Internet has provided a medium for a new kind of business: on line shopping. Many on line stores sell and ship their good worldwide, but here are some things private consumers that like to buy international should mind, to keep the experience positive, since you might be in for some nasty surprises shopping abroad.
On line shopping is becoming more popular thanks to lots of internet stores that sell ship and sell their products worldwide. Still, consumers that like to make use of an on line store better be aware of some things, not to be sorry later.
1) Check you local import laws
When you are buying good from another country, especially when it is from another continent and another culture, make sure it is legal to import in your country. Do not think on line sellers know all international import laws, so you might have to look things up yourself, just to make sure there is no problem getting your bought and paid for goods to you.
On line sellers just like to sell more and offering their goods to a larger audience increases their sales, but it would not be great for you if your item gets caught as illegal by local custom services.
2) Be aware of immitation items and low quality
On pictures items might look great, but when you receive them, they might just not be the quality you expected. Some fraudulent sellers might take advantage of the fact you cannot quality check an item on purchase.
Check is websites allow consumers to write reviews on their articles, since when there is no information available, you might have to take the risk of getting lower quality than you expect.
Also be aware of low priced expensive brand products. Big chance, especially when shipping from Asia, that you end up with fraudulent imitation goods, that might be subject of criminal investigation.
In some countries importing illegal, or immitation goods might not only rip you of your money, but might also get you in jail.
Medication is a good example of this: never buy it on line, surely not drugs that need medical prescription. Most likely you will get fake or lower quality items and also risk your health with it.
3) Extra costs and guarantee
If your items are legal and there is no problem in importing them to you country, another thing to consider is the total price. International shipping rates are higher than domestic. On arrival you may also risk custom taxes.
Also be aware for group orders. Many online sellers give shipping discount when you buy multiple items. This is great, but your discount might get you in trouble with extra taxes, when custom services might think this is a commercial import, even if you are a private person.
When you buy goods that are subject to manufacturer's guarantee and they get broke during this time, consider that you might not find a local brand dealer to help you. Sending it back to the seller is also an extra cost and he or she might also have to pay import taxes to receive your broken item.
Knowing all this, you might have to figure out yourself what your international internet purchase is worth to you.