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How to not get scammed when ordering phone or electronics from e-commerce platforms

Here's how you can avoid getting scammed when shopping from e-commerce platforms like Flipkart and Amazon. Follow this checklist to stay away from fraud.

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Every year, Flipkart and Amazon, two of the most popular shopping websites, host festive sales for consumers. Such sales are aimed at offering products at a good price while also clearing out some stocks in order to make space for a new product or new stock. Also Read - Amazon introduces a Prime Video Mobile Edition subscription plan in India

However, there are multiple instances where buyers have been scammed on such platforms and they went totally helpless. Owing to this, some people have even stopped buying from online platforms. But why does this happen? Especially now, when the Internet is all that we rely on and consumer forums have grown. Also Read - Amazon is giving six months of Spotify Premium subscription for free in India: How to get it

Let’s face it, such frauds are happening and will continue, unfortunately. But the one who can stay alert is the consumer. While ordering a product from online platforms, there’s a checklist that you may want to follow in order to avoid getting scammed. Also Read - Jack Ryan Season 3 launch date revealed: How you can watch it in India online

How to avoid getting scammed when ordering products online

Buying products online, especially electronic items like smartphones, laptops, and other devices can be tempting. Mainly, because products like smartphones are way cheaper online, and in sales, they are available at attractive prices. This, followed by bank offers make smartphones and other electronics a good buy.

However, you need to stay alert and follow a checklist while buying devices online. This checklist also includes some measures that online platforms have introduced to avoid fraud with customers.

Recently, Flipkart introduced its Open Box Delivery (OBD) under which products are opened and checked in front of the customer at the time of delivery. Once the product is checked, the customer tells the OTP to the delivery person to confirm.

Post this, no returns are accepted even for damages or missing parts, or wrong items since the customer has already agreed that the product is perfect and has shared the OTP.

Amazon, on the other, does provide a 7-day replacement guarantee and returns for some items. But again, there are chances of fraud happening there too.

This is because, Flipkart and Amazon, or any other similar shopping website for that matter are just platforms, where sellers and customers come together. Products that you see on these platforms are not sold by these companies, instead, sellers across India use the platform to sell their products.

That being said, neither Flipkart nor Amazon can completely guarantee that you won’t get scammed. So it finally boils down to the consumer to stay alert while purchasing smartphones and other electronics from different sellers on such platforms.

Below is a quick checklist that you must scan every time you are buying online from Amazon, Flipkart, or similar websites.

Checklist to follow when buying smartphones or electronics online

1. Check product price, product ratings, and QnA:

This is a basic step but you should always follow it. When you like a product online, always see the price, images, and ratings. The price should be real, what I mean is it shouldn’t be too low or too high. If it’s too low, then chances are that it’s fake and if the price is too high, then you already know that you are about to get scammed.

Images and ratings must be checked before buying a product. Check if the images look legitimate and if the rating and reviews on the platform are real. If you found something skeptical, avoid buying.

Most people forget that there’s a section on most online shopping platforms where you can ask questions to the seller or anyone browsing the product. See if there are important and legitimate questions in the Q&A section. Ask questions to the seller or others to identify if the seller is responding and the listing isn’t shady.

2. Check sellers and their ratings: 

Open the product you are purchasing. If it’s on Flipkart, you should see the seller just below the highlights or compare sections of the product. It says “Sold By” followed by the seller’s name and rating. On Amazon, you can see the seller’s name below the ‘Buy Now’ option. Tap on the name and check the seller details.

Once you know the seller’s name, check his rating on the app and also search for the name of the seller on Google. If the seller has 4-4.5 stars and above (on Flipkart) or 85 percent and above (on Amazon), and has good reviews as well then you are all set to go towards the next step.

You can also check for other sellers selling the same item and order the product from a different seller. But usually, the first seller is reliable.

3. Check the Return or Replacement policy: 

Always check if the smartphone or the product you are purchasing has a return or replacement policy. If you are not sure about the product and it doesn’t have ‘Returns,’ then don’t buy the product for the time being. If you are sure about buying a product, always see if it has a 7-day replacement available.

It’s there on most products on Amazon, while on Flipkart, the Open Box Delivery (OBD) system is available. You can read the OBD section of this article to know more about it.

4. Shoot an Unboxing video and click product photos: 

When you finally receive the product, do take an unboxing video and click pictures. Taking a video while opening the box and clicking the pictures of the product before and after opening the product may help you if anything goes wrong since you will have proofs to share.

  • Published Date: October 24, 2022 1:28 AM IST
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