Today and tomorrow, Amazon offers Prime Days, with large sales promised. Joining the shopping frenzy are others such as Walmart and Target. However, shopping smart on Prime Days requires discerning shoppers. Not all is as promised.
Before reading below, check out these related articles:
- The Prevalence of Fake Reviews on Amazon
- Scams During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Understanding the Psychology of Consumer Spending
- Questionable Marketing Tricks
- 2020 Smart Holiday Shopping Tips
Do Your Homework: Shopping Smart on Prime Days
Fellow consumers, we must be skeptical when promised deals that seem to be too good to be true. And that applies to June 2021’s “super” sales. Not everything represents a great bargain.
As Nicole Nguyen reports for the Wall Street Journal:
Shopping online can feel like magic. A couple of clicks and a few days later, a box is on your doorstep. But it can also feel like playing a game of digital dodgeball. Shoppers must tread carefully to avoid the fake reviews, unsafe or mislabeled products, or counterfeit goods hiding behind legitimate-seeming listings.
That’s because we live in the Marketplace Era. Third-party sellers peddle their wares via the digital bazaars of Amazon, Walmart, Target — and now even Urban Outfitters and J. Crew. The deal could be seen as a win-win: Customers get a larger selection of products and retailers get a cut of more sales. The problem? It adds a layer of mystery for shoppers. Instead of buying from that site you know, you’re buying from a seller you don’t know, and often it’s a product whose brand you’ve never heard of. Plus, policies for returns and refunds might be different than items sold directly by the site. Most don’t vet third-party products for quality. And the competition between sellers is so intense, many manipulate their listings to boost ratings.
After years of covering the ways in which marketplaces can be manipulated, I’ve developed three key tenets for shopping on the internet: (1) Know who is selling what you’re buying. (2) Make sure there’s an easy return policy. (3) Don’t trust reviews.
To read a lot more about Nguyen’s tenets, click the image. Remember, always be a smart shopper.