How can buyers avoid scams from online auctions in the Philippines?
- Read everything
- Check seller’s reputation
- Insist on using safe methods
- Immediately report problems
E-commerce has only been growing with each passing year due to the advancement in technologies and our rapidly increasing internet use. People are more inclined to shop online now than they were before. They’d rather have their items delivered to their homes than go to actual stores to get them. Moreover, online shopping gives them access to products that may not be available in their country.
Aside from online shopping, another form of e-commerce has blown up in the past couple of years – online auctions in the Philippines. Online auctions offer more or less the same benefits as online shopping. The only difference is that people are more likely to get good deals on rare items when they participate in online auctions. Unfortunately, online auctions aren’t always the place to get cheap deals, sometimes they’re a place where people organize scams.
Many have been scammed, swindled, tricked, cheated, and duped through online auctions, and it’s done in many ways. Sometimes sellers just run away with the money; other times they ship items that are far from what is described and expected. These are prevalent in the online auction scene, so it’s best to know how to avoid them and that’s exactly what we’ll teach you today.
Whether or not it’s your first time participating in an online auction or not, the most important thing you have to do before you place your bid is to read – and read everything. There are different kinds of auction sites and even more kinds of sellers on the internet. Each of these sites and sellers has their own set of policies and rules that you need to read in order to properly navigate their pages and make successful transactions.
Aside from reading FAQs and policies, you should also read items’ descriptions thoroughly. Does the seller’s description match the picture provided (if there is one)? Does it specify the condition of the item? Does it seem genuine and not fake? In order to check this kind of information, try to compare the seller’s description with one from actual manufacturer’s.
Check Seller’s Reputation
It should be pretty obvious but a lot of people skip this as they are blinded by the good deals that they’re about to get but take the time to check out the seller before you buy anything from them. A lot of online auction sites have sections for buyer feedback and reviews, so spend a little time scrolling through those comments.
Naturally, someone who is bombarded with negative feedback should never be trusted, but don’t be so easy to trust every positive feedback either. There are times when sellers use alternate email addresses or ask their friends to flood their feedback section with undeserved praise. If you want to avoid scams, you need to be able to differentiate genuine feedback from fake feedback so that you can properly assess a seller’s reputation.
Insist on Using Safe Methods
Some sellers will insist on using unusual payment and shipping methods and those are usually the ones who are going to just run with your hard-earned money. Stay away from sellers who insist that you pay through wire-transfer services or through a P.O. box. Try to stick to those who allow you to use credit cards because those provide tracking information and have fraud protection.
When it comes to shipping methods, those that require a signature, are traceable, and have shipping insurance are your best bets. It’s also ideal if the items you are buying are insured by the seller or reputable providers and shipping companies. Also, once your item is shipped off, make sure to track its progress regularly, so you can be prepared for its arrival.
Immediately Report Problems
There are times when you’ve done everything you can and taken every precaution there is but somehow you still get scammed. The moment his happens or even the moment you notice something unusual, don’t hesitate to report it to the proper authorities. These scammers are relying on you to stay quiet out of embarrassment but don’t let that get to you and file your complaints.
The earlier you report any type of fraud or scam, the larger the chances are that you’re going to get back whatever you invested on the auction. Unreliable sellers are also more likely to shut down their operations out of fear of getting caught and the world of online auctions will be a much better place for that.
Aside from all the tips and reminders you’ve read, what you should always trust when participating in a Philippine online auction is your instincts. If you think that something is too good to be true, more often than not, it actually is. So, when your mind tells you that it’s a no-good deal, follow it. You’ll probably save yourself from a ton of trouble when that time comes!