You are online reading this article, you are aware that ecommerce, the buying of goods and products, is one task you are able to perform on the internet. In the last 10 years in particular the buying of products online has exploded. The question still remains though. How am I sure that I am buying a genuine product from a reputable dealer?
This question is one that by following a few simple procedures can feel safe with their purchasing endeavours. By following a few steps, you will minimise your problems.
Too good to be true!? This is a common selling point unauthorised merchants may be able to sell at. Particularly overseas merchants, and a few local ones may sell generic, shop soiled or second hands goods as new in box items. As the proverb goes; If It Sounds Too Good To Be True, it normally is! So if it isn’t explicitly stated don’t hesitate to contact the merchant as they will have no issue in giving you a yes or no answer to this.
Authorised agent for that manufacturer/supplier. All suppliers such as Zodiac and Davey have dealer networks throughout Australia. On their websites you should be able to search for them, or failing that simply give their customer service lines a call to verify the authenticity of the site you are wishing to buy through. As with Epools (a business name held by Just Pools and Spas Pty Ltd), our contact details, map and ABN are clearly shown on our “Contact Us” page. We at least are transparent in this, and any reputable organisation should be able to show similar transparency.
Grey Imports. It has become more accessible for merchants to bring in genuine items using grey import systems. So while you are getting a genuine item. In most cases you will be wearing the warranty for that product. As the manufacturer will redirect you back to the country where the product was sourced from. Also from a safety aspect. If you buy something that requires Australian Safety Standards and you don’t have it. The implications of this to life and possible damages could be herific! So take care.
Proper warranty procedures. As mentioned Grey Imports often void any warranty backup. But if you are going through authorised dealer networks, they will be able to directly help with your issue. Remember though as with most things you buy from a shop; it is up to you to get it back to the shop you bought it from. So as a result most methods require you to send the item back and also a self addressed return bag. A letter saying what has happened and any contact made will also help.
Secure checkouts. Another part of the website that unscrupulous sites may lack is a secure checkout procedure. If you don’t see a blue or green bar in the URL bar (you should see https://… , not http:// note the ‘s’ for secure) this means the information you transmit is NOT open to the internet and secure! PayPal is a good mechanism to pay without exposing credit card information if you’re not sure.
Trackable delivery options. As 99% of items sent in the pool industry are too large for a standard envelope, and cost a fair bit as well. The parcel will have some sort of tracking with it, this may only be the last mail distro center the parcel was logged at. At least with this you will see some progress. Australia is a large place so items may take upto 14 days in the summer season. If however you believe your parcel to have gone missing, you and your merchant will need to follow the lost goods procedures for whichever courier they are using before an item can be counted as lost.
To wrap up. There, in this international ecommerce environment, many opportunities for un-reputable characters to exist. But by following some simple rules and procedures you will be able to minimise your exposure to them and possibly not loose any of your hard earned money to them. If they are a new store for you, check the Contact Us page to see how transparent they are in you being able to get hold of them!
This is by no means a definitive article. But we hope it helps in prompting you to ask some questions that may save hassles further down the track.