By Ifeoluwa Dada
The internet has come to stay; so much has been its effect that the world is now regarded as a global village. Businesses can now truly be done without borders.
With the increase in internet penetration and in the number of social media users across the world, exploring the opportunity to do business online has become a reality that can no longer be ignored.
But then, the experience of selling and buying online can be bitter-sweet or a neither here nor there experience.
Here are three things to consider before venturing into buying online in today’s world.
1. Do a thorough online search
In truth, all that glitters isn’t gold and in the age where opportunities to falsify contents are few clicks away, there is a need to double-check before committing resources online.
It is important that you make thorough findings about what you intend to buy or sell. Especially if you are a greenhorn in the online space, you are more likely to fall into wrong hands.
Open yourself to information about the product. Interestingly, the internet and of course the various search engines online afford you basic requisite product knowledge almost at a go.
In 2020, I know a number of persons who got swindled by conmen in the quest to invest in “forex”, cryptocurrency and the likes.
One common side to the unfortunate stories is that most of them actually knew next to nothing about the venture before jumping in.
Beyond fraudulent engagement, generally in business, it is almost unavoidable to have information failure or what economics called information asymmetric – a situation when one party to an economic transaction possesses greater material knowledge than the other party.
It is therefore expected that the one with a higher degree of information is most likely to make the most from the transaction at the expense of the other parties.
2. Study product reviews
Product reviews are fast becoming one trusted way to get product knowledge online. In fact, according to a report on Bigcommerce, “91% of people read them (reviews) and 84% trust them as much as they would a personal recommendation. The average customer is willing to spend 31% more on a retailer that has excellent reviews”.
The reason for studying product reviews is to ascertain the credibility of the seller before you trigger a transaction.
Who is the seller? What are others who have bought the product saying about the platform? Most e-commerce platforms display buyers product reviews, most of which can be helpful for decision making.
Of course, product reviews are not always perfect as an absolute source for product knowledge because in some cases some (positive) reviews are actually sponsored or manipulated to influence buyers.
3. If the price is too good to be true, it is most likely a hoax
That is a golden rule for buying online. In the same breath; sellers of inferior products online and fraudsters appear to have a common trick to how they go about their games.
They employ what is often tagged “unbelievably low” price. I rather call them ridiculous prices. In most cases, it turns as a tale of being penny wise and pound foolish.
Also, be sure you are willing to pay what should be the sufficient price for what you intend to buy.
Watch out! Even on a Fridays that are said to be black, prices are not always as low as black. If the price is too good to be true, it is most likely a hoax.
Good luck with your next online shopping.
Ifeoluwa S. Dada writes from Lagos.
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