Protect Yourself from Counterfeit Products: 5 Tips to Shop Safely Online

by Josh Biggs in Finance on 1st June 2021

Counterfeiting and piracy have tremendously increased in recent years and costs the U.S economy an average of over $200 billion per year. Besides affecting the economy, counterfeit goods can also pose a significant health risk to consumers. When shopping online, the possibility of buying counterfeit goods is very high if due diligence is not followed in making a purchase. 

Five Tips That Can Help You Avoid Buying Counterfeits Online.

  1. Use Reliable Consumer Help Resources When Doing Your Shopping

With so many options to make purchases online, it is understandable that the consumer may be spoilt for choice and may end up buying counterfeit products. The good thing is that you can overcome this problem by using reliable consumer help resources such as Buyersguide.org to ensure that all the products you buy are authentic. These consumer resources help the customers get the best deals by offering recommendations in the market and ensuring that buyers only get authentic products.

  1. Trust Your Instincts

When the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t. If you feel uncomfortable with the price of the product, the website of the seller, or the lack of proper product information, it is best to avoid making a purchase. 

A good rule of thumb is to avoid any website with poor quality photos, spelling mistakes in its content, or lacking terms and conditions for sale. It’s also a good idea to try calling sites before purchasing and listening to their automated response systems. If they do not sound legit or if the contact information doesn’t go through, avoid buying from those sellers.

  1. Go For Secure Transactions On Protected Websites

When making a purchase, ensure that your payments are submitted via secure websites. Secure websites always have SSL/TLS certificates. Most of these safe sites start with https:// with the “s” standing for security. A padlock icon on the left side of the search bar on your browser indicates that the site is secure. Often, vendors dealing with counterfeits have little or no regard for customer data and customer transaction security.

  1. Buy from Authorized Sellers

Just because you saw an ad on social media does not mean that a vendor deals in legitimate products. Before making a purchase online, ensure that you have done good research on the seller. Most manufacturers will publish the list of their online retailers on the packaging, so you may need to confirm if the vendor you intend to buy from is listed. Additionally, if you are unsure whether a vendor acquired a product from a legitimate distributor, you can call in and ask for verifiable information about the source of the product. 

  1. Wi-Fi Security

Using a secure internet connection is another important measure you should take when shopping online. The best thing to do is use your standard data connection instead of Wi-Fi offered in public places when accessing internet banking or any other site that requires you to share your personal information. The reason behind this is simple. Public Wi-Fi in places, such as coffee shops and shopping centers, is often insecure, meaning hackers can intercept any information you submit through these networks.

Putting It All Together

The risk of buying counterfeit products can be pretty high, especially when shopping online. By following the tips highlighted in this post, you can significantly reduce the chances of buying counterfeit goods. If you have bought counterfeits even after exercising due diligence, you can file a complaint with the vendor and seek a refund or report to relevant authorities.

Categories: Finance