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How To Spot A Fake Online Seller


Shopping online is more convenient than heading out to the store especially when traffic doesn’t want to cooperate with you. While it may be easier in a lot of ways, it’s not immune to scams and bogus sellers. Here are some points to remember that can help you spot a potential fake online seller.

Price is to good to be true

People skepticize the ingenuity of a product due to its price. If the listed value is way cheaper than most, you should start to think twice unless you have good reasons to actually believe the offering. Most of the time, products that are new, in demand, or rare are used as attraction for potential victims.

Impatient attitude

Dealing with people who wants to steal your hard-earned money tend to be short-tempered. That’s why they prefer buyers who are easy to intimidate and convince. These people don’t have the patience to entertain questions and get easily mad when the dealing takes longer than expected and might call off the deal. When that happens it’s either they are already bored of you or their conscience is already clouding their mind. But sometimes, some sellers just need a seminar in proper customer relations.

Negative feedback

Customer feedback is a good basis of buyer’s trust. Online dwellers help each other to identify who is genuine and who is not. If the seller has more negative feedback than positive, hold back. Try to look for other sellers that offer the product you’re looking for but also with proof of their positive service like comments from real accounts and photo of delivered goods. However, some feedback can be bots or sham praises done by the fake seller him/herself so be vigilant.

Doesn’t want to offer COD or meet-up

If you’re going to ask me, the safest way of buying a product from a not-so-popular seller is to conduct your transaction in person. Most online sellers offer cash transaction upon meet-up and at times, Cash On Delivery or COD. If you’re having doubts about the seller, it’s best not to pay (via bank deposit or debit/credit card) before having the product.

Paying upfront in person with cash is still the best way to purchase. A lot of online sellers do meet-ups in common places like MRT/LRT stations, malls, or even schools. It somehow defeats the purpose of buying online and just waiting for the product to be delivered, but with meet-ups, you can personally check the product before handing out money. It’s like buying in a physical store but at your preferred place.

For those who are not familiar with COD, this type of payment is probably the most convenient. The product will be delivered to you and you’ll pay in cash upon arrival of the delivery. It’s having the best of both worlds of shopping online and cash purchase. No cards, no worries.

In the end, just be smarter than them and be more informed

Not all online sellers are fake. They are some new sellers that offer great selection that others don’t have. A lot of uncommon items are found online, sold by independent merchants, and are available in limited quantity. It is indeed tempting to finally have what you are looking for, but don’t let the excitement overpower your shopping intellect.

This article was contributed by Daniel Morial, a film school graduate and technology enthusiast. He's the geeky encyclopedia and salesman among his friends for anything tech.

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8 Responses

  1. Weng says:

    Kinda hard to judge the integrity of a seller online or offline. I sell online but I can’t offer COD nor meetups because of my work schedule. If a buyer is wary of a seller, there are also a lot of sellers who are wary of people who want COD or meetups. I’ve also heard stories of people reserving a lot of stuff without a downpayment and ended up fotting the bill especially if they sell high-end products.

    I agree that Vigilance is a key. Constant communication too can be used to judge a seller/buyer.

  2. iQ50 says:

    too bad sulit/OLX remove the Feedback system dahil naabuso daw. pero ngayun mas mahirap ng kilatisin ang mga seller dahil dito lalo na yung mga may dati ng positive feedback with evidence of shipped items with same name etc etc.

  3. bhong sadorra says:

    To add some points to spot a fake online seller is that, they post only once and no update at all in the following days..or their post will only lasts for a day and deleted next day.

  4. Lito says:

    I was once buy a earphone at Lazada. It was deliverd but the specification I order do not exist. Thats why I no longer buying at any online store. Its a matter of 1,000 difference Better because you can check.

    • Jeremy Diaz says:

      Have you tried buying from http://www.goods.ph ? the way how they handle their products while shipping is very nice. they handle it with care. I’ve bought a romoss about last year and it’s still working.

  5. Liessa says:

    when it comes to online shopping Philippines. I only trust this 3 sites.

  6. Ejay says:

    Saan bansa ung maraming scammers kasi may nakita ako mura offer kaso sa Malaysia do you think i should trust him

  7. johans gob says:

    i just want to buy a diecast car but the seller posted me online for bogus buyer and can’t understand that i have enough money i know the item is hard to find but the seller destroyed me

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