OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – The Better Business Bureau warns against scams when shopping online, especially when it comes to back-to-school shopping.
Technology like laptops and tablets have become a staple of education. But buying new technology in stores and online has become more difficult.
According to the BBB, shortages of certain technologies such as computer chips could limit the options available to consumers. When consumers cannot find these products from reputable retailers, they become more susceptible to encountering a scam.
Market research firm Deloitte says that some of the determining factors in purchasing decisions are price and quality. The BBB claims that scammers could target a desperate buyer with fake offers or exciting advertisements.
It is recommended follow some tips from the BBB to avoid becoming a victim:
- Shop at familiar retailers. Laptops, tablets or other tech accessories can be a major investment. Buy from companies you know and trust, to ensure you get a quality product and good customer service.
- Don’t buy from imposters. Fraudsters can use the name, logo and other characteristics of brands you trust. Carefully examine the website to verify that they are who they claim to be.
- Approach low prices with caution. Low prices and short term sales could be a sign that you have been scammed. If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.
- Some companies rarely offer sales. Do more research if a company that rarely discounts products has a huge sale. Products may be used, refurbished, or it may be a fake website.
- Know what you are shopping for. Set a budget, identify the abilities that will benefit your student, and compare your options. Then shop around for a reliable seller. Finding the best product for your needs will help you avoid scams and buyer’s remorse.
- Make sure you know who the seller is. Some big-box retailers allow third-party sellers to list items on their site, and these items can be difficult to distinguish from others. Read all the fine print to make sure you’re comfortable with the seller.
- Finish your shopping early. Supply shortages are possible, especially as a large number of consumers start buying the same products. Shop now to avoid paying higher prices or being scammed.
According to Deloitte, technology sales increased 37% year over year, in part due to the increase in digital learning tools.
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