Sad Reality: Risks of Online Shopping for Your Dream Gadgets in the Philippines
Online shopping is heaven-sent for Pinoys nowadays, what with the terrible traffic in the metro. Buying tech stuff from an online store saves you a lot of time, money, and sanity rather than commuting to and lining up in malls.
But then there's a catch: getting your dream electronics and gadgets online may become your worst nightmare if you aren't careful enough. Scammers lurk online and are on the lookout for unsuspecting preys. Don't be a victim!
Protect yourself and your hard-earned money. Keep an eye out for red flags to avoid getting scammed when you shop online.
5 online shopping risks to watch out for
1. Fake sellers
Fond of browsing gadgets on sale on Facebook and Instagram? Never purchase high-ticket items like electronics from social media, even if you have lots of moolah to burn. You'll never know if you're dealing with an honest seller or not when you're shopping online.
Being scammed by a bogus online shop could be more painful than getting dumped. You lose the money you've worked hard for to an unscrupulous online seller who never sends your purchased gadget. At least, you won't be crying over money after a split with an ex.
Online shopping tips to avoid fake sellers:
- Research an online seller before making a purchase. Verify its business information online. Check customer reviews, too.
- Beware of fake websites. Also called phishing sites, bogus online shopping sites look like legit websites but exist only to steal your private information. Fake sites typically have a URL that starts with "http" instead of "https."
- Look for the address and contact information on the seller's website. Don't transact with a website that doesn't provide these details.
- Don't buy from a seller that rushes you into paying for your order before sending it. Chances are the seller is just after your money—nothing else.
2. Fake or defective products
Ever received a purchased item online that doesn't match its product image and description online? That's one of the risks of buying electronics and gadgets from the gray market.
Gray market resellers aren't authorized by tech manufacturers to sell their products. These unofficial retailers lure customers with offers that are too good to be true, like selling very cheap products compared to legit, authorized dealers.
Online shopping isn't a nice experience in the gray market. Products don't come with a warranty and after-sales support. Not worth the bargain prices!
Online shopping tips to avoid buying fake or defective products:
- Deal only with an authorized dealer. Getting your gadgets from official electronics dealers like Poundit.com assures you of original products from top tech brands.
- Verify that an online reseller is legit. Check the manufacturer's official website for the list of its authorized dealers. For example, if you'll buy JBL headphones or speakers, you can check the JBL Philippines website to find its official online retailers in the Philippines.
- Look for information about warranty and customer service when shopping online. Sellers of legit products provide warranty and customer support details on their e-commerce sites.
3. Late delivery
Sometimes, delays in product delivery are unavoidable—like during bad weather or when a customer inputs an incorrect address. It happens to both offline and online stores.
But if an online store is consistently late in sending your orders—and it doesn't respond to your follow-ups—you could find a better online shopping experience elsewhere.
Online shopping tips to avoid delivery delays:
- Read customer reviews. Customers post their experience shopping with an online retailer, specifically its delivery speed. Read their feedback to find out if an online shop really delivers products by the expected date.
- Manage your expectations. Unless the seller indicates a next-day delivery for a certain product, never expect your order to arrive instantly after you've hit the "Buy" button. Online sellers post their delivery schedules which may take several days (to allow for time to verify, process, and ship orders). Check the delivery timeline so that you know how long to wait.
- Contact the seller directly if you haven't received your order. If the seller is sincere about delivering your purchased item fast, it will definitely respond ASAP to your concern.
4. Crappy customer service
Isn't it frustrating to deal with customer service reps that treat you like crap? Why do some online stores make it extremely hard for customers to return or exchange products, you wonder?
Even if an online shop sells high-quality products, it amounts to nothing if its customer service sucks. Know that there are e-commerce sites like Poundit.com that genuinely care about customers' needs, from the time they browse electronics and gadgets online to even after unboxing.
Online shopping tips to avoid bad customer service:
- Read customer reviews. We can't stress this enough. Actual feedback from customers will give you an idea of their experience with an online electronics and gadgets dealer's customer service quality.
- Browse a retailer's social media accounts. Check if the company is responsive to the inquiries and concerns of their buyers on their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram posts.
- Contact customer support before buying from a retailer. Use the chat, email, or phone support of an online shop to check if they provide good service. Ask questions about the products you're considering and details of shipping, returns, etc. If the customer service reps are helpful and friendly to you, you know that the site is worth trusting.
- Read the return policy on the seller's website. This way, you'll know what to expect should you need to return or replace a purchased item from an online seller. An e-commerce site's return policy should make it easy and hassle-free for customers to return or exchange any defective product.
5. Online payment fraud
The biggest risk of online shopping is exposing your confidential information to hackers who might steal it. If you aren't careful when paying with a credit card or using the internet, you're definitely asking for trouble.
Outsmart scammers by knowing what to do to avoid becoming a victim of online shopping fraud.
Online shopping tips to avoid online payment fraud:
- Shop only at secure websites. Check if an e-commerce site has a lock icon in the address bar and a URL that starts with "https" (similar to the photo above). This means your sensitive information such as address, password, and credit card details are protected from hackers.
- Don't save your credit card details online. It may take longer to input your credit card info each time you do your online shopping, but it's a safety measure against online fraud.
- Choose cash on delivery. Some online stores in the Philippines accept cash on delivery as a payment mode. You can choose that for your peace of mind.
- Update your anti-virus program and firewall settings to avoid malware attacks and other issues that can endanger your online shopping safety.
- Don't use a public computer or Wi-Fi when shopping online. It's much safer to shop online from home. Public computers and Wi-Fi networks at airports, hotels, cafes, and other public areas aren't secure.
Be a wiser shopper!
The internet can be a safe and convenient place to shop for your dream electronics and gadgets—only if you know who to trust.
For your tech needs, you can't go wrong with shopping at Poundit.com. You're assured of 100% genuine products and very helpful customer service. Online shopping is also secure because Poundit.com uses the safest e-commerce platform in the world.
Shop with us now to experience what secure, smooth, and hassle-free online shopping is all about!