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As someone who has marketed online for a number of years I wanted to provide some tips based on my accumulated knowledge of what are some of the characteristics of a reputable online merchant or website.
However, these characteristics are certainly no guarantee that a merchant will be in business next month virtually no business stays in business forever.
My online marketing combined with shopping experience has taught me what to look for in order to purchase with confidence from any internet merchant or website.
So what attributes do I look for in a website to gain confidence in purchasing online.
The first thing I do is examine the webpage. I look at how many pages of quality content the site has, typically the more the better. Typically if someone is a ripoff they’re not going to put a lot of effort into a website just for the purpose of taking advantage of people. Its too much effort for short-term gain as word typically travels fast about a disreputable merchant.
Second online merchants that accept American Express (AMEX) are typically in your top tier of merchants. While the other prominent credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, Discover) are certainly very good American Express in my humble opinion excels in customer service, which should be expected. Those other cards are free, AMEX charges a yearly fee.
Personally because of previous experiences I’ve had when using American Express customer service for refunds, I prefer to use them when shopping online.
Third look on the website for the BBBOnline (Better Business Bureau) logo to see if the online merchant is a member of that network.
If you don’t see this it doesn’t mean they are not a reputable merchant. However, if they do most likely they are.
Other things to look for.
Do they display a telephone number on their website?
Are you able to call someone if you have a problem?
On webpages that process secure information like credit cards verify that the web address starts with https instead of http. The address is contained in the white address bar at the top of the internet browser.
It is highly recommended to pay for your purchases with a credit card online. Using a credit card is your safeguard to get your money back in the unfortunate event the merchant doesn’t deliver.
Most online merchants are very reputable and typically keep their eyes open for ripoff websites that give online buying an undeserved bad name.