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How to buy online

Buying high value goods and services online can have risks; fraud and wrongly described items, dodgy dealers and consumer scam are rife and protecting yourself against them is important in all online transactions. Losing your money and what you paid for can be a nasty reminder that not all businesses on the internet are transacting honestly.

What risks are there when buying online

If you start a transaction with a fraudster online, it may be difficult or impossible to get your money back, especially if they are an international seller. There are a number of signs that a seller may be engaged in fraudulent activity. Fraudulent sellers can post listings of high value items from unknown or fake brands, selling fake 'rip-offs' of real brands, or posing as the legitimate owner of a business. Fraudulent sellers may ask you to send them money directly using a bank transfer or paypal with the intent of stealing your money and never delivering the goods.

Sometimes even legitimate dealers can make mistakes or falsely represent the product. In this case, after you have paid for your item or service, you may receive something that is not as originally described in the listing. Some merchants may not allow for returns or refunds, especially for second hand goods, leaving you out of pocket for goods or services you did not even want.

Some sellers may send you faulty products. Especially when purchasing second hand electronics or automotive goods, what you receive outwardly may look in good condition but in reality are 'lemons'. Once you have the lemon in your possession, it may not even be apparent that it is faulty upon cursory inspection, which is why having an agreement in place which allows time for detailed inspection is highly important.

What can you do to reduce your risk when buying online?

Luckily there are a number of steps you can take which can help you protect yourself and your money when buying online.

Many marketplace websites provide a ratings system for sellers which incorporates the ratings as provided by previous customers and can include comments or feedback to the seller. Reading these thoroughly before engaging an individual will help you weed out the potentially unscrupulous dealers who will have a lower rating than the genuine sellers on the platform.

Using legitimate payment channels can help reduce your risk of fraud. Some payment providers will provide you with some protection against fraud. Keep in mind, though, that not all payment providers were created equal. For example, paypal will reimburse you if the goods arrive not as described, but they dont cover motor vehicles, commercial capital such as machinery or if you make a deal the old fashioned way, in person.

Using an audited, bonded escrow service eliminates fraud from all your transactions. This is because in an escrow transaction, your funds are not released to the seller or service provider until you are 100% satisfied. is the worlds largest provider of online escrow services. Our 5 easy steps stop fraud in its tracks. protects buyers by only releasing the funds to the seller if what you receive is exactly what you paid for. If it is not, ship it back to the seller and you will get a full refund.

Find out how to sell using

How to use to Buy Goods and Services Online

  1. You and the seller agree to terms - Either you or the seller can start a transaction. All parties have an opportunity to agree on the terms of the transaction including shipping fees and inspection periods.
  2. You pay - Now that you have created your transaction, its time for you to fund it by paying the balance. Once verifies the payment, we will put your funds in our escrow account and notify the seller that funds have been secured.
  3. Seller ships the merchandise or provides the service to the Buyer - Now that the funds are in our escrow account, the seller is authorised to deliver the goods or services as per the agreed terms of the escrow transaction. If shipping is required, the seller provides the tracking information to so we can verify that the you received everything you paid for.
  4. You accept the goods or services - When you receives the goods or services, you have an amount of days equal to the agreed upon inspection period to ensure what you recieved is what you paid for. If everything meets the requisite standard, let know
  5. pays the Seller - We release the funds to the eller from our escrow account.

If you are looking to buy online, you can rest safe in the knowledge that is one of the most trusted and secure escrow services across the globe.


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