To buy online, or not to buy online?

The internet is a revolution! It allows me to write my blog for the whole world to see, and for people across the globe to contact each other. However, everyone has heard horror stories about people buying items online and being scammed, disappointed, or not even receiving the item! But is this reality? Should this stop you from buying important items such as your dress, bridesmaid dresses and accessories from online sellers?

The answer is: do your research!

Do’s and Don’ts

DO use well recognised sellers. You are less likely to be disappointed with the items you buy if you use companies that are publicly recognised. Companies such as Debenhams, Marks and Spencers, BHS are all examples of this; they have a very good reputation, and have stores in most towns which makes any enquiries or returns easy and accessible.

DON’T (or at least try and avoid) using foreign sites. Sites based in China are well known to be dodgy. If the prices of the item seems to good to be true, they probably are! If you have any doubts, check their contact details on the website. There are some recommended sites that do happen to be foreign however, Light in the Box and Landy have been recommended to me by many different brides. Read the small print for shipping costs though! This could sting you if you don’t!

DO ask questions. If you are buying items from an online seller on ebay, or wedding forums, bombard them with questions before you send them any money. Ask for photos, exact measurements, a quality indication, and their returns policy. A genuine seller will provide you with all the information you request without trying to avoid questions or fob you off with poor answers.

DO use paypal. Paypal is the most secure way of transferring funds to an online seller. It records the transaction, and also provides legal assistance if something should go wrong. I would advise reading the Ts&Cs though as some items are exempt, such as custom made items, or if you pay in installments.

DO use wedding forums! Although there is no legal assistance from sites such as You and Your Wedding, Hitched or Confetti if something should go wrong, they are a good way to find items that have been used before and are being sold on. You can pick up some real bargains! But remember, use paypal!! It’s your only financial backup!!

DO keep a record of emails or correspondence with the person you are buying something off. This can prove to be invaluable if something does go wrong!

DON’T feel pressured into parting with your money if its not quite right, or you get the feeling that the person selling the item isn’t being entirely truthful. The good thing about the internet is that there is always an audience able to view whats being sold. If you don’t buy it, there’s a good chance someone else will.

DO report any dodgy sellers and leave complaints. If you are using a wedding forum or ebay, make sure you leave feedback that mirrors the service/item you received. If it was dodgy and not as described, then do all other customers and favour and let them know!

DO use your common sense. If a site is of poor quality, grammar is horrendous, pictures are grainy and the price is too cheap, then there’s a good chance whatever you receive from them will likely be similar.

DON’T forget however, that online buying is not all bad! You can pick up some excellent bargains, which are of high quality and good value for money! Just do your research and remember, that if it seems to good to be true.. it probably is!!!

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