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Protect Yourself When Shopping Online for Christmas, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday

You don’t have to look very far to find cringe-worthy stories of online purchases gone wrong. We ALL know at least one or two acquaintances (if not ourselves) who have fallen prey to the myriad of scam artists trolling the internet.

It happens, more often than you think. Yes, you'll lose some money, and, of course, some self-respect. But that's OK, WeGoLook is here to help you over the holidays when making large purchases.

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday fast approaching, the need for verification of major online purchases becomes much more relevant.

Christmas is also around the corner, and it’s the perfect season for unsuspecting consumers to be duped by fake advertisements and shady sellers.

But one can hardly blame the victim for trying―online shopping is not a fad that is soon going away. Not like ghetto blasters.

Speaking of gift ideas, a retro ghetto blaster might just be what 'the Dad who has everything' needs. To-do list updated!

Anyway, where were we?

Online Shopping is Here to Stay, Baby

The world has radically changed in the last decade, especially when it comes to consumerism. There is a growing portion of people who would rather purchase items online than dare to step foot in a shopping mall… especially at Christmas time.

Don't even get me started on trying to find parking at Costco!

But the madness is happening online too. You thought Black Friday was a big shopping trend? Consider that on Cyber Monday in 2015 consumers spent about $3 billion dollars in a 24 hour period online. Let that number sink in for a second. 

Here are just a few of the many reasons why online shopping is better than conventional shopping.

  1. Convenience: Being able to shop at any time of the day, without waiting in lines or fighting crowds, or putting pants on.
  2. Better prices: No middleman between manufacturer and seller means that items cost less. Plus, online business owners will usually reduce their profit margin just to win customers.
  3. More variety: You can pick from your choice of products and retailers from anywhere in the world. More brands, better options, and the latest trends.
  4. Comparing price is easier: Gone are the days of spending a whole day driving from car dealership to car dealership in search of the best deal. Now, savvy consumers can do their shopping from the comfort of their sofa.
  5. Less compulsive shopping: Do you struggle to say “no, thank you,” to enticing displays or blowout sales in conventional shopping environments? Do you find yourself making emotional purchases just because it was ‘on sale’? Online shopping may be your answer.

But given the madness of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, how can online consumers protect themselves from the dangers associated with online shopping? Internet crime is no laughing matter.

Between 2009 and 2014, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Centre (IC3) received over 6,800 complaints and $20 million in reported losses. This is a huge problem.

So What?

The holiday season brings with it a massive spike in online purchasing. And this year is proving to be no different.

The hottest Christmas gifts for 2016 that are ripe for online fraud include:

  • Cars: With a growing push by carmakers for economical vehicles under $25,000, many people are looking to buy a new or used vehicle for their loved ones this year.
  • Boats: Like cars, many marine companies are making a Christmas push to consumers looking to add some excitement to their summer activities.
  • eBay Auction Items: Many consumers are turning to eBay to get a good deal on large consumer items for their loved ones.

Although Christmas is a fun time to show the people around us we love them, we must ensure we are protected from online scams when making large purchases online.

Same goes for Cyber Monday or Black Friday: when making an online purchase, you need to protect yourself as much as possible.

How Can Consumers Protect Themselves?

First, do your homework! Don’t take the seller’s word for it―research, investigate, Google.

Here are a list things to look for when buying products online.

  • Does the seller have a Privacy Policy? Is it easily accessible? Do they value your privacy and confidentiality?
  • How long have they been in business?
  • Are they a reputable BBB accredited business? Are they registered with the Better Business Bureau?
  • Research the company on search engines. What can you find out about them? Also, check out eBay’s ‘seller ratings.’
  • Search for any negative feedback and/or reviews. (i.e. search their name, email address, phone numbers, etc.)
  • Search for positive feedback and/or reviews. Can you find proof of happy customers?
  • Do they have a Refund Policy in case you are unhappy with your purchase?

These are important considerations when making any large purchase, but thanks to WeGoLook, there's also an easier way.

Consumers Have a Secret Weapon

Because of their price tags, big-ticket item purchases for Christmas, Black Friday, or Cyber Monday warrant additional research and security before purchasing.

For example,

  • When a consumer wants to buy a car from a seller three states away, and wants to be certain that it’s not a lemon.
  • Or when a wife in Florida wants to buy her husband that boat he’s always dreamed about, but she wants to make sure that it looks like the spec sheet.
  • Or when a college student in Colorado desperately would like to buy a Skidoo for the winter season but wants to make sure the serial numbers aren’t stolen.

It’s Time to Call…WeGoLook

WeGoLook is an innovative company that specializes in putting a 30,000-strong mobile workforce at your fingertips.

In the last four years, they have grown from 2 employees and 7,400 Lookers to 100 employees and more than 30,000 'Lookers.' These Lookers can be dispatched on your behalf to inspect large consumer items to ensure you're making a smart purchase.

Let me explain.

How Can WeGoLook Help You?

Do you want to verify that the big-ticket item you are about to purchase for Cyber Monday is in great condition? WeGoLook can help by:

  • We will immediately assign one of our Lookers in the area to inspect it.
  • We meet the vendor on your behalf to perform the inspection, and will also manage all communication and scheduling with that vendor.
  • You can even monitor our progress in real-time using the WeGoLook online dashboard.
  • The assigned Looker will take photos, shoot videos, collect data, ask questions or complete any other custom task you require.
  • Inspection information will be uploaded to our secure data center, and our quality assurance department will review the reports for accuracy and consistency.
  • When the inspection is complete, you will be automatically notified via email.
  • You can download the PDF report and photos, or even share it.

How simple can it be? With the click of a button, our innovative mobile app puts a large mobile workforce at your fingertips.  WeGoLook collects real-time data, photos, and videos, making your decision-making process both efficient and reliable.

The WeGoLook platform combines mobility and workforce to act as the consumer's feet on the street, delivering real-time, efficient solutions customized to fit your Christmas, Black Friday, or Cyber Monday buying needs.

So, as the Christmas season approaches and you find yourself itching to hit that “confirm purchase” button on your screen, do yourself a favor… Take a moment to order an on-site inspection first with WeGoLook, and invest in your peace of mind. 

You won’t be sorry!