When shopping online via websites like Amazon or Walmart, we might assume that the item ordered is being sold by these e-commerce sites.
However, in some cases, the product is being offered through a third-party seller. Before you click and pay, here are a few things that you may want to do to avoid having problems later.
When selecting an item, pay attention to words like “fulfilled by”, “sold by” and “shipped by”. This could have an impact on the terms and conditions of the sale, and how to get help if things do not go well with the purchase or shipment. Before your buy, check out the terms and conditions, as well as refund policies.
Check out the reputation of the third-party seller via reviews on the site as well as external resources such as the Better Business Bureau or social media. You might also want to search for complaints about the product you are purchasing. Sometimes consumers will post about a bad experience with a product without naming the seller.
Consider paying with a major credit card versus debit or prepaid cards. Most major credit cards provide purchase protections.
Although there are many reputable, third-party sellers that utilize Amazon and Walmart for selling their goods, unfortunately, there have also been some complaints about some unscrupulous sellers who ship items that are not as appeared on the site, shipments that never arrived, and fake third-party sellers who will not respond to customer service requests.
If you run into a problem that you are not able to resolve with the seller or e-commerce site, contact state, and federal consumer agencies or our Call 4 Action office