Are you a savvy shopper? Quiz reveals if you would be conned by online marketplaces

Are you a savvy shopper? Quiz reveals if you would be conned by online marketplaces


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It comes after a study of 2,000 adults found a quarter of consumers have received a product that wasn’t the size they were expecting, while one in five have been surprised to receive something entirely different to what they thought they’d bought.

And 25 percent have bought something online and ended up getting the size or volume completely wrong.

Respondents cited experiences such as ordering a PC but a gaming chair turning up instead, buying clothing and shoes which turned out to be children’s sizes – and purchasing musical instruments where only the keys arrived instead of the whole thing.

An expert from e-commerce marketplace specialists Optimizon, which commissioned the study, said: “Shoppers are often misled by poorly-worded listings, which cause untold confusion and damage trust in the marketplace.

“Sadly, in a few cases the deception is entirely intentional.

“Thankfully, the more trusted marketplaces like Amazon, eBay and Wayfair are increasingly encouraging brands to sell directly through their platforms – meaning that shoppers receive a better experience, and more importantly, get exactly what they ordered.”

It also emerged more than a third feel like they’ve been “conned” by misleading pictures, information, or products not being authentic.

And respondents have felt duped at least four times after making online buys from marketplaces such as AliExpress or Wish.

If it seems too good to be true, it usually is

Optimizon spokesman

However, the most trusted marketplaces are Amazon, eBay and Etsy – with the same trio the most frequently used platforms.

The main benefits of such marketplaces were cited as being the ability to find better value items, comparing products, and the variety on offer.

Of the least trusted sites, the main reasons for this included inability to tell the quality of a product, it being difficult to send back, and descriptions that are lacking or inaccurate.

And while 37 percent will decide who to buy from based on trust, money talks according to 48 percent, who will go to whoever is offering the lowest price.

And more than a quarter would prefer to buy directly from a brand through such platforms.

Improvements that users would like to see on online marketplaces included it being easier to return products, more reliable sellers, and increased detail in product descriptions.

But despite the peril of purchasing online, four in ten rate online order deliveries through the post as the highlight of their day – receiving an average of six orders a month.

A quarter have even cancelled plans in order to wait for an order to arrive – with 24 percent even taking time off work, according to the OnePoll data.

The spokesman from Amazon agency Optimizon added: “Understandably, price is a huge driver of purchase decisions.

“However, shoppers should pause and think before always jumping at the lowest price.

“Ask yourself, is this a genuine product? Does it have credible reviews? Does the listing contain poor English or spelling mistakes? What’s in the small print, and why is it being sold cheaper than elsewhere? If it seems too good to be true, it usually is.

“It’s also worth thinking about where you shop. Be aware of the risks of shopping through less regulated or unknown marketplaces, such as social media sites.

“Trusted marketplaces like Amazon allow genuine brands to create storefronts, enhance their product listings, and tell their brand stories. Brands go through a rigorous verification process to have these features.

“In short, try to use trusted marketplaces, and when you find what you are looking for, if the listings look professional and are backed up with positive reviews, you can feel confident about hitting that buy button.”


  1. Amazon
  2. eBay
  3. Etsy
  4. Wayfair
  5. Notonthehighstreet

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