Blog by Sreetex

Tips for Safe Online shopping

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Shopping online has its own problems. You've not heard of it before, neither do you see their ads in TV. How can I trust a website to buy from?

Dear friends, followers, and fans.

We are in a rather testing times where the technology that brings us together, helps us create new friends, build better contact, pave a way for better relationships do come with its very own disadvantages.

Since the last week of January, we've been contacted by numerous entrepreneurs, companies, and e-marketplaces stating that SREETEX has placed orders in their websites on Cash on Delivery.

Some miscreant individual or group have taken our address, contact numbers that are available in the public domain and use them to place such online orders in several websites and marketplaces all over India.

The intent of these persons is simply to create havoc, disturbance and distrust on our brand. Not only that, it creates huge amounts of financial losses to the websites who were involved. We are also exploring possible legal actions that can be taken on these persons.

In case you receive an order from our name on Cash on delivery, we recommend you to contact us before you ship the product. This way, we can atleast reduce the monetary loss if at all to eradicate the problem.

Our way forward:

Apart from making things easier and placing orders faster, Cash on delivery can be seen as a rather niche tool in bridging trust between the company and the client.

Shopping online does have its own problems. You've not heard of it before, neither it is famous enough that everybody knows. You don't see their ads in TV.

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How can I trust a website to buy from?

Here are a few things you could check before you can trust a website to buy their products.

Secured Site Payment

Always look in the address box for the "s" in https:// and for the padlock symbol before paying. This means the site you're on is a secure one. In technical jargon, this is called a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).

If there are any doubts about a site, you can click on the Padlock symbol near the address bar. This will let you see the real URL and the dialog box will reveal if the site is not encrypted.

Most merchants use secure websites, where your personal information is encrypted or scrambled, so that it can't be easily intercepted.

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There are several third-party payment sites or payment gateways like PayTm, Razorpay, Payumoney, PayPal, etc who redirect you to their secure website to enter in your card details. This way, you can be sure that the website cannot store or have access to your credit card information.

Word of caution: Don't send your credit card number by email as opposed to a secure order form. Emails are not secure.

Look for Bad English

Good websites take pride in themselves. That means the graphics look sharp, the spelling and grammar is on point and the entire experience feels streamlined and polished. If you’re on a website that feels like it contains a lot of errors and if those mistakes appear on important pages, you might have to steer clear of them.

Everyone makes the occasional mistakes—even big companies. But at the point the mistakes become egregious you need to beware.

Important pages to look up

It is never too bad to check with the online store before you are ready to business with them. A good business will always have abundant information about their identity than a fake one. Try looking up their About us, Contact Us pages. They should have proper content in these pages.

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Some professional online stores set up other statutory pages like Terms of use, Privacy policy, and Cancellation or Returns Policy. It is imperative for an online store to have these pages set up to have a payment gateway in their website.

Get to know about the people behind the online store

Do not just hold back to just browsing the products. Try to get in touch with the people running the store. You can try chatting from the website, lookup their Facebook or Instagram profile, or even call them on their phone numbers.

Keeping an active and up to date Social profile is a must for any online store. Look up their social profiles, their ratings, reviews, and posts from other customers.

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Getting in touch with the online store and getting to know the people running will surely reflect about their seriousness in the business and bridging the trust factor.

Enquire with the seller

Enquire any and all queries you have with the seller before you decide to place an order, to make sure you're on the same page. Clear your doubts you have about the shipping rates, time taken to ship, quality of the material you're buying, etc.

How cheap can I get it online?

Unlike the pre-internet days, the consumer market is no longer constrained or monopolised by large store owners, big brands who invest heavily in TV commercials and print advertisements to make their way to the consumers.

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Until a few years ago, buying online means buying from large e-marketplaces which is changing for good. Now you see a lot of manufacturers, small businesses, entrepreneurs, and new startups run their own online stores. This not only cuts out the large commission fees charged by the marketplaces, it also helps to establishing their brand. Now this brings the online stores to a level playing field where they have equal opportunity to meet the consumer demand.

Change is good - and especially the ones where the consumer stands to reap its benefits. That being said, you cannot buy a product online for 100 bucks and expect its quality to be that of 1000 or 2000 bucks. That is why it is always a good idea to talk to seller about the product, clear all doubts and expect what you must expect.

The onus is on the online store owners to follow ethical business practices and treat every customer they meet online as one who knocks their front door. Once you gain their trust and get an order, you have not only gained business. You have earned a fan.

Sreetex is a leading Manufacturer of Kancheepuram silk sarees & textiles. They have a direct online store at shop.sreetex.in

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Author: Prakhash Baskaran

Engineer. Entrepreneur. Always looking for ideas.

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