The trend of online shopping has been rapidly growing in Nepal the past couple years. With the onset of esewa and other digital wallets, getting stuff from your phone is easier than ever. Especially since the pandemic hit, e-commerce and online shopping has proliferated to the point where we now order groceries online. However, there are certain risks associated with online shopping that most of us aren’t aware of. Especially because this is so new in Nepal and regulation is scanty at best, many of us are prone to fall victims to these mistakes.
Avoiding these mistakes is crucial if you want a proper online experience. Down below, we have complied some of the most common of these mistakes so that you can stay far from regret.
1. Shopping from Unknown sites
This is the most common type of mistake shoppers make. Since you are spending your money completely virtually, this space can practically be a breeding ground for fraud. If you buy from a relatively unknown source, you have no way to verify their authenticity. Since you pay before you get the item, your item might not arrive at all and you wont be able to do anything about it.
Check for the credibility of the site. The website design can be a good clue but don’t rely on it. Unless someone you know has successfully used the site, avoid them the best you can. Some reputed sites from Nepal are Daraz, HamroBazaar and SastoDeals although quality of products aren’t guaranteed in these sites either.
2. Online shopping from international platforms
This one is not as severe as the last one, but it can mess you up at times. If you have an international credit card, buying from the US or other nations can be tempting. Some products aren’t available in Nepal and others are typically available for cheaper prices. Because of this, people generally prefer products from abroad.
But, even if you buy from reputed sources like Amazon, delivery to Nepal isn’t guaranteed. Sometimes you package might get lost on the way (This happens more often than your think). In such cases, your online shopping platform may not provide a refund. So, even if you have to order something from abroad, check their refund policies and see if they refund lost items before ordering.
3. Not checking return policies
Ordering from abroad isn’t the only times you should be checking the return policies. Quality of products is never guaranteed in online shopping platforms. There have been multiple instances in Nepal where product shown on the website is not the one that arrives on your doorsteps. So, it is always a good idea to check the return policies of items.
If you are buyign expensive items, this is an absolute compulsion. Especially for technology products, I have personally found that stuff brought online are faulty in nature. This happens very often so unless you can return the item, you shouldn’t buy them
4. Relying heavily on reviews
Never trust online reviews. There is an abundance of fake reviews out there. It is so widespread that websites like picoworkers, rapidworkers and so on actually provide an workforce for these kinds of jobs. Hence, if a product is 5 star rated that doesn’t necessarily mean it has the quality of a five star rated item.
This is also why it is so important to check return policies. With online shopping, the only way you can verify product quality is by yourself. There is no other source you can trust 100%.
5. Providing personal details
Try avoiding personal details as much as possible. If you are an avid online shopper, use esewa more. Some sites may ask you for your bank details, never give them that. Esewa is a much safer option because your entire bank account wont be at risk even if information gets out.
Similarly, unless you are shopping from a reputed site, providing your real address isn’t a good idea either. For delivery, ask them to come to a close location instead. Assume that your privacy is always at risk in the internet and proceed with caution.
6. Not looking around
One of the benefits of online shopping is you have the entire market available to you through a screen. MAKE USE OF THAT. Don’t just buy a product after a single click. Look around the web and search for similar products. You might find a much better value or a much reputed seller selling the same product. Either way, you will gain something.
You can aso find various coupon codes online that can help you save. Just 5-10 minutes of extra research can save you a ton of money. Exploit the beauty of online shopping, don’t be so lazy!