How do you verify online shopping sites?

Vishwesh Shetty

You come across an ad for a great pair of shoes on an Instagram Ad. It’s unique and trendy but you have never heard about that brand. Is the store genuine? Is the quality good? How long would they take to deliver? These are the questions that's quite common when buying from an online shopping site.

We have compiled a list of things to verify an online Shopping Site.

1. Quality of website

Scammers would not take a lot of effort on building a great looking website. Only genuine brands would hire designers and developers or buy high quality themes to build a good website. It's easy to differentiate between quality website built over a time by good designer/developers and the one put up overnight by scamster. Most scam websites would have dummy content, image placeholder, broken links etc.

A genuine website would have great quality images and a responsive website that works smoothly without any glitches on all devices and look professional.

2. Poor Grammar & punctuation

Poor Grammar

Fake websites would generally have poor grammar and punctuation. The scammers are most likely from third world countries with English not being their primary language. They would not take efforts to proofread the content before pushing it on the website. A website from a real ecommerce brand would have immaculate vetted content. The content would have been written by professional content writer.

3. Too good to be true pricing

Cheap pricing

Who doesn’t love a good discount but if you come across pricing that seems unbelievably low for the given product offered, it's most likely a scam website. These scam website only intend to get customers to complete the purchase and pay them, they generally don't intend to fulfill the orders at all.

In some cases they are able to sell the products so cheap because they have massively compromised on the quality of the product. A genuine online store would have real competitive pricing for the product that takes into account the cost creating that product and shipping and handling them.

4. Contact Information

Cheap pricing

Fake websites would usually not share their contact information or put up some fake contacts. Try to get in touch with them through those contact information and see if you are able to talk to a real person. Real website on other hand will share the support email and phone number. The email would be on a custom domain same as the website and not on email services like GMail.

5. Brand Story & Founder Background

Founder Story

Genuine brands like to tell their story, look out for the About Us page on Online eCommerce Store to understand how the brand was formed, people behind the brand and their mission. Most eCommerce stores would have About Us in the header or footer menu.

Scam websites would have this missing or put up a very generic About Us page that doesn’t say much about the brand's uniqueness and will not share details of the founder.

Make sure to check out these points before you make your next purchase from an unfamiliar brand.