It is really difficult to identify fake ecommerce websites in India. We receive lot of consumer complaints against fake ecommerce websites running in India. These websites are online scam that offers very exciting deals to lure customers at their online shops. Once a customer decides to buy something from them and makes payments, they will simply vanish with the money or will deliver a very sub-standard product. Their modus operandi is to simply grab the money and do nothing or deliver a duplicate/fake/low quality product against the money charged.
Though these fake websites are in large numbers but the problem is that you can not do anything against them. Firstly, some of these websites will not have any contact details available so there is no way to contact them. Moreover the money lost is somewhat low so you will forget the scam and move-on with your life very soon. Secondly, some of these websites are smarter than the rest. Instead of doing nothing, they will go one step further and will send you a very cheap & zero value products. This makes the problem worst. Now you can not claim that they did not deliver the product you ordered and there is almost no way to prove that what you received was actually sent by them! They are smart so they know that if somehow they will get caught, they can prove that they delivered the goods to you. And in their defense they can always say that courier company was culprit who changed the goods somehow.
Having said this, we believe that the best solution is to identify fake ecommerce websites early and not to buy from them because prevention is always better than cure. So, lets see how we can easily identify these fake websites by closely looking at them :
1. Low Quality Product Images
If the website, from where you are planning to buy, is using low quality or generic product images then thats a bad sign. Usually, good ecommerce websites will always use high quality product images to present their products nicely. But using small, old or distorted images for products is a clear sign of danger. Similarly, if the images are having watermark of some other brand/website then also it shows the un-professionalism of the website.
2. Unbelievable Cheap Prices
If the prices displayed on the website are too low compared to other similar websites then it could be scam. Normally, prices can not be lower than the market price and so every ecommerce website will be selling at about same price. Also, sometimes these fake websites will show you a special deals that is too good to be believed. For example if you buy t-shirt of Rs.500 you will get headphone worth Rs.900. These kind of deals are apparently scam and so it makes it easy to identify fake ecommerce websites.
3. No Social Activity
If you are unable to find any link to their social network accounts like Facebook, Instagram, Google+, then chances are that they are fake. Now-a-days, ecommerce is not possible without social validation. Every company uses social media to promote their products and get viral. If they do not have social presence or they have very less likes in Facebook or only few tweets in Twitter then chances are they are not genuine. But beware, sometimes these websites will “buy” fake likes and can have large number of likes showing at their page. Once again, a very large number of likes, not in-parity with their brand size, shows something is fishy.
4. Missing Contacts
You can identify fake ecommerce website, if you are finding no information about them at their website. There are no contact forms, no support phone numbers or customer support area provided at their website? This means something is not right. We suggest that you should try to contact them by whatever is listed on their website, in order to verify them. If you are unable to reach them before buying from them, then that is a clear sign that you will not be able to contact them if something goes wrong after you buy from them.
5. Cookie-cutter Website Design
6. Bad Customer Reviews
Before buying any product from any website, try to search for them on internet. What you see? Are you seeing a lot of hate posts and reviews in Google and Facebook? That is a clear sign of problem. Also, you should check customers reviews/comments at Facebook that will give you an idea what kind of problem you should expect after buying from them. If they are genuine, they will reply to almost all complaints posted against them. If people are complaining more about wrong delivery, no delivery or duplicate products then its time to leave such website.
Lastly, if you have already been cheated by these fake ecommerce websites then do not forget to post your consumer complaint at Voxya.com. You can raise your voice and get support of other customers by posting your complaint at Voxya. We will do everything to get attention of the brand & customers to resolve your issue.
Hope you will now be able to identify fake ecommerce websites easily and will stay away from them. Please share this post to let others know and get benefit from it.
Disclaimer: We have compiled this list based on the consumer complaints filed at our platform and based on our experience dealing with them. Please note that exceptions are always there. Use your judgment in deciding when to buy, what to buy and from where to buy.