Their are several things to look for when trying to ascertain whether a vendor is legitimate or not.
1) The merchant should list their name, address, AND phone number (all 3) on EVERY page of the website. If they don't, why are they hiding that information?
2) There should be a "Contact" page that lists this information as well as their email address. Be careful with filling out forms. Many times webmasters use these forms simply to collect email addresses for their own solicitations and/or to sell to other people who will spam you.
3) Call or email. If they don't answer the phone leave a message. If they don't return your call within 24 hours, say bye-bye. If they don't answer your email in 24 hours, say bye-bye. Any company that is too busy to respond to you either doesn't need or deserve your business OR they are not legitimate.
4) They should have a guarantee of at least a month, sixty or ninety days is better, clearly stated on their website. If it's hidden or hard to find, why?
5) Fast shipping within 3-5 days. The reason why a vendor takes two weeks to ship their product is because they don't stock their product and/or they are just a commission salesman, otherwise known as an affiliate. You are always best off ordering from the source.
6) A company should be at least 3 years old. Scammers don't last this long. Don't ask the merchant himself because scammers lie. Go to any "whois" website (do a google search for that term). Any whois website will do and they are all free. Put in the url of the vendor. The information that's provided will tell you who the merchant is, although many hide the details of ownership. The main thing is that the "age" of the website will not be hidden. If the age is less than 3 years be careful.
7) Checking with the Better Business Bureau is not worth your time and can even be somewhat dangerous because scammers have no problem paying the fee to get listed. The BBB is great for large and medium sized companies but you’ll find very few niche market companies listed with them.
The internet is a great place to do business. You can order right from your own home in just a couple of minutes and the product arrives at your door within a few days. But the internet is also filled with characters waiting to take advantage of you. Follow the advice above and you'll likely keep yourself safe.
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