hosted on Blogger and LiveJournals, are springing up like flowers after the spring rainfall, 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 our fingertips, there are also cases whereby buyers are cheated by scam websites.
Here are 10 tips to help you create the reliability of online shops that you will be not familiar with:
#1. Do not be anxious to purchase from the online store if you are not sure when it is safe. Observe its online routines for a while. Does the store update brand new items regularly? For fast paced customer goods like ladies fashion, the updates are usually made weekly, if not 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 prospective customers to be on their mailing list. After registering for the shop’s mailing list, you should get updates from the store. If all seems quiet, then I may have some question marks on the store.
#3. A good way to check if the store is ‘legitimate’ is to send an email to the customer service to test their response. Did you receive any reply from the store? Was the reply prompt or did it consider, say 2 weeks to get to you? A prompt response of between one 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 invest in shops with positive feedback. Testimonies are a way of finding out if the clients are generally happy with their purchase.
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Generally the stores will publish the particular testimonials online.
#5. Google the name of the shop and see if the store is talked about by forums and websites and blogs. Such discussions may be useful in finding out if there are any complaints and problems the store may have.
#6. Check for reviews and rankings of the shop. Some online shops are reviewed by online shopping directories, that is likely to show up when you Google for the shop (see Tip#5). Follow the hyperlinks of these online directories that the shop is listed on to see if you can find any reviews made.
#7. Go through the merchandise of the store. Are there enough details provided to help you make the best selection? Serious stores should give the necessary information to help their clients select their merchandise. For example , will a fashion store provide specific measurements of the clothes made? Is there efforts taken to ensure that the shopper knows what he/she is getting?
#8. Read the payment details. What kind of payment methods are available? Does the store accept PayPal or even better, are they PayPal Verified? PayPal Verified means that PayPal has conducted a verification process on the reliability of the PayPal accounts that you are paying to. If you are not certain about the store, avoid paying via direct wire transfer. Paying via a secured means like PayPal allows you the opportunity to dispute the charges if indeed there were problems with your buy.
#9. Does the shop enterprise beyond its online shopfront towards the social networking sites like Facebook? Social network sites are another means of garnering customers, so legitimate shops would like to be part of it. With the many ‘Friends’ of the shops out there, it is difficult for an online store to be of dubious standard.
#10. Last, but not the least, check if the shop is registered with any local authorities. For example , within Singapore, stores are required to be authorized with the Accounting and Corporate Regulating Authority (ACRA) and as a consumer, you can request for the details of the shop through the ACRA.