Online stores - how to determine their reliability?

Online stores - how to determine their reliability?

It was profitable and convenient to buy something in online stores from the moment they appeared. The popularity of such purchases is growing, and the number of stores and users is increasing. But the larger the volume of the Internet market becomes, the, alas, the more dishonest merchants appear (they deliver the wrong product, they deliver it too long) or obvious scammers who want to take and not return the prepayment for something that you never really have receive.

The network has enough materials containing lists of signs for analysis, dividing online stores into reliable and unreliable. But almost all of these materials suffer from two drawbacks. Firstly, they simply indicate a list of characteristics without describing the relative importance of each of them. Secondly, the information either lost its relevance, or the methods of verification prove to be ineffective in practice.

The general principle of verification is understandable - an online store of fraudsters or dishonest merchants cannot be an authoritative resource, exist for a long time. The signs by which such sites can be recognized, we will divide into two groups. Both should be used in the analysis, but the above explanations will make it possible to judge the criticality of indicators.

Ambiguous signs when checking an online store
Here we include everything that is difficult to practically verify, as well as that which does not allow us to draw definite conclusions.

  • Appearance, age of the site, speed of its operation, use of secure protocols;
  • Site content - information about the history of the company, contact information, reference materials;
  • A wide selection, assortment;
  • The presence of separate pages with a description of the delivery time of the order, terms of return, etc .;
  • The presence of a clause on the protection of confidential, financial information about users in the rules of the online store.

Why is all this important, but does not allow us to draw definite conclusions?

  • It’s hard to appreciate a layman. You need to pay attention to the change of HTTP (normal) and HTTPS (with encryption) protocols in the address bar of the browser. But it can not always be clear to the average user whether encryption is used at a critical moment in the transfer of confidential information. Is the site slow? But maybe the user connection to the network is to blame for this? A very authoritative and popular resource can work relatively slowly, since thousands of users simultaneously view its pages. It is difficult for a layman to determine the age of the site according to independent sources. In addition, the site may not have existed for the first year, but just yesterday scammers bought it. Anyone can write on the pages of the site about years of experience, the presence of a million regular customers and compliance with privacy conditions.
  • Fraudsters successfully use automation for their unseemly goals. Unfortunately, parsing is actively used today. Programmers write an application that completely copies, for example, an authoritative, large online store. Then, a few changes are made to the copy of the site ... And the new "large, with a huge assortment, with all the necessary descriptions, reference materials, delivery conditions" online store appears on the network! Someone has created and developed a resource for years, and fraudsters get a full copy of it in an hour or a few days.

Quality attributes

There are also reservations, but the above explanations, we hope, will allow using this group of signs to reliably identify the site of scammers or dubious merchants.

Reviews about the work of the online store.
Using search engines, you need to look for reviews about the resource you are interested in on other sites. Many today resort to paid placement, generating posts about their online store? If you see only the same or exactly the same laudatory reviews, then their presence does not speak in favor of the store. Pay attention to the dates of posts. Did you find not only positive, but also a couple of last year's moderately negative reviews? This is a good sign. The store has been working for a long time and really, and small misunderstandings happen in any business.

The possibility of many payment options for the purchase.
The actual inclusion of many payment options (credit cards of different systems, several Internet payment services) in the website’s functionality is a serious job. In most cases, when creating a fraudulent site that does not live long, it is unprofitable or impossible to do this.

The relative price of the goods.
A solid online store with many visitors, regular customers, does not need a serious reduction in prices relative to average market prices. Dumping is for newcomers and scammers.

High authority of a resource in search engines.

If this is your first visit to a resource or a group of thematic resources, then Yandex, Google for many years have been monitoring the vast majority of sites on the network. Based on their observations (period of existence, pace of development, traffic, behavior of visitors to the site), they draw conclusions about trust, the credibility of resources. And these conclusions are used when ranking (i.e. arranging) search results. The higher the position of the site, the greater the confidence of the search engine in it. Just yesterday, the created site can hardly be in the leading positions, in the top of the search results for any popular query.

However, it is important to consider that recently Yandex, Google have introduced and are constantly improving personalization of search. What does it mean?

You are submitting a request. The service performs a search, but when ordering its results, not only indicators of compliance with your request and authority, trust of sites are used. Your personal preferences are also taken into account. For example, a week ago or today you searched and based on its results visited several sites that offer mobile phones. Yandex and Google remember this. If you again submit the request "buy a mobile phone", then these sites will be promoted in the search results, take higher places. This is usually convenient, but not in our case.

You must disable search personalization if you have already visited verified online stores before verification. To do this, firstly, log out of the accounts (if you have them) of Yandex or Google, and secondly, use the anonymous browsing mode in the browser. The names of this mode are different in different browsers, but you can easily find the desired menu item (“incognito, anonymous window, secret mode”). It is in such an “anonymous window” that you need to conduct a search during our verification of the credibility of the online store.
We wish you a successful and safe online shopping!