Does modern technology confuse you? Astounded by the internet? Do you want to take part but don’t know where to start? Then the CareCo How To… Guide series is here to help!
Making purchases online can be a risky business. If you don’t do enough research into a website/store you may end up paying for an item that never arrives, supposedly sent by a company that’s quite happy taking your money. However, a very large proportion of shops and traders on the internet are incredibly trustworthy – you just need to make sure you put in the legwork to find them.
One of your first stops when looking for reviews online should be Trustpilot. Founded in 2007, Trustpilot is a consumer review website enabling customers to leave honest and unique reviews about their experiences purchasing items from certain online stores. These reviews can be seen by anyone searching the site, with every entry contributing towards a shop’s overall percentage rating out of 100. With its simple star rating system (5 is excellent, 1 is poor) you can quickly see how popular and trustworthy a company is, giving you a well-researched opinion and making shopping online feel much safer. With over 13 million reviews posted, why go elsewhere to find the information you need?
Trustpilot is so trustworthy that even CareCo uses it! The site is the best way for our customers to tell us how they feel, giving us an opportunity to fix anything that’s gone wrong and thank consumers for their positive reviews. Currently rated as Excellent, with a 9.3/10 average, every individual entry helps us improve our service to bring you a better shopping experience.
Whether it’s Amazon, eBay or somewhere else, nearly every shopping site on the web allows you to leave reviews of the company or the items you’ve purchased. With many customers leaving their honest opinion, reading what’s been said is one of the best ways to ensure you’re buying genuine items from a reputed seller, rather than going in blind and finding out that what you’ve bought doesn’t really exist.
- Amazon: Although you can buy from sellers and other companies within their Marketplace, many of Amazon’s reviews come from people buying items stocked by them. Once you’ve made a purchase and it’s been delivered you’ll receive an e-mail notification asking you to leave feedback about it. Does it match the description given? Did it arrive within its estimated delivery time? Does it fulfill your needs? Does it have any faults?
- eBay: As eBay is an auction site the reviews given analyse the individuals selling through them. Similar to Amazon, once you’ve won an auction or bought an item (and once it’s been delivered) you’ll be asked to review the ‘shop’ and leave feedback to help boost their rating. The higher the percentage rating the more reliable a shop is, so giving your opinion can help others make up their mind.
If you’re searching for reviews of local businesses then look no further than Yelp. Focusing on companies within your local area, Yelp lets consumers leave reviews for the places they’ve visited, from restaurants, pubs and bars to health centres and beauty parlors.
Similar in style to Trustpilot, Yelp’s review system is based on comments and star ratings (the higher the rating the better the business). Although based in London, you can use the bar at the top of the page to search for places within your local surroundings and see what other people have said – good or bad.
Overall, almost every shopping website available will allow you to review them/their products once you’ve made a purchase, as online business is a two-way street – if you’ve received something you’re happy with the business expects a ‘thank-you’ for supplying you with a high quality product or service. Read as many reviews as possible before parting with your cash to ensure you’re getting what you want.
Next time: how to book event tickets online.