Business & Economy


The internet is like a pandora’s box; you can find anything under the sun in just a few clicks. But it’s also a place filled with bogus deals, especially for unsuspecting giddy online dealers. Read through these tips to avoid falling into a fishy situation.

Even before COVID-19 became a global pandemic, the world was already in a frenzy with the popularity of online buy-and-sell. Who wouldn’t if it means you won’t go through the hassle of getting stuck in traffic or lining up for your purchases? So, it came as no surprise that when everyone was locked in our homes, online deals became the go-to option for buying and selling goods and services – increasing activities of online dealers.

You are in for a surprise. Mobile phone checked, keywords keyed in, and voila! You just found where to spend your hard-earned money. Today, we enjoy having several options to make our purchases. Various platforms are available for us to find even the most elusive of things – vintage Coca-cola pogs, anyone? 

But just like everything else, online deals have their pros and cons. It is essential to balance these things to get the most out of your transaction. It’s necessary to ensure these things are managed to avoid getting a bad deal or falling into a bunco trade-in. 

However, since the internet is a free space, people out there would try to trick you for gains. Due diligence is needed when you are doing transactions online. It is not enough that an online dealer is responsive to your messages and questions. A few red flags need to be checked to avoid wasting not only your time but, most importantly, your savings. 

Here are some of the tips we think would be very helpful before checking out those in your cart: 

Check the label

Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels

Now, you may have heard this over the television, but this simple reminder is a good habit. It is important to compare the product being offered to you with the ones being sold in reputable online stores or sites. If you expect a Dolce & Gabbana perfume, you don’t want to receive a package that says Gucci & Gabbana or Adidas sneakers that says Adiday. Funny as it may seem, but this is very common, and it could also happen to you. So, always make sure you pay attention to the details marketed, and not just the product itself.

If it’s too good to be true, it probably isn’t

In my previous article, I mentioned that no one buys anything more than it’s worth or sells anything less than its value. This rule applies here too! You can’t expect to find the latest iPhone sold in various marketplaces for almost half its current value. When purchasing something, just like the first tip, you should also check the current price range in and out of the market. Sometimes, a few thousand bucks difference is already suspicious enough – which is why the next tip is crucial.

Ask what’s behind the price

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

The culture of selling online had already caught up with online dealers’ apprehensions. It is now common for dealers to market their pre-loved item with its “RFS” or reason for selling. However, this may be very tricky since some dealers would often tell you what you only want to hear. Try asking questions by putting yourself in the seller’s shoes. If you are the seller, what are the things you would avoid telling your buyers? Then ask for those. Remember, that’s their job – to market their product well to get a sale.

Asking about the price would give you a better understanding of why they chose to price an item way less than or over its market price range. It could be because the product was used quite often, or there were already glaring damages. Or they might be selling it at a higher price because it’s a limited edition or simply because it’s rare. 

Ratings and feedback

Photo by Artem Beliaikin from Pexels

Checking the rates and feedback is one of the most helpful ways to know who you are dealing with. Remember, just because they have lovely photos or speak eloquently does not necessarily mean they will not trick you. So always check comments, rates (if available), and feedback from previous transactions. They could quickly tell you if you are dealing with a legitimate account or online dealers. It could also tell you the quality of the product they are selling, whether it lives up to its promises or not. 

Now, if you think an online dealer or page is suspicious, flag them to the site. We want the online platform to take necessary actions to prevent fraudulent, bogus, or even rude dealers from victimizing other people. 

We are blessed to live in a time when we can get things done by just tapping our phones—a privilege to have the things we need to be delivered right to our doorsteps by just a few clicks. The ease and convenience they offer may make us complacent. Make sure you at least take these tips, and then some, into consideration before giving out your details or paying for anything. 

While we hope to live in a world where we can trust the people we transact with, trickery exists. Not just in online buying and selling – they do exist in life as well. It is essential to ensure that they will not have any chance to exploit you and others. Maybe then they’d realize that no one falls for their wicked schemes. Be smart with your transactions. Let me borrow this overly used line to remind you to THINK BEFORE YOU CLICK. Happy shopping! 


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