Online selling has been fast growing here in the country. From buy-and-sell sites, to group buying sites, to the legit online shopping portals, the Philippines has shown its growing maturity towards online purchases, especially for gadgets. Together with these developments, comes the risks of only seeing your desired product on screen, and not actually taking time to personally canvas and window shop. Customers now gamble on whether the actual gadget that they’ll get is the same as what they saw. Today, we’ll provide you with some basic tips for you to be more confident with your online purchase.
- Research more on the product. This is the basic requirement of a good online buyer. You should research about the product that you want to buy. Research in the following ways:
- Read the specs at the official product site. This is more for a detailed technical and feature rundown of the product.
- Check for reviews and product comments on review sites, forums, and e-tailer sites. As a tip, read the negative comments and feedback first. This will give you a more in-depth background on the product, and if you’re reading about the online seller, a close look on what you’ll risk if you would buy from him/her.
- Watch unboxing and review videos for a more visual experience with your desired product.
- Site / Seller Reputation. Although there are plenty of sites that offer you good deals, make sure to check whether the site or seller has good feedback from its customers. Read the negative comments first, before the positive ones, as negative comments show the not-so-good side of the site / seller.
Going for a site that has good reputation will also ensure that once you make that purchase, your credit card details are safe. We don’t want to have our credit balance stolen from us, do we?
- Ask the seller. Don’t be an impulsive buyer. Beyond researching, always ask the seller regarding his/her goods. Why, you may ask? It’s because there are some gadgets that have different versions, but are advertised as same.
Take for example the latest issue of motherboard manufacturer Gigabyte regarding their revision motherboards. Some of their products underwent several changes, which included downgrade of parts. This affected overall product reliability and performance. The problem is they did not tell their customers about it, and priced it at the same cost with the older version. Soon after, people started clamoring online and complaining. Some of their sellers were also not informed of it, due to the same EAN/UPC code (kind of like a SKU identification number). As standard, any revision done to a product should merit a different EAN/UPC code. They’re in hot water now, and many are asking for an official statement from them, but they haven’t released a formal one yet.
- See the product live and when in doubt, test. This is where window shopping will benefit you. There are lots of venues to see and check a product. If you want a mobile device, then there are lots of demo units in malls. If you want a PC, check the malls for a glimpse of how the component looks. If it’s not displayed, you can definitely ask the salesperson to show it to you if they have stocks.
Aside from seeing the product with your eyes, you get to inspect the product too. Going back to the Gigabyte motherboard issue, people who complained found out about the problem when they noticed that the product they bought in the store is different from what was posted on the website advertisement. It can be a case of improper advertising, but because of the same EAN/UPC codes, the sellers’ system thought that the one it’s selling is still the old version, when in fact, it’s the newer, inferior one.