How to check people and businesses before buying online

Few would disagree that shopping has been transformed over the last few decades. Now, it’s not the case of simply visiting your local high-street; most of the time you will order online and probably be offered a next-day delivery slot.

The fast-paced nature of online shopping means that companies are suddenly susceptible to a lot more complaints. A quick search on Google can reveal every review under the sun about the company, and whether or not they have been accused of operating a scam or being referred to the BBB. It means that customer service is at the forefront of a lot of businesses’ minds.

Bearing this in mind, we are today going to look some of the ways you can protect yourself before buying online, to ensure that your review is not the subject of one of the aforementioned negative searches.

The power of review sites

We’ve already touched upon this point, but let’s delve into further detail. Review sites are the bread and butter of online shopping, whether you are looking to check people or businesses as a whole.

These should be your first port of call before you even consider making a purchase from a vendor that you haven’t had experience with before. While Google can be the first source that everyone turns to, there are other alternatives with the likes of Yelp and even Facebook holding plenty of customer data about companies around the globe.

A seller’s reputation

This next point won’t apply to every product you buy online, but if you are purchasing from a marketplace then chances are each vendor on there is given a rating. This follows a similar philosophy as the review sites; the sellers are rated for how they deal with customers. If anyone has experienced any trouble with them, whether it is related to the quality of the product or even delivery, the chances are that it will be reported on there.

Additionally, you can see how much history a seller actually has. It goes without saying that those vendors without any historical sales are going to be slightly riskier to buy from than those with thousands upon thousands. It’s also a good idea to make sure that the online store doesn’t house your data and that they are PCI Compliant. For example, when purchasing bongs or vapes from an online head shop you can tell that the smoke shop is trustworthy if they have a seal from Shopify Secure or Trustwave, validating compliance. NEVER give your credit card information to a seller who seems less than above board.

The reputation of the platform

Again, this next point tends to relate to online marketplaces. The biggest out there have understood the importance of customer satisfaction, and how they simply must guarantee their users’ rights if they are to succeed and beat the big ecommerce stores that are donning the internet.

It’s at this point that you need to research exactly what they are going to do to protect you. Will they issue a refund on the vendor’s behalf if you don’t receive a product, or it isn’t up to standard? You will find that the established marketplaces are more than happy to do this and have structured resolution centers to facilitate it. Smaller ones might not follow such a practice though, and this is where you need to research accordingly.