One of the genius Amazon hacks is to use the site to find individual sellers on the platform that offer the goods you need.
However, not all of these sellers deserve your business. That is why it’s important to do some extra research and make sure you’re purchasing a good product, or at least that you aren’t getting scammed.
Before you one-click your next Amazon purchase, here are a few warning signs that the seller might not deserve your cash.
Bad product reviews
One of the most obvious red flags is bad product reviews. Check the reviews that rate the product poorly and see what the biggest complaints are.
For example, there might be issues with quality. Patterns can emerge when reading bad reviews that indicate you are better off passing on the seller and the product.
Also, look over photos users have posted to see what types of issues buyers detected after they received the product. A little extra investigation can help you avoid wasting money on a product that will end up a disappointment.
Amazon has a great option that allows potential buyers to ask questions about a product and receive answers from the business selling it. These questions and answers often are posted under the item description.
But watch out if you see plenty of questions and no answers. That might be a sign that the company isn’t interested in helping potential customers or is purposely ignoring questions it doesn’t want to answer.
A product’s description should clearly explain the product, including its dimensions, the materials used to make it, and other details.
A vague description might be a sign that the business doesn’t want to go into detail about a subpar product.
Items priced too high or too low
Amazon lets you compare prices from various sellers of the same product. That way, you can find the best deal.
But before you buy, be wary of outliers. A price that is too good to be true might be legitimate, but it could also be a sign of something fishy.
And if the price is excessively high, perhaps you would be better off buying from a competitor.
Sellers with a recently created account
Every business has to start somewhere. So it probably is wrong to dismiss a seller out of hand simply because of a short track record.
Still, you might be more comfortable purchasing items from well-established sellers with a good reputation.
Sellers with strange names
Well-known retailers such as Apple or HP have storefronts on Amazon. Generally, those are names you can trust.
But smaller companies with weird names might be a bit of a red flag for some buyers. Be especially wary of sellers that offer descriptions rife with misspellings and that generally just look unprofessional.
Long wait times
Sellers that can't get their goods to you promptly might not be worth your time.
In some cases — such as when a seller is the only one offering an item — you might not have a choice but to wait. But in many other cases, you'll likely be able to buy the same item from another seller that pledges to have the item to you quickly.
A good, professional seller will try to show off items with high-quality images. The seller also likely will include a variety of images that allow you to see the different sides of a product.
Poor-quality images are a sign that a business isn’t going the extra mile to show its customers exactly what they're purchasing.
Taking a little time to vet a seller on Amazon can pay off in peace of mind and a better overall shopping experience.
Once you're satisfied that you've found the right seller, use one of the best rewards credit cards to make your purchase so you earn points, cash back, or other perks.