Hello and welcome to Alex's Blog,
I realise the irony of this Blog as I am about to type it but this article is about online shopping and the dangers of a cheap online deal. I would just like to point out before I start that you have no risk AT ALL if you are buying from J&S Accessories Ltd online. We are a reputable company with a long retailing history, trusted reviews using a reputable review site online, our website is fully secure (note the https at the start of our web address).
PLUS we have 30 stores nationwide (and have done for many years) This article is to warn you on the danger of online shopping from online retailers that you are unfamiliar with.
So, what are the things you should look out for and have can you protect yourself?
1. Fake online reviews.
Most sites that have a review section will use a trusted review partner such as Feefo (the one we use) or TrustPilot.
These are very large and well-known and usually you have to have bought from the retailer to be able to leave a review. If the website isn't familiar to you then you may want to check out who their review partner is before you trust the reviews.
Another thing to look out for, and this sounds counter-intuitive, but also be careful of too many positive reviews. Not everyone is going to be happy with everything all of the time and remember that people are more likely to leave a negative online than a positive. A lot of fake sites will have false reviews to encourage you to buy from them.
2. Lack of full cost disclosure.
Additional fees like shipping, may be hidden purposely until very late in the checkout process, so late, you may not realise it has been added on. Always check and read everything carefully and scroll down until the bottom of the page before confirming your transaction.
Also check the small print. Some websites can claim to have free postage but only because you have signed up to a yearly membership or subscription so always double check the tick boxes.
3. Bargains that are too good to be true.
Even Amazon have been having trouble keeping counterfeit goods off their site. Caution is key here. If the deal you see seems too good to be true, then it probably is.
If you're buying motorcycle clothing such as a helmet for example the likelihood is, especially if it is usually a very expensive item, that this item will be from a well-known brand.
Go to the official brand's website and find out all of the official distributors or you can always contact trading standards. If the website isn't listed then, it may be a fake.
Leading Italian consumer bike magazine Motociclismo couldn't believe recent advertising for Shoei GT-Air helmets sold online in Italy for just 89€ (£79), so it bought one to check.
This was actually a convincing Chinese-made fake, lacking genuine homologation. Subsequent lab tests revealed it was seriously deficient in both construction and materials and pronounced dangerous.
Beware. The old adage too good to be true really is correct.
4. Cheaper abroad?
Another thing to watch out for is buying from cheaper sites abroad. With the Euro being in a better state than the Pound this can mean that European websites can offer some genuine items for cheaper than UK sites. Brilliant.
But what happens regarding warranty? And what happens if your product is faulty or if you need to change it?
Firstly, the postage abroad is up to you and this is very expensive - meaning no saving will have been made - if anything you would most likely be paying more than you would have done if you had bought the item in the UK.
Secondly how is your German? Your Italian? Spanish? Can you describe in another language that your pants aren't waterproof? Not very straight forward. Also, we have had a lot of customers who have bought abroad and have discovered they don't have warranty.
Check before you buy and check the cost of postage TO you as well as the cost of postage for you to send back to them should there be a problem.
OR, even better buy from a trusted UK seller such as, just thinking of one from thin air here, J&S Accessories Ltd! We have 30 stores nationwide. If you buy from us online and have a problem, you can actually take your item in to any of our stores.
5. Are used goods any good at all?
Another place to watch out for deception online is auction sites and second-hand sites. A second hand helmet may save you a lot of money, but we would never recommend buying second hand motorcycle kit.
This is safety equipment. If you are buying second hand you have no idea of the history of that item. If a helmet has been dropped, then it can significantly reduce the safety of that helmet. You only get one head - use it! Don't jeopardise your safety to save some money.
Also, be cautious of private sellers on auction sites who may claim that a helmet is new. Can this be trusted? Be aware that you will not get any warranty from a private seller.
Until next time, stay safe,