We generally always list products from well-known and reputable online stores, however, if you have no previous dealings with the current store it's always best to perform a few simple checks before ordering, even if it's just for peace of mind.
- Avoid online stores that do not provide corporate or contact information.
- If you're not convinced by the information the company is providing contact them via email or phone and ask them a few questions, such as who runs the business, and how long they have been operating, et cetera.
- Visit comparison sites and discussion forums to read reviews and opinions about the online shop from other customers. If the store in question has lots of bad reviews is best to avoid them.
- Do an Internet search on the store name, company name, address, phone, people behind the company, etc.. If there's anything suspect the search results should reveal it fairly quickly.
- Read store delivery and purchase conditions thoroughly before you purchase any products. If there are any conditions or questions you are unsure of be sure to contact the company via email to get clarification. Make sure you save the email for future reference if and when needed.
- Avoid stores that do not inform about your cancellation rights and what this entails. Or stores that are making up their own rules and exceptions, such as telling you the customer you have to pay post and package return cost even if the item is damaged or faulty.
- Be wary of sites using Google ads. It's all too easy for cowboy websites to buy Google ads to appear right at the top of the search results. Though fraudulent websites will be banned by Google, they can scam hundreds if not thousands of customers before they are detected. It's always best to install a ad blocker to prevent these ads from showing in your web browser. Always make sure the website you are buying from is indexed in Google's organic search results rather than only appearing via their ads.
- Avoid website that use trademark names. Virtually all big companies trademark their brand name. For example, if you come across a website that was called "cheapappleipads(dot)com" and they were selling or offering information on Apple iPads, Apple Inc would have the right to claim that domain or have it removed because it's using their trademark. Scammers will often use a brand name in a domain name because it makes it look as if they are an official or approved seller of that particular brand.