How many times it has happened to you that you went shopping and came back extremely tired? What if we say that we already know this has happened to you in the past but not anymore. Yes, online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Flipkart(India) have arrived as the popular shopping destinations for the customers.
An online marketplace is a platform i.e. a website or app which enables its users to shop from various sources. Online marketplace operators do not own the inventory but they display the inventory of others to the buyers and thus only facilitate transactions. In this article, we answer the question Is Shopping from Online Marketplace Apps Safe? What are the key aspects of the online market?
Online marketplaces offer various value propositions to both buyers and sellers. It helps sellers in streamlining the production process as they can avoid the stockholding process. They can sell their products directly to the customers through the online platform. Buyers get the opportunity to buy products from a variety of options available on a single online portal. Thus they can get quality products at reasonable prices. Information on updated prices and availability of products on the online portal help buyers get the best deal on their purchase. By finding trusted vendors, buyers can build long-term trading relationships by dealing exclusively with them.
As the online marketplace apps provide a huge convenience to the customers they readily go for such apps. These offer wider product ranges than what a single retailer can provide. This has proved to be the major selling point of these apps. Also, these online marketplace apps offer users a platform to buy and sell older stuff. This way they can have some extra earnings to pay a few bills and also declutter their spaces. However, there are also some deal-breakers that customers encounter. These include difficulty in comparing product-related information and non-uniform product delivery, transaction frauds, etc.
Now let us examine how some of the best online marketplace apps are performing in terms of making the customer’s shopping experience safe and hasslefree.
- Amazon-Being the largest online retailer, Amazon has an active user base of around 350 million people. Amazon has been successful in building credibility among its users.
It has one of the highest positive ratings from customers including both the first-timers and repeaters.
With a large online store, buyers can find a large list of offers and discounts on Amazon. Also, the large number of payment options and easy returns make shopping on Amazon a hassle-free affair.
Amazon has its own safe shopping measures in place. This includes the provision of a secure server and safe shopping tips for customer’s information. Its safe online shopping measures include Identifying and reporting suspicious emails, checking the seller’s feedback, not sharing personal information, etc.
- eBay– With a 200 million strong user base, eBay offers its users to buy and sell old as well as new stuff. You can list almost anything with certainty of finding a buyer on this platform. To make its user’s shopping experience hasslefree eBay has added features like shopping cart, advanced search, search refinement by price range, product reviews, eBay wishlists, favorites, etc. eBay bucks program provides cashback on each purchase, which can be utilized in further shopping. eBay’s bill me later program lets its user to shop first and pay later. With eBay Guarantee, users can get a replacement or refund if not satisfied with the purchase.
eBay provides a secure server site that ensures that the financial and personal information of the buyers on the site is safe. Its PayPal integrated payment gateway ensures the security of buyers’ transactions.
While the above examples are online marketplaces for both new and old stuff, there are some thrift-specific marketplace apps like OfferUp,LetGo, Craigslist, etc.where you can buy or sell used stuff locally. These can also result in huge savings on shipping costs.
- Letgo-Letgo is an app to list items online. Also listing your stuff is simple. All you have to do is create a free account in the app by signing up, take images of the item you want to advertise, upload it and post the ad for it. Also, the Letgo app has a ‘free stuff’ section which allows users to get rid of the items they have no use of. However, Letgo users can only buy and sell items locally.
To buy stuff you can directly chat with the seller and the chat record is maintained for the future. Letgo does not offer payments through the app which can prevent buyers from scams. It recommends its buyers that all payments be made in person by cash or by Paypal. It also warns against business, personal cheques and wire transfer.
- OfferUp-OfferUp is also a mobile app for online sale and purchase of used items. It has recently become one of the most preferred online platform to buy and sell goods. It also provides the sellers the option to ship their stuff if the buyers are ready to pay shipping charges. There are no charges for listing stuff on OfferUp. OfferUp makes claim that all it takes to list goods on this platform is 30 seconds or even less. So one can list multiple items on OfferUp as quickly as possible.
OfferUp also enables buyers to chat directly with the sellers. It also helps in locating safe meeting points for buyers and sellers.OfferUp has become the first local online marketplace with integrated mobile payments like Google Pay and Samsung Pay. Recently OfferUp has launched Hold Offer feature in the US which allows buyers to reserve an item to buy. This also enhances the safety of mobile digital payments
- Geebo- Geebo is also one of the most legit platforms to buy and sell goods in the US. Geebo’s edge over others lies in its precautionary approach to listing ads. Each ad posted is reviewed for its legitimacy. This promotes trust amongst buyers
While the Geebo platform does not provide for animal and firearm listing options. It does provide for listing of other items.
The bottom line of this whole piece is that these online marketplace apps are serving the needs of buyers and sellers in great measure. This is the reason behind the huge user base of such apps. While online marketplace apps have come up with many built-in features for safe and hassle-free shopping. Buyers should also take basic precautionary measures to have a safe and convenient shopping experience. This may include going through sellers profile, reporting suspicious listing, meeting at safe location, strong password settings, etc. Following these small steps can go a long way in protecting buyers against various scams.
Author Profile –
Vaishali Sonik is a passionate writer and explorer who has an interest in sharing the knowledge she has gathered over the years while working as the content strategist and writer at different companies including the Mobile app development company london, Apptunix. With the vision of bringing the change in the content industry, she jumped her career from M.Tech ECE Engineer to follow her passion. FYI, she portrays herself as a fun person who loves to explore all her hobbies & she has many.