However, quite a few online retailers are not up to par in terms of quality and reliability. Here’s how to tell if you’re working with a good (and valid!) online retailer:
What is the online retailer’s policy on shipping?
Retailers can have very different shipping options between themselves, but what’s most important is that the company itself has an explicit and consistent policy. A lot of retailers boast free shipping policies, which you should take the time to verify.
Look for the online retailer’s certifications
If a website is indeed a legitimate business, it should have a seal of verification (such as one from the Better Business Bureau or the NRF). They should also explicitly say their warranty on purchases on their website.
The proof is in the online retailer’s product
The quality of what you receive from an online retailer is the true test of that retailer’s quality. Take your time to fully test the products you receive from any online retailer, and be prepared to return the products or write a complaint if you feel that the business had misrepresented itself online.
It helps if the website has a solid reviewing system that includes testimonials from past customers, but smaller retailers may not have this option. If you suspect that the online retailer has misled you, you can file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau or the IC3. You might also find success by posting a complaint to a business’s Facebook page or Twitter feed.
If you’ve never shopped online, it may seem hard at first to find a safe online retailer. But social media has allowed for customers to have the power to speak up about poor quality and service. With real people dictating the reputations of companies like never before, the Internet is becoming a wide marketplace for consumers to enjoy. From cupcakes to survival tools, all business is migrating online!
Have you ever had a bad experience with an online retailer? What do you do to protect yourself from fraud, identity theft, or just plain inconvenience? Tell us all about it in the comments!
About the Author: Andrew Yeung is president of CompAndSave, a leading online provider of premium printer ink cartridges, including remanufactured and compatible printer ink cartridges. With deals every month and a 1-year guarantee of quality, CompandSave provides an easy way for people and businesses to purchase printer ink and accessories.
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