12 September 2011

Should you trust the seller?

Over the past few years, we have seen the rise of online shops, online traders and yes... people like you... online shoppers. However, we have also noted the proliferation of scammers.

Trust is a very important ingredient for successful businesses. When shopping online, how do you know which seller to trust? Seasoned buyers rely on their guts and  a bit of research. If you're new to online trading, then feel free to use our bucket list.

Go with sellers who have established an online presence. People with a reputation to protect won't resort to doing anything stupid that will tarnish their good name. Admit it... Won't you feel more secure knowing that the seller is on Facebook and actually shows up in search engine results? Slightly famous people are trust-worthier than complete strangers.

Snoop on a seller's testimonials. However, don't believe in all positive feedback -- especially when all of them are posted on the owner's site. Remember that feedback can be easily fabricated. Instead, google the seller's name or shop, and see if either one is associated with any scam or buyer complaints. Dig deep and check up to 5 to 8 pages of the search results to make sure you don't miss anything.

Check the seller's payment terms. Does the seller accept only cash on delivery? Be wary of payment methods that are hard to track. Your best bet would be to select sellers who offer traceable payment methods such as bank deposits or PayPal (which has an integrated buyer protection program). Western Union transfers, mobile payments and similar types of money transfers help cloak the seller's identity and may compromise your buyer protection rights.


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