How To: Research an Unknown Online Retailer

How To: Research an Unknown Online Retailer

Apr 11, 2008

If it's too good to be true, it probably is.

But how do you know for sure?

While shopping online at can feel just as secure as walking into an actual bookstore, there are those sites that can feel more like you are buying something out of the back of a truck.

With some simple steps you can get a better sense of whether the price you see is a good deal or a scam waiting to happen...

(Pic: Moneyblogs360)

From The Consumerist, some quick and easy things you can do yourself include those below, but check out their post for more tips and full links:

  • Do they have a toll free customer service number and published hours of operation?

  • Do they take credit cards? It is no guarantee of quality if they do, but it is one step up. I think you should generally avoid any place that only takes Western Union money transfers.

  • Do they have a security/hacker prevention or testing certificate?

  • Does the checkout process use an encrypted HTTPS page?

  • Are the company Privacy and About pages blank, or do they look like they are from a default template for an online shopping cart that was just set up the day before?

  • Search Google for the store name and words like "scam" and "customer service." It is not a good thing if all the entries are for people asking if a site is a scam in Yahoo Answers.
  • For even more tips to protect yourself when buying online click here

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