Saturday, August 22, 2015

How To Spot Legit Online Stores

E-commerce (short for electronic commerce) is a part of trading industry has reportedly been in the business world in 1971 but has gotten its breakthrough when several online stores massively sprouted on the internet in the mid-90s like the Amazon which initially started as an online bookstore. And the rest of the biggest online shopping websites came after and marked their success in the commerce history. 

Online shops have been most of the shoppers' go to places on the internet because of the fact that online shopping is: convenient, hassle free, cheaper prices and the list could go on and on. But the question is, how could you spot legit online shops from not? Some of you might be already aware on how to do so, but for those who are still on the "trying-to-figure-out" stage, this post is for you.

1. HTTP versus HTTPS

If you are an experienced online buyer, you would know the difference between the two. When you reach to the check out part where you need to disclose your credit card details, you must look back and see if the URL changed to HTTP to HTTPS. If the protocol changes to HTTPS, that means, the website is secured and safe. Payment gateways, online banking websites, and corporate sector websites are the best examples where HTTPS protocol is used. This protocol makes you feel more confident in giving out your credit card details. You may try it now.

2. Most Number of Likes and Followers (doesn't exactly do the trick)

Gone are the days that Facebook and Instagram were just mere social media platforms. Nowadays (especially in the Philippines), they are already conquered by micro online entrepreneurs because they find Facebook and Instagram as good places to find buyers. But mind you, don't be deceived by the online stores with most likes and followers. Some of these small shops can still SCAM buyers. You may check their legitimacy by searching them in search engines. Usually the legit ones are talked about in online forums such as Female Network. If they are 'never-heard', stay away from them. 

In my case, I have been so lucky to have not been scammed in my entire online shopping life. I am meticulous when it comes to whom shall I give my trust to. I do mini research before I purchase from them. I already bought a bunch of stuff from small stores that don't have a too good to be true number of followers but still deliver a very good service. The stores are as follow: 

  • Ink Heart Shop (IG: @inkheart_winter)
  • Red District Manila (IG: @red.district)
  • Kimonobelle (IG: @kimonobelle)
  • Beauty Shop Ph (IG: @BeautySHopPh)
3. Recommended most of the bloggers and Youtubers

Most of the shops I already purchased from are actually recommended by known bloggers and Youtubers that I follow. Meaning, the shop owners have a good online reputation when it comes to selling that made these bloggers/vloggers trust them as well. If there are a few that were misguided, I couldn't really vouch for them.

4. Test the waters

If you are feeling really impulsive to buy a shop's products because the photos are lovely, well-edited and presented, control your buying urges, I must say. You may purchase one or two items initially and see if they can deliver what they promise. That way, you won't feel too bad if you get scammed. I know, waiting for your orders to get to you for several days is already tedious and you couldn't wait any longer. I've only got two questions for you: "Do you want to wait?" or "Do you want to get scammed?"

5. Be careful and vigilant

Having Facebook and Instagram by your side can really be helpful. You may post a status asking for your friends' opinion or share on the comment box regarding their shopping experience with a particular shop. This will give you an idea which shops that really mean business and which not.

If my tips seem inadequate still, you may leave a comment below so you could help me spread awareness to all online shoppers out there. May y'all have an awesome weekend!

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