Exploring the Internet for small niche stores is one of the best ways to find amazing deals. It’s also a good way to find B2B ecommerce sites that specialize in bulk order processing, which can be a godsend if you are a business owner. However, it is important to be aware of security risks and scams when placing orders outside of popular retailers. Here are some of the red flags you should watch out for when shopping online.
1 – Hidden costs
It’s easy to overlook the fees when buying from a site for the first time. Everything from taxes to shipping costs can only be added to the total price at checkout. You may also find that the amount that was deducted from your business credit card was higher than what was displayed on the site due to additional charges that you weren’t aware of.
Depending on the size of your business, it can be difficult to keep track of every purchase made on the business account. But it’s good to at least check how much a new site charged for your last order. Otherwise, it could take weeks to find out that they overcharged your business account, in which case disputing the payment may no longer be an option.
It is also a good idea to check if there are any coupons for this site readily available online before making a purchase. There are entire platforms dedicated to compilation
SHEIN promo codes, as well as coupon codes for various other lesser-known retailers and stores.
2 – User reviews
Many online stores will proudly display positive reviews on their homepage. However, everything on a store’s home page can be tampered with. It is safer to look for reviews on third party websites and on social media. If you know of other store owners in your niche, you can ask them about that store as well. Better safe than sorry if you plan to place a large order.
3 – Customer support
It is a good idea to email the store customer service before placing an order. This will allow you to gauge their response time and the usefulness of their support team. Remember: you rely on this support team if something goes wrong with your order. And a helpful customer support representative can be the difference between having an issue resolved immediately and you facing months of back and forth. So finding a store with a helpful support team is worth it.
4 – Quality of the site
In a world where professional quality online stores are easier than ever to set up, an online store with a terrible website is cause for concern. A bad site can be excused if the site is old and has not been updated for some time. But given how complicated it is to ensure that an online store is safe from cyber attacks, it’s probably best not to trust a site with your credit card information if its store online does not even load properly on your cell phone.
If you absolutely have to shop at a store that doesn’t seem to have the basics of cybersecurity, contact their team to see if they accept payments through third-party platforms like Paypal or Venmo.