Tech

How to shop online and not be fooled

Online shopping can feel magical. After a few clicks and a few days later, the box will be right next to you. However, you may feel like you are playing a digital dodgeball game. Shoppers Fake review, Unsafe or mislabeled products, Or Counterfeit Hidden behind a legitimate looking list.

That’s because we live in the marketplace era. Third party sellers

Amazon,

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Walmart,

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Target — and still Urban Outfitters and J. Crew.. This transaction can be considered to be beneficial to both parties. Customers can choose more products and retailers can save more sales. problem? It adds a mysterious layer to shoppers. Instead of buying from that site you know, you’re buying from a seller you don’t know, and it’s often a branded product you’ve never heard of.

In addition, return and refund policies may differ from products sold directly on the site. In most cases, we have not verified the quality of third-party products. And the competition between sellers is very fierce, with many manipulating their list and gaining praise.

After years of covering how to operate the marketplace, I have developed three important beliefs for shopping on the internet.

• Know who sells what you are buying.

• Make sure you have a simple return policy.

• Don’t trust reviews.

Especially easy to say Amazon Prime Shopping Frenzy Below are my specific tips to help you avoid being fooled, grouped around these three topics.

Investigate third-party sellers

The most important information on a product page (seller’s name) is often displayed in the smallest font. There is “Seller” information under Amazon, Target, and Walmart prices.


Photo:

Nicole Nguyen / Wall Street Journal

Find the “Seller” section of the page. Product sellers, one of the most important pieces of information on this page, are often displayed in small, small fonts. On Amazon, it’s under the “Buy Now” button. In Walmart[カートに追加]Below the buttons and shipping options[販売者と配送先]Is displayed. At the target, it is in the middle below the price. If in doubt, search the page for the keyword “sold”.

Find out more about third-party sellers. Click to display the seller’s page. Be careful if the rating is mediocre, or if people are complaining about recent issues. Look for more clues: Practical customer service phone numbers and dedicated off-market websites are two good indicators of what your business is trying at least.

Check “Ships from” on Amazon. It’s just below the orange “Buy Now” button. Items shipped by Amazon benefit from Amazon’s unique customer service, return processing, and delivery guarantees for most items. Primed products shipped by the seller are also eligible for the same benefits.

If you are concerned about safety, please purchase directly. In 2019, the journal was found Thousands of Amazon items declared unsafe or banned Labeled by federal regulators or at first glance.To Ensure the safety of your orderBuy directly from a retailer or manufacturer. Specifically, children’s items, health and beauty products, electronics, and head and face coverings (such as scuba masks). For example, Amazon requires that the brands of its products be well insured. You can filter searches for direct purchases on Amazon, Walmart, and Target.

Filter the results to show items sold directly from the site for easy returns. At Walmart[Sort&Filter]Select and scroll down[Retailer]Unfold and[Walmart.com]Tap.


Photo:

Nicole Nguyen / Wall Street Journal

If quality is a concern, avoid unnamed brands. Amazon and Wal-Mart carry cheap products from unnamed labels, but the prices are too good to be true. I call these the “Alphabet Soup” brands. These are usually a jumble of letters, often all capitalized. In most cases, it is shipped directly from a factory in China. While these items offer attractive deals, choosing more expensive branded items can save you time and money.

The “Amazon’s Choice” label does not indicate quality. Amazon has awarded badges to items such as: Violate your own policy..

Please note “Buy again”. Amazon, Wal-Mart, and other retailers with marketplaces should not opt ​​for a quick buyback without checking out. If the seller you last offered is out of stock, these sites may swap to another site, which can affect prices, fulfillment times, and refund options.

Please check the shipping date at check-out. When you visit the page, you may see a shipping quote immediately the next day. However, if you choose a different variation (for example, a different color), it can affect delivery in weeks or months.

Want to trade? Look for “Amazon Warehouse”. The list may contain a section called “New and Used” (under “Add to List” on the right). Here you will find items for sale from Amazon Warehouse. There may be scratches or missing packages, but it is usually in good working order. 1 Bike lock Recently ordered items were available at a 24% discount.

Use the price tracking app. Some sellers raise the price of their products before offering a “trade” for shopping holidays.Check to make sure you get the best deals CamelCamelCamelWebsite. Track the price history of Amazon’s list and send price reduction alerts. Capital One Shopping A browser extension that automatically compares Amazon prices with other retailers. (If used, Capital One Do you want to collect information Browsing product pages, purchase history, etc.)

Evaluate the return policy

Prime items can be returned within 30 days. Tap the Prime toggle at the top of the Amazon search results page to filter the results to those products only.


Photo:

Nicole Nguyen / Wall Street Journal

The easiest way to return it is to buy Prime or buy it directly from the site. Items sold by Amazon.com and Amazon Warehouse, or primed items (in most cases), can be returned within 30 days. Many items can be returned to Whole Foods.

Coles

Or store the UPS without a box or label.

Items sold by Wal-Mart have a 90-day return period. Wal-Mart has set minimum standards for third-party returns (14 days for electronics and luxury goods, 30 days for all others), but each seller has its own policy. Some readers have received emails from the Wal-Mart website complaining about not being able to request a refund from Wal-Mart Marketplace sellers. A Wal-Mart spokeswoman said he would contact customer service in the event of a problem.

Target offers a 90-day return period for all items, including those sold by third parties.

Find out the cost of the return. On Amazon, the product return policy is orange on the right[今すぐ購入]It will be displayed below the button. Many items may be returned for a full refund, but some types of items, such as mini fridges, may incur high return fees.

Check your credit card terms for additional coverage. Look for purchase protection or extended warranty benefits. For example, Amazon’s Prime Rewards Card extends the warranty of three years or less by another year, covering up to $ 500 per bill for 120 days against damage or theft.

Comb through reviews

Analyze the authenticity of the review. Like ReviewMeta This is to provide a lot of context behind the adjusted rating of the Amazon list.I give that rating Fake spotYou can also assign a rating to reviews with Walmart

eBay..

Keep in mind that these tools are just estimates. Many fake reviews are tuned off-platform and appear as confirmed purchases.

Search for “gift card” or “free”. Click the star rating at the top of Amazon’s list to jump to the review section of the page.[すべてのレビューを表示]Scroll down to. There you can search for customer ratings.Reviews that mention gift cards and free items are written by the seller Raise your rating through financial incentives.

Share your thoughts

What is your number one secret for online shopping? Join the conversation below.

Sort by the latest review. In the Amazon Customer Review section, you’ll see a dropdown called “Top Reviews.” We found that changing the order to the latest improves the combination of reviews.

See global reviews. Some sellers have integrated product reviews that are completely different from other countries into their US list to boost their reputation.

Don’t put too much inventory in your review. No matter how close you are to a rating, you cannot be 100% sure that a review has been manipulated. What’s my advice? Skip the text, read negative reviews that repeatedly mention obvious flaws, and discount products with only 5-star reviews. It’s better to trust the recommendations from good friends or rely on the return policy if you run into any problems.

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Write to Nicole Nguyen nicole.nguyen@wsj.com

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How to shop online and not be fooled

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