A new trend has been emerging, and its the spark in the online boutique industry, but whose really behind the posts? In 2009 Ali Express surged the online shopping market with an industry rush of low costing wholesale products, this site was like no other offering a diverse array of products ranging from mens sport equipment, to furniture, to high-end fashion items for todays average Jane. This fact has made Ali Express the number one supplier in “drop-shipping” which means going around the manufacturer to purchase items and make sales as oppose to purchasing items wholesale from a buyer. Since 2009 e-commerce numbers have tripled as the demand for online shopping continues to rise many individuals have taken this opportunity and made a name for themselves with high-fashion online stores, while others use imaging of these online suppliers products, portraying to be a legit online site and scam online buyers. “FAKETIQUES” are counterfeit online shopping sites that use social media accounts as the primary marketing method. These con-artists ultimately convince the customer to make a purchase, the fraudulent suppliers get the money, and the buyer never receives the items paid for and becomes blocked from all sites and social media accounts. Scam artists like this are on the rise.
3 Things to look for in Fraudulent online Store..
1. Inventory- When shopping online, make sure to look for the type of inventory the sites offer. Legit retailers obtain certain licensing in order to purchase from unique sites, if the inventory on the site has been frequently seen on other sites, on the same model, and in the same pose, you can almost bet it’s a scam. Inventory is essential to a boutique so they thrive on exquisite items that are not foreseen everywhere.
2. Originality- If your online site does not have any uniqueness, most times its a scam. When you notice the same beautiful, curly haired light toned model in every two-piece set, jumpsuit, and dress that the sight has to offer, its not a legit site or buy. When shopping online look for the original trends among the entire site. Most legit boutiques owners have created a brand and are keen on making their sites stand out from the competition. If the items are not making a statement they probably were purchases through drop-shipping or the site is composed of reused items and imaging to seal the scam.
3. Reviews/Comments/Contact- Almost always look to Google, Bing, or Yahoo for reviews on particular sites if in fact the site is legitimate reviews should exist, if the reviews are vague and nonexistent you have probably been scammed. Comments are vital as well look for commentary left on the original site and the social media accounts in most real online sites, have comments from their consumers as well as their potential market. Contact and communication between the site and the consumer is key to making purchase decision. Most forms of communication happen via email to confirm the payment. Typically if the site requires you to submit payment via PayPal they more than likely do not have a site that is e-commerce equipped, and you can almost guess they seen you coming.