With almost every industry touched by fake goods, how to know if a shopping website is legit can be a difficult task. From clothes to luxury cosmetic brands to mobile phone accessories. Fakes are everywhere, and so are the online sellers selling these counterfeits to unknowing online buyers.
If you’ve ever wondered how to check if an online store is legit, you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to tell you 5 easy steps to follow so you can feel safer and more confident buying online.
5 Steps To Spot a Fake Online Store
Check the website URL
One of the first things you should do when asking yourself if this store is legit is to check the website URL. Some website names look exactly like the names of the big-name retail sites they’re pretending to be. It’s often the case that fake online stores will be just one letter off, or replace a letter i with a number 1, for example.
Check to see if the website has a padlock icon at the beginning of the URL in your search bar. The padlock icon is there to show visitors a website is secure. Click it, and you will see vital information such as:
- If the security certificate is valid.
- The number of cookies in use.
- Other site settings.
Unfortunately, this isn’t quite enough in and of itself when it comes to how to know if a shopping website is legit. Some scammers have taken to it to create fake icons. But when considering spending a large amount of money, it’s worth double and triple-checking the URL.
If the Price Is Too Good to Be True, It Probably Is
A lot of how to check if an online store is legit comes down to common sense. Pricing is one of these variables. If the price is incredibly low, there’s a reason. Even if they say it’s part of a sale, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
Quality goods seldom go down in price. For example, Apple is well-known for seldom having its products at a discount.
Overabundant Use of Selling Words
A lot of fake online stores will use all kinds of enticing salesmen like selling words to entice and excite visitors into buying their counterfeit products. If a website uses an overabundance of words like ‘limited time offer’ and ‘expires soon’, ask yourself, is this store legit?
These types of words are often placed on every page on illegitimate websites to try and persuade people to buy before they’ve had time to think in fear of missing out. And this is how a lot of them ensnare and scam buyers before they realise what they’ve done.
Read the Reviews
Another step to know if a shopping website is legit is to read the reviews. This is an especially good step to take if everything looks as if it is a legit store, such as the URL and web pages are clean, but you still have doubts.
Trustpilot is one of the best places to go to see real reviews from real people. It’s a top-rated website that has been serving as a place to go to see if online shops are legit. If it’s not, people will tell you in the reviews. Best stay with online stores that have the best reviews from many sources.
Check the Payment Method
Since the advent of the internet, buying and selling goods online has continued to increase and shows no sign of stopping. With so many people buying their goods online, certain securities have been put in place to help people continue to buy securely.
A tried and true way to know if a shopping website is legit is to see if the website URL begins with https:// and has the padlock symbol. If this store is legit that you’re wanting to buy from, they will have this in their URL. Legitimate online stores also usually take payment only by debit, credit card, or PayPal. Consumers should be suspicious if an online shop accepts or asks for payment by bank transfer or other means.