Checking online seller reputation

Before buying goods or services from an online seller, it’s important that you check the reputation of the supplier.

Knowing who you are dealing with can help avoid:

  • being a victim of shopping scams that involve offers that are too good to be true
  • dealing with sellers with a reputation for not supplying goods or misleading descriptions about the quality of the goods that are supplied.

If you’re buying from overseas, deal only with sellers with good reputations because Australian consumer law may not apply and can only offer you limited protection.

Be suspicious of spam offers

Be extremely suspicious of anything that is offered for sale in an unsolicited email or spam. To encourage you to make a rushed decision without doing proper checks, spam emails often have deals that are too good to be true and 'limited offers' that need immediate action.

Confirm physical address and phone details

Online sellers should still have a physical address and telephone number. You should confirm this before you make a purchase.

Check vendor reputation online

Do a web search with the name of the seller or web address and include words like 'scam' or 'review'. This should show you if anything bad has been published about the seller.

Check policies on privacy, returns and warranties

Check the privacy policy to make sure that the seller cannot share your details for advertising. The returns policy will tell you if a restocking or handling fee might apply if goods are returned. The details of a warranty should outline who is responsible for transport costs if goods are returned under a warranty claim.

Next Comparing online products & prices