(WBAY) – As you continue your holiday shopping, we have a warning about making purchases through ads you see on social media.
In 2018, the US Supreme Court allowed states to start collecting sales taxes from out of state vendors with no physical presence in the state except for their online presence, but Florida is one of two states that has yet to start collecting. (RITESH NAYAK/ CC BY-SA 2.0)
The Better Business Bureau says there are a number of misleading ads trying to fool shoppers.
You’ve likely seen the ads in your social media feeds: the latest skin care products, hot toys, free trial offers. They’re enticing, and they make it seem like you have to act fast to get a limited offer.
The Better Business Bureau says online shopping was the top complaint into its online scam tracker report in 2018.
Before you click “Buy,” here are things you should watch for:
Read the fine print
Question celebrity endorsements and free trial offers.
Look for and read the fine print. There may be hidden fees.
For example, you might not realize until later that when you accepted that free sample you agreed to multiple monthly shipments for products that run $70 to $100 a pop.
Research the seller
Before you buy anything online, research the company. See if there are complaints from other shoppers. On a search website, type in the company name with the words “complaints” and “reviews” and “scam” to see what other customers are saying.
WATCH FOR FAKES
Be on the lookout for counterfeit merchandise. The BBB says name brand shoes, designer clothes and handbags are popular knockoffs.
Red flags include items priced significantly lower than what other retailers are charging. Other warning signs are spelling and grammatical errors in online ads and pictures of items that are poor quality.
Also check the “About us” or “Contact information” on a seller’s website to see if they have a physical address and a way to contact the company. If the only way to contact the company is through an online form, don’t count on getting a reply.
Hopefully these few extra steps can save you some holiday headaches.