Instagram is one of the most popular ways of shopping right now. Vendors sell everything from household items to fashion pieces even raw food. Instagram has made shopping on its platform so easy and attractive. Yet, shopping on Instagram is not without its downsides. A friend of mine got scammed recently for over N20,000, it was a hurtful experience for her. We sat down together and came up with a few precautions to help you shop on Instagram.
Here are some tips to tell if an Instagram shop is real.
Please note there are no fail-safe methods. Not all these tips will 100% apply to all sellers. However they give you an idea of how to tell if a page is real.
The shop has a focus
Real Instagram shops (in fact, real retailers in general) usually focus on one or two items and do those very well. E.g. electronics, football jerseys, hair, fabrics, turbans, makeup, ready to wear clothes, designer brands etc. When a shop appears to sell anything and everything, it’s usually fake.
The owner’s presence
The owner has posted photos of him/herself or family before or the owner is easily identifiable. We understand not all owners like to put themselves out there, however the presence of family and friends in the photos and/or comments or as their first customers shows this seller is real and accountable.
You can see real customers in/with their products
You can see, click on multiple names with open accounts of people who are wearing these clothes/shoes/wigs etc. and have tagged the shop you want to buy from as the seller.
The owner posts testimonials with real tagged customers
Even if the shop’s customers don’t like to post themselves, they would definitely have sent messages to the shop. Many vendors repost these messages and tag the customers. Make sure these customers seem real – have posts, reasonable amounts of followers and would seem like customers of the shop.
Videos posted by the owner
You should be able to see videos of the products (whether these are shoes, bags, clothes, hair) posted by the owner on the page or you should to be able to request for video proof.
They have a physical store/presence
We understand new stores may not have physical stores, however this is an easy way to see if an online shop is real. If they have one, go check it out or ask a friend who lives nearby to do so. They may not have a store but if they are stocked somewhere, and this is a good sign.
Real interactions on their page
When shopping on Instagram, If a business page has no comments and no interactions with people who seem like real customers, it is probably fake.
I hope you consider these tips when you want to buy a bag that caught your eye from a vendor on Instagram. Stay Safe.