How to practice safe online shopping and have no regrets
This is all about buying on Etsy, but the tips apply to any platform having individual sellers: Ebay, Amazon, DaWanda and all others, and even to the individual separate website holding shops! 3 simple tips to make your online shopping experience free of regrets!
1) Always check the source of the photo, representing the item you want to buy. In about 80% of the "too cheap and too good looking to make sense" cases the seller is using some blogger photo wearing definitely NOT THEIR item.
Here's how to check: right click on the image and choose "search Google for this image":
The first results that pop up in Google are irrelevant, it's just trying to help you find "something of the same sort", so scroll past these to the lower part of the page:
Stop when you reach "Pages that include matching images". They SHOULD include addresses from the store you're wanting to purchase your item from. If it doesn't, the photo probably isn't the sellers! Here's how a good search looks for a skirt you're wanting to buy of Etsy:
You can click on any of these links and in each of them you should find that the skirt is actually by Wardrobe by Dulcinea, even though there is a tumblr link as well, and there may be a pinterest link, or our blog link, and any other social media presence, they should all lead back to our store on Etsy.
Here is how BAD search results look:
Medium priced tulle skirt, beautiful in a photo, yet a photo is a strong close up and there is only one. Worth checking out for sure!
Scrolling to matching images I don't find a single Etsy link, and what is more, I can see that the image was in fact cropped. Going to any and all links listed I find out that it is actually a Space 46 tulle skirt, and not the MyBarkatVilla skirt. I wonder what people are actually getting when they purchase this (and they do!)?
To sum up the 1st tip of safe online shopping: ALWAYS CHECK THE SOURCE OF THE PHOTO AND SEE IF IT LEADS BACK TO THE ACTUAL STORE YOU'RE WANTING TO PURCHASE IT FROM. If it has a million pinterest links and no source ever present, it is also fake. If you can't see who it is by - do not buy!
2) Check if there are reviews, and if there are - read them. A lot of people only purchase from the online stores with reviews, but of course sometimes the store may just be too new to have any, and they deserve a chance, too. That is, if their photos are actually theirs, their description is spot on, and they have POLICIES listed as well.
DO NOT RELY on an average item review. Even if it's 5 stars, out of many reviews, quite a few bad ones can be drowned there. Actually click on reviews and read a couple of pages there. For example, this store has 4.5 star average item review. It's not ideal but still quite nice, right? Lets look inside.
Now this person is discouraged from ever buying clothes online. If only she had checked the photo beforehand and read the reviews, I'm sure she would have chosen a different vendor.
3) And the last tip, when in any doubt (is this an elastic waist, can it be made longer, how it looks on a real person and not a dummy, etc etc) - contact the seller! If it's a nice, helpful and caring business owner, you will receive a spot on answer shortly, usually backed up with extra pictures and any information on anything you might need. If you're dissatisfied with the lack of information, manners, or anything else - you can always look further for someone to better suit your needs, you don't have to settle for average communication or average product! There is a million of genuine makers out there, as well as about the same amount of not genuine ones (resellers claiming "handmade" included), but you now KNOW how to find out, which is which! :) Good luck online shopping, and may the odds be ever in your favor!