every year, Flipkart And heroineTwo of the most popular shopping websites host festive sales for consumers. The purpose of such sales is to offer products at a good price while clearing some of the stock to make room for a new product or new stock.
However, there are many instances where buyers have been duped on such platforms and left completely helpless. Due to this some people have also stopped buying from online platforms. But why does this happen? Especially now, when the Internet is all we rely on and consumer platforms have evolved.
Let’s face it, this kind of fraud is happening and unfortunately will continue. But the one who can remain vigilant is the consumer. When ordering products from online platforms, there is a checklist that you may wish to follow to avoid fraud.
How to avoid fraud when ordering products online
Buying products online, especially electronic items like smartphones, laptops and other devices can be tempting. Mainly, because products like smartphones are cheap online, and in sales, they are available at attractive prices. Bank offers then make smartphones and other electronics a good buy.
However, you need to be cautious and follow a checklist while buying equipment online. This checklist also includes some of the measures that online platforms have introduced to avoid fraud with customers.
Recently Flipkart introduced its Open Box Delivery (OBD) under which the products are opened and checked in front of the customers at the time of delivery. Once the product is checked, the customer gives the OTP to the delivery person for confirmation.
Post this, no returns are accepted for damage or missing parts, or even wrong items as the customer has already agreed that the product is correct and has shared the OTP.
Amazon, on the other hand, offers a 7-day replacement guarantee and returns for some items. But again there also remains the possibility of fraud.
This is because Flipkart and Amazon, or any other similar shopping website for that matter, are just platforms where sellers and customers come together. The products you see on these platforms are not sold by these companies, rather sellers across India use the platform to sell their products.
That being said, neither Flipkart nor Amazon can fully guarantee that you will not get scammed. So ultimately it is up to the consumer to be cautious while buying smartphones and other electronics from various vendors on such platforms.
Below is a quick checklist that you need to scan every time you shop online from Amazon, Flipkart, or similar websites.
Checklist to Follow When Buying Smartphones or Electronics Online
1. Check Product Price, Product Rating & QNA:
This is a basic step but you should always follow it. When you find a product you like online, always look at the price, picture and rating. The price should be real, I mean it should not be too low or too high. If it’s too low, chances are it’s fake and if the price is too high, you already know you’re about to be duped.
Images and ratings should be checked before purchasing the product. Check if the images look legit and whether the ratings and reviews on the platform are genuine. If you find something suspicious, avoid buying.
What most people forget is that most online shopping platforms have a section where you can ask questions to the seller or anyone browsing the product. Check whether there are important and valid questions in the Q&A section. Ask questions to the seller or others to identify whether the seller is responding and the listing is not ambiguous.
2. Check Sellers and their Ratings:
Open the product you are buying. If it’s on Flipkart, you should see the seller or compare sections of the product just below the highlight. This includes the seller’s name and rating followed by “Sold Buy”. On Amazon, you can see the name of the seller under the ‘Buy Now’ option. Tap on the name and check the seller details.
Once you know the seller’s name, check his rating on the app and also search the seller’s name on Google. If the seller has 4-4.5 stars and above (on Flipkart) or 85 percent and above (on Amazon), and also has a good review, then you are all set to move on to the next step.
You can also check other sellers selling the same item and order the product from a different seller. But usually, the first seller is the credible one.
3. Check the Return or Replacement Policy:
Always check if the smartphone or product you are buying has a return or replacement policy. If you are not sure about the product and it does not have a ‘return’, do not buy the product for that time. If you are sure about purchasing a product, always check to see if it has a 7-day replacement available.
It is on most products on Amazon, while on Flipkart, the Open Box Delivery (OBD) system is available. You can read the OBD section of this article to know more about it.
4. Shoot an Unboxing Video and Click Product Photos:
When you finally receive the product, take an unboxing video and click pictures. Taking videos while opening the box and clicking product photos before and after opening the box can help you if anything goes wrong as you will have evidence to share.
The how-to scam post first appeared on BGR India when ordering phones or electronics from e-commerce platforms.