Shopping Guide

5 Tips To Avoid Fake Online Sellers

Steer clear of fake shops and replicas with the help of this handy guide

Photography: Ocs Alvarez and Edric Borja (Main Photo)

Since you aren't able to meet with the people you're dealing with face-to-face, intuition is your best weapon when shopping online. While there is no step-by-step guide to trusting your gut, it never hurts to follow a few guidelines to keep you from losing your hard-earned money to a bogus seller. Here's how you can avoid online scammers:

1. Get to know the seller. 

If you're buying from a specific online store for the first time, don't be afraid to make friends with the owner. Exchange text messages or talk on the phone, if possible—ask about the item you're eyeing and try to find out where they source their pieces. 

2. Request multiple photos of the item from the seller. 

Whether you're buying books, toys, decor or furniture, using reposted photos of an item is a tell-tale sign that they do not have it. To help you confirm that the seller has the item on-hand, ask them to send you detailed photos of the item you're planning to buy. 

3. Compare the online price to the retail value. 

Usually, shopping online comes out more affordable than paying for full retail. However, there are situations when you should be more careful—for example, if you're eyeing a secondhand designer piece but the seller is offering it at an unbelievably low price, you might want to reconsider.

4. Be an informed shopper. 

Don't purchase an item from the first shop you see that offers what you need. Before hitting the order button, make sure you've done your research well. Start by checking how many shops have the same piece, observe the price differences or ask online shopping-savvy friends which shop you should go with. 

5. Consider how you pay. 

Before sending your credit card details, be wary of the perils of fraud. If you're buying an expensive item, consider negotiating a 50-50 deal with the seller—pay half of the amount before delivery and give the rest upon receiving the item. 

PHOTOS: Ocs Alvarez and Edric Borja (Main) | Dairy Darilag | Alyssa Roxas 

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