For a lot of shoppers, the online marketplace has been one of the best features of the technological age – you get what you want without travelling to the shops and negotiating the long queues and the arduous effort of getting there. For business owners, it’s a cost cutting strategy to get their products out there without the costly overheads.
However, how sure are you that you are not paying for more than what you think you’ve bargained for? Horror stories of buying fakes and low standard materials have been seen on posts and other online platforms. So how do we protect ourselves from these possible threats?
It would be very hard to figure out if what you’re buying is the real thing or a triple A imitation. So I sought out brand maven Barbs Aguirre-Miravalles, Division General Manager for Fragrances of LUXASIA – is the leading omnichannel partner for luxury beauty and lifestyle brands to reach Asia Pacific consumers for some tips to help consumers figure out what they are buying.
TIP 1: FIND A RELIABLE SOURCE. Most e-commerce platforms have a marketplace where in it is open to all resellers. It is difficult to spot authentic resellers from counterfeit resellers as most would put a 100% authentic on their product pages. When in doubt, I would recommend to shop at the retailer.com sites or brand.com sites so you can be guaranteed that the products are coming from the original sources.\
TIP 2: COMPARE & REVIEW. It would help to read reviews but it would still help to compare prices and product details/ specifications from the original brand websites to know what you are buying. Check the source of the products.
TIP 3: BEWARE OF CHEAP ITEMS. Counterfeit items are sold at cheaper prices precisely because the ingredients/materials used to create this is not comparable to the authentic item. I suggest to watch Netflix Broken to understand the danger of counterfeit items. This is dangerous to one’s health especially for cosmetics and ingestibles. If the price is too good to be true, it probably is. You get what you pay for so the lower the money you spend equates to the quality you will receive in return.
To further help our readers, the Australian Filipina dug deeper into precautions necessary for doing online purchases:
- Always make your purchases from a secure connection. After clicking the link to the site, check out the prompt on the address field. It would usually read https://www but if you read, “Not Secure” then its not worth your while. Click on the link to give you more ideas on securing your connection.
- Create a unique password. And if you keep on forgetting your password, get a secured password keeper like dashlane which keeps all your unique passwords which can be generated by the system or from a story of your life that no one knows about. Click the link to find out more.
- Be mindful of the information that you provide the sites. Identity theft is one of the most rampant crimes going around and by giving more information than you have to may just be the biggest mistake that you can ever do. Standard information would be information on the method of payment, shipping address, telephone number and/or email address. If the merchant asks for more, walk away.
- Check the shipping details. Some merchant’s charge exorbitant shipping fees that can turn a shopping bargain into an expensive mistake. Look to see if they provide tracking and insurance. Understand what carriers they use, and be particularly cautious if the item won’t be shipped within 10 days.
Aways remember, before you CLICK & SHOP, STOP & THINK.