- At checkout, on the checkout page, be certain that the address bar at the top of the page begins with “https” not just “http”. This means those who have "https" are secured. A secured website checkout page prevents your information from being stolen by hackers and thieves. The "https" will only show up on the checkout page, not on the sites regular pages.
- Research the merchant you are going to deal with. Watch for the warning signs of a merchant that may not be stable.
- Locating their address is difficult and "buried" in their site or the address is a P.O. Box. Some merchants even use a UPS mail drop store in another state for their "address".
- A legitimate seller will prominently display their street address and phone number.
- Returns that must be shipped to different address or, even worse, to different state.
- Do a Google Search: Google the merchants name then the word “reports”. For example “Countryside Pet Supply reports”. You will find the good and, if any exists – the bad and the ugly about the merchant.
Check to see if there have been complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau. If the merchant has a poor rating, find a different merchant to deal with. Internal website ratings can be faked, the BBB can not be faked.
- Stay out of websites that have poor ratings.
I hope this is of help to you.