Be alert when shopping on TikTok: BBB Tip
DULUTH, MN. (Northern News Now) - Studies say nearly 50% of users reported purchasing something they saw on TikTok.
The social platform began offering in-app shopping last year.
They are now expanding to “Live Shopping”.
It allows creators and brands to sell goods directly through videos.
As shopping on TikTok expands, the Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin has some advice on having positive on-line shopping experiences and avoid cons:
- Avoid impulse buys. With TikTok and many other social media platforms, making a purchase can be as simple as clicking on the product and clicking “buy.” Before you buy something based on a 30-second video, think it through. Some experts recommend waiting 48 hours between adding an item to your cart and checking out. In addition, you can use the extra time to research the product and seller and make sure the purchase won’t throw off your budget.
- Always research the seller. Make sure the seller has plenty of account engagement, which means they have followers who comment on their posts and review their products. If the seller has a website, visit it and look for the red flags of a scam website. Do an online search of the company name and the words “complaint” or “scam.” Adding those keywords can bring any reports of suspicious behavior to your attention.
- Pay close attention to consumer reviews. Reviews can help you determine the quality of the product and how well the business handles customer service. Read reviews on TikTok, on the company or individual’s website, and on sites like BBB.org to make sure what you read is impartial and comes from real buyers.
- Keep an eye on product descriptions. Some sellers might offer what appears to be a great deal on a name brand or viral product, but don’t forget to read the fine print. The Federal Trade Commission reminds consumers that if the product description contains words like “refurbished,” “vintage,” or “close-out,” you might be getting a second-hand or imperfect item.
- Watch out for scams. You may find high-dollar items for sale on TikTok for highly reduced prices, but these offers could indicate an outright scam. Some TikTok users have reported purchasing a product only to receive a fake product in the mail. Remember that too-good-to-be-true deals usually are. Besides unusually low prices, grammatical errors and missing contact information could also indicate you’re looking at a scammer’s social media shop.
- Understand return policies and keep good records. Before you make a purchase, get to know the seller’s return and refund policies. Keep records of your transactions in case you need them to get a refund or to hold the seller accountable.
- Unhappy with a purchase? Act quickly. According to TikTok terms of service, buyers have six days from when a product is marked as “delivered” to make a return or refund request. After that, shoppers need directly communicate with the seller or email email@example.com for customer support.
- Pay by credit card. Using your credit card for online purchases is always a good idea. It’s much easier to contest a fraudulent charge and get your money back on a credit card than with a debit card.