Living on the budget is not all about just counting pennies. To save money, you need do your homework and to know how to do research on each of your planned big purchases. Here’s a quick but useful guide on how to investigate if both the seller and the item should be considered.
Here are some ways to check the seller’s reputation and past records as well as product reviews.
Researching the seller’s reputation is a must especially if you are buying online. There are so many scammers today who will be happy to take your money and never send you the product or deliver a poor quality. Doing a quick research won’t take you too much time, here are just a few essential steps:
So, you shouldn’t buy this product if…
There is negative feedback (run a quick Google search):
[the seller's name] or [the seller's domain name] or [the product name] are some good choices to start from. Be sure to check at least 5 pages of the search results. Besides, try using Google’s advanced search to view most recent mentions (found behind “Show options” link in Google). Why is it so important? Nowadays every Internet marketer knows how to manage his online reputation and make sure there are only positive reviews of him on the first page for his brand name search – so checking the top results only is most often not enough:
Many people are not satisfied (search social media):
Social networks are the places where you are sure to find people discuss anything and everything. The good thing is that you are most likely to find them telling the truth. The best place to start with is Twitter, and Twitter Search. If you look at its advanced search options, you are sure to be impressed. Consider adding sign to your search query to find Tweets with negative feedback or describing dissatisfied experience.
There are a lot of negative reviews (find the product reviews):
Here’s a good list of shopping aggregators that also offer product reviews. There are reviews provided by shoppers and experts as well video reviews. Again, be sure to check at least a couple of the sites as user reviews can be manipulated as effectively as Google search. Here is another good article on how to compare product prices and reviews.
Experienced people do not advise to (check online shopping communities):
There are a lot of friendly communities of shoppers who will be happy to share their experience on any seller you are considering. One of my favorite ones is Buxr.com for a couple of reasons:
- It allows user comments, reviews and ratings;
- It lists shopping deals for each seller, so it’s like all useful information in one place;
- It is moderated, so no spam or manipulation;
- Its users are friendly and you can get lots of useful advice via the site forums.
The seller was involved in bad tactics (check specialized forums):
There are a few useful places where you can check if the seller has ever been involved in scam. Scam.com is an awesome forum to consider. It is very active and has a huge database of scammers in a number of categories (Internet scams, political scams, etc being a couple of them).
Do you do (online) research before buying something big? Please share your tips!
[Editor's Note - I love to check Amazon for reviews. I can also get a good idea of what the price should be]
The guest post is by Ann Smarty, Search Marketer and blogger.