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Avoiding Fake Products when Shopping Online

Online shopping and buying goods quickly and easily with the click of a button has revolutionized the world of retail. However, it can be complicated knowing when to pay the bill or run for the hill with such an abundance of products. Whether buying on Amazon, Walmart, Google, or social media, some of these skills may help you avoid unpleasant and costly experiences.

Transparency

Once you see a listing or advertisement that interests you, it’s a good idea to delve a little deeper into confirming the brand’s legitimacy. A dedicated website is an important step but can still be created quickly and cheaply with apps and templates. Look for contact details, mainly the names of founders or owners, email addresses, and phone numbers. If they’re easily contactable, they’re less likely to be duping customers.

"If they're easily contactable, they're less likely to be duping customers."

Social Media and Web Presence

Many legitimate startups begin marketing on social media before building websites. Searching the ”page transparency” section on Facebook allows one to see when a page was created and if there have been any name changes. As a general rule, older is better, and unusual name changes can be giant red flags. A lack of social media presence, particularly in fashion and beauty, is notable and could be another warning sign. It’s advisable to examine brands more closely with URL or social media pages under two years old.

Amazon

Amazon’s effort to list cheaper products has some obvious benefits, but the downfall has been a flood of fakes. Most legitimate companies will have a professional-looking brand page. By simply clicking on the seller’s name under the product, you’ll find out if one exists or if they only have a longer list of search results that may be suspicious. Look what else the brand sells – if it’s a consistent product range instead of a random selection of cheap products, they’re more likely genuine. 

Too Good to Be True 

The saying, “If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” is certainly applicable. Cheaper items that aren’t name brands are not necessarily problematic. However, they may be inexpensive for a reason. Still, products that may impact your health or well-being, like supplements or exercise equipment, should be scrutinized more closely. Good deals are one thing, but drastically lower prices are another!

"Search for a physical address for the business or try and find it by searching product return policies."

Find the Company HQ 

Many small businesses are run from homes or unmarked buildings but they’re still less likely to be legitimate than decent-looking factories or commercial buildings with signage. Search for a physical address for the business or try and find it by searching product return policies. By using Google Maps Street View, you’ll quickly see what the company headquarters looks like. It may not be a red flag alone but could be in conjunction with any other suspicious factors.  

Scrutinize Reviews

Don’t judge a product by its average review rating. There are review service companies that specifically manipulate these results for their clients. An abundance of five-star reviews with similar language on Amazon could well be an example of this. By looking at lower star-rated reviews and the date of the oldest review, you’ll notice if it gained a significant number of good reviews in very little time.

Want traffic conversion tips?

I was fortunate to be part of MAG's first batch of its Advertising Internship Program. The timing was perfect for me as I was looking for an opportunity to learn more about Amazon PPC and at the same time to have hands-on training to work on accounts.  

 

When I started my internship, I listed down the things I wanted to learn. And I am happy to say that I've ticked all the boxes! My most favorite was "Optimization Using Bulk Files”. Bulk files and I, we did not get along at first, it was so scary seeing all those data! But I had a great mentor who guided me along the way. He patiently taught me step by step on how to process the data. He was very enthusiastic in answering all of my questions. He supported me until I gained the confidence in uploading my first, second, third (and so on) bulk uploads. 

 

The biggest advantage in working with MAG (and I must say one thing that I always look forward to every week) is its Weekly Ads Training. Every week, we discuss various topics about PPC. Interns/Ads Specialists/Ads Managers, we all share knowledge, information, and updates about PPC. During our discussions, we exchange ideas and feedback. It became an avenue not just to learn a skill, but also to clear any vague or ambiguous PPC topics. 

 

For me, the biggest disadvantage is the work schedule. As an Intern, I have to follow EST timing. The time difference from my location was only 8 hours, but being a morning person, I really struggled to keep myself awake. But if you are a night owl, then this will not be a problem for you.

 

So if you are considering joining the MAG Advertising Internship Program, my advice to you is to take action - APPLY NOW! The knowledge that you will gain and the skill that you will develop from this program will be invaluable. And who knows? From being an Intern, you might be the next one to be promoted as Jr. Ads Specialist! 

Maria Victoria Piedad