Written by on August 17, 2022


Living in a digitized world has revolutionized the way people shop for items; therefore creating an entirely new shopping experience. Just from the comfort of one’s home, office or while in transit people can shop for an array of products with the aid of a smartphone, digital devices and payment solution services. The Covid-19 pandemic also contributed immensely to this evolving trend and it has become the norm as some shoppers have expressed their preference for online shopping rather than the walk-in experience. This change in shopping experience and preference has compelled some businesses to remodel their operations to adapt to the evolving business clime; hence it is almost impossible to find businesses without an online presence. More so, online shopping has birth multi-billion dollar e-commerce businesses such as eBay, Amazon, Alibaba, Etsy among others; unfortunately this evolving trend in shopping has given rise to the unscrupulous activities of scammers disguising as online vendors defrauding unsuspecting victims of their hard earned money – thus making the online shopping experience a scary one.

According to data released by the Federal Trades Commission (U.S.) based on frauds that were reported directly to the commission, in 2021 a total of 770 million dollars was lost to scam on social media by shoppers whose major source of contact was through social media. The once pleasurable experience for consumers has raised the feeling of suspicion and hours of verifying vendors before purchasing the product or services rendered. Vendors who sell particular products online are quite notorious for their nefarious activities which may not be new to avid social media users and online shoppers, which has created huge problem for legitimate vendors online, thus compelling them to take extra measures towards assuring their customers of their legitimacy and the authenticity of their products or services. Here are five product vendors you should verify before patronizing them;

Human hair extension vendors: Misleading advertising in the hair and beauty industry has become the norm, there is barely a day that goes by without seeing a customer complaining of getting an entirely different product delivered to them different from what was advertised on the vendors’ page. Hair extensions however come in different grades and varying price points, the demand for cheap hair extension with great quality is increasingly high which some vendors use to exploit customers by providing low quality extension different from what was advertised on their handle. Hence, it is advisable to verify from a hair vendor the quality of the hair before making purchase or reviews could be a great way to start, however some well-known brands have been accused of providing celebrities with quality hair extensions while selling substandard quality at the same price to regular customers. The best advice when it comes to buying hair extension would be verifying the vendors and walking into their store to have a first-hand experience on what the quality of the hair feels like before making that final call to action. Remember quality hair extension isn’t cheap!

Online boutiques: The demand for high end fashion items and foreign street wear brands such as Zara, Misguided, Topshop, River Island among others has created a huge market and opportunities for business owners. It is common these days to find personal shoppers and boutiques who specifically stock products from some of the most sought after fashion brands due to the high demand for these products. If you are shopping for fashion items online it is important to verify if you are buying the real item of a copy of the item, hence it is advisable to look up the product on the brand’s website, compare prices and ensure that you are paying the right amount for the product to avoid adding to the statistics of customers who have fallen victim to the “what I ordered vs. what I bought” trend. If you are paying 16,500 naira for a Zara stiletto shoes that costs 120 dollars on their website you are likely buying a copy of that shoe which may be different from the pictures of the shoe displayed by the vendor online.

Kayanmata vendors: The demand for locally made sexual enhancers and sexual performance products hit the online marketplace with a storm, a trend that birth some of the biggest brand names that are well known in the country, the attention that this product enjoyed fueled controversies and rivalry among competing vendors contributing to the drama in the Nigerian social media space on a daily basis. The introduction of these products online made it more popular to consumers who weren’t aware of the existence of these products which contributed to the high demand some testifying to the efficacy of these products and others simply referring to it as a scam. Popular vendors of these products moved on to market other products such as the blue eye beads which is meant to ward off any evil intentions to products guaranteeing success, larger sales for business owners and so on. A monster was created with an increasing demand that was hard to meet up; however, accusations are splashed all over the timelines on the social media pages of popular vendors, refuting the claims and promises the products were ought to provide. 

Organic cosmetics vendors: “Organic” the internet’s most misused word for safe skincare products, an abuse by some skincare brands prompted by the increasing demand for sustainable, eco-friendly and safe skincare products by consumers. Some brands have carved a niche for themselves prompted by the popular demand for products that are less harmful to the body with noticeable effect. However, this demand has led to the birth of toxic products with outlandish names causing irreparable damage to the skin and other vital organs. Before purchasing skincare products online it is important to look up the chemical composition and ingredients list on the label, social media influencing and celebrity endorsements has further helped the fraudulent activities within this industry thrive, whereby followers are willing to pay millions for a skincare product because it was endorsed by their favourite celebrity. Therefore, before making that bank transfer for a face cream, hand lotion or “snowwhite” cream verify the content of the product and look up reviews online not from celebrities or influencers but from regular people.

Mini importation or drop shipping agents: Small businesses contribute immensely to the economy of the country by providing jobs and boosting revenue as well. Mini importation classes are on almost every social media platform with thousands of intending business owners with or without capital looking for directions and the right connect on how to start their businesses. The number of fake importation classes and drop shipping agents far outweighs the number of intending business owners, in an attempt to gather as much information possible; unsuspecting victims go in-between different classes but end up with nothing tangible other than further instructions to join a much higher class where all the information required will be shared at much higher fee. However, there are legitimate classes online, hence it is advised to join classes based that were referred to you by someone trustworthy. 

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