You may be an avid online shopper, but that doesn’t mean all websites are safe. In fact, with so many sites offering deals on products at a moment’s notice, it can be difficult to determine which sites are trustworthy and which ones are not. If you’re shopping online, it’s important to take several precautions before making a purchase.
Even though most of the well-known websites have trustworthy reputations, there are some red flags you should look out for when making purchases from any site. Here are eight ways to tell if an online store is legit.
8 Ways to Tell if an Online Store Is Legit
1. Check The Url
The first thing you should do when determining whether or not to shop on an e-commerce site is to check the URL. There are a few ways to do this, but the easiest way to tell if a site is legitimate is to look at the “HTTP” in the URL. If the “HTTP” is replaced with an “s” (for example, the URL www.example.com becomes www.example.coms), this is a clear sign the site has been hacked and is no longer trustworthy.
Another way to check the URL is to look at the “domain” part of the URL. Legitimate sites will have “com,” “net,” or “org” at the end of their URL. If the URL ends in something else, it’s a sign the site is fishy.
2. Scan Website Looks
Websites that have a clear lack of professionalism are probably trying to deceive customers. If the site doesn’t look trustworthy or reliable, it’s a clear sign something is wrong. If you notice misspellings or grammatical errors on the site, this could be a sign the site is not legitimate.
If the website looks unprofessional, you should be careful about making purchases. This doesn’t mean every website with a few mistakes on it is fake, but if you notice a few clear errors on a website, it’s worth being extra cautious.
3. Look For Shipping Costs
Many legitimate online stores will show you the shipping costs before you make a purchase. Often, this will be listed right on the product page. If there are no shipping costs listed, or if the store won’t tell you how much you’ll be charged for shipping, this could be a sign that the store is trying to deceive you.
It’s likely there’s a reason the store won’t tell you the shipping price. If the shipping costs are too good to be true, it’s because they are. If a store won’t tell you how much you’ll have to pay to have your items delivered, it’s likely a sign that something is fishy.
If you notice a store that doesn’t list shipping costs, or if it won’t tell you the exact price you’ll have to pay, it’s best to look for another online shopping site.
4. Check If The Product Descriptions Are Realistic
While every website will claim its products are the best, certain claims are false. If the store promises results that are impossible to achieve, it’s probably trying to deceive you.
A skin care website that promises its products will completely clear your skin in two weeks is a site you should avoid. While skincare products can help with certain conditions, they can’t clear your skin in two weeks. If a store promises too much, it’s a sign it’s trying to deceive you.
You may not be able to tell if a store is legitimate just by reading its website, but if you notice a few red flags, it’s worth being extra cautious.
5. Be Careful Of Free Trials
It’s common for online stores to offer free trials of their products, but you should always be careful with these offers. Often, stores will trick you into signing up for a recurring subscription you didn’t want in the first place. If you’re offered a free trial of a product, make sure you read the fine print before signing up.
Make sure the free trial is legitimate and that you aren’t being tricked into a subscription that you don’t want. If a store is trying to trick you into a subscription, it’s likely a sign that the store is not legitimate.
6. Read Return Policy
If a store has a terrible return policy, it could be a sign that the site is not legitimate. If a store has a very low return policy, or if it says you can’t return products no matter what, it’s a clear sign that it is not a legitimate site.
Only buy from websites that have generous return policies. If a store has a bad return policy, it’s a sign the site could be fraudulent.
7. Examine The SSL Certificate
An SSL certificate is a sign of trust and safety when browsing the internet. They are used to verify that you are on the correct website and that your information is being kept safe. There are many ways to tell if a website is legitimate, but one of the best ways to do this is to check if it has an SSL certificate.
Trustworthy websites will have an SSL certificate. If a site does not have an SSL certificate, it is not as safe as a website that does. A website that does not have an SSL certificate is not worth your time. It is not as safe as a website that does. If you are shopping online, you should only use websites that have an SSL certificate.
If a website does not have one, it is not worth your time. You cannot be sure that you are on the correct website.
8. Examine Products Prices
While it’s important to examine the website for red flags, it’s also important to make sure the prizes on the site are realistic. If a store has products that are listed for a price that’s too low, or if it has products that are listed for prizes that are way too high, it’s a sign that the website is not legitimate.
If the prizes on a website are too high or too low, it’s a sign that the site is fraudulent. You should always make sure the prizes on an e-Commerce site are realistic. If they are not, it’s a sign that the site is not as legitimate as you originally thought.
Benefits Of Shopping In Legit Online Stores
Shopping in legit online stores has many perks. You can shop at almost any hour of the day, you don’t have to fight off crowds at the store, and a lot of times you can use rewards programs and get discounts. If you’re shopping online, you can find almost any product you need, including those that are hard to find in stores.
You can also save money by searching for coupon codes online and using reward programs. You can even read reviews to find out if a product is worth your money. One of the best things about shopping online is that you don’t have to leave the house. If you don’t feel like going out or don’t have the time, you can order products straight to your door.
What To Do With Fake Online Stores
If you’ve discovered that an online store you’ve been shopping at for some time is a fake website, don’t panic. There are ways to deal with these situations, like reporting the website to your bank or credit card company. If you’ve been scammed by a fake website, you should report it.
You can report the website to your bank or credit card company so they can block the fraudulent charges. You can also report the website to the Federal Trade Commission. This will help the government track down scammers and shut down fake websites.
These are just a few ways to tell if an online store is legitimate. While these signs help determine whether or not a site is legitimate, they are not foolproof. Whether or not a site is legit is up to you. You can use these tips to help determine whether or not a site is trustworthy, but only you can decide if the site is a site you can trust.
Remember to trust your instincts when shopping online. If a site seems too good to be true, it probably is. This does not mean you should avoid online shopping altogether, but it does mean you should be extra cautious when making purchases from any website.
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