With this year consisting mostly of online ordering, and the holiday season coming up, you can expect to see quite a few online ads for companies you may not have heard of before. We, at Plymouth Cards, understand that it can be nerve wracking to order online from a business that is new to you. But here are our tips that we use for ensuring that a brand is reputable to order from!
1. Check the Contact Us page of the company's website
Does their Contact Us page list an address and a phone number? Those can help you tell if they are reputable or not. You can also try calling the number and seeing if someone answers the phone. If it goes straight to a dial tone/busy signal then avoid ordering. But do keep in mind, small companies like Plymouth Cards, only have one phone line. If you get a company voicemail, leave a message and see if they call you back. I even look up the address on Google maps to make sure it isn't a large field in the middle of nowhere. Small business tend to use their home address or many use a USPS/UPS post office box.
2. Look at their post history
If they are running an ad on Facebook and that's their only post on their Facebook page, then you may want to avoid purchasing from them. If you can see that they are active on Facebook and post regularly, there is a better chance that they are a legitimate company. You can look at our Plymouth Cards Facebook page for an example here. Check to see if they comment on their social media posts and answer user questions. If they do videos, watch some. If they do Facebook Live, make an effort to watch one Live and ask a question, even if the answer is obvious.
3. Read the reviews
People are often quick to leave a review if they are super happy or unhappy with a product. Does the company have good reviews? Or only bad? Are the comments on their Facebook posts positive or negative? These are great ways to vet a company!
4. Is the price reasonable?
Shop around some other sites and see if the price is similar to what other places are offering first. If the price seems outrageously low then it may be not be a reputable brand or it is a copycat.
These are our best current tips for avoiding online scams this holiday season. Do your research on brands and verify that they are legitimate before ordering anything.
5. Payment methods
Always pay with a credit card or other secure payment method such as PayPal. Whenever possible, do not use a debit card when making purchases online.
Have any tips we didn't list? Comment them below to help others learn too!
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