E-commerce is an integral part of the internet today and has created an entirely new way of buying and selling. But there are many dangers of e-commerce to be considered, and they can occur on both sides. Buyers always run a risk of being deceived or sold bogus goods no matter where they purchase. But the internet seems to bring out the bad in many who, knowing the other party is perhaps miles or a continent away, will deceive them by sending the wrong item, poor quality item, or even nothing at all. From the buyers end they may find that what they purchased is not quite what was advertised so when they are expecting an item that was “touted” as a fantastic bargain, it turns out to be junk that they would never have purchased if they had a chance to examine it first hand.
The anonymity of internet buying and selling creates many dangers of e-commerce and many times those who have cheated on a purchase are never found to be prosecuted. Buying on the large auction sites on the internet is somewhat safer as they offer buyer protection for many of the transactions handled through their site. But the old expression “let the buyer beware” has never been more relevant than with internet purchases. The dangers of e-commerce can involve the products themselves as well as the electronic transaction. Look at it from the perspective of the buyer.
1) Products can be of inferior quality or not the same as was advertised or promoted on the seller’s web site. If the quality is sub-standard, the transaction may be considered a “bait and switch” which means that what was offered is different from what the customer receives.
2) Items sold on the internet may require an electronic transaction to complete the purchase. When the seller receives the buyer’s credit card information, they can then use that to their advantage. If they have intentions of committing a criminal act, they can use the card information to make other purchases for themselves.
3) One of the big dangers of e-commerce and a major problem today is identity theft. This can happen when an unscrupulous person sells that personal info to another party who in turn, uses it. This type of activity will, of course, only be done by a “fly by night” seller who will then vanish, only to pop up using another web site and another business name to perform their illegal activities.
The dangers of e-commerce can be seen to occur from the other side as well. If the buyer states they never received their goods, there is no actual way to prove they did not, unless the items are shipped with a return receipt request and that is not normally done because it is an added expense.
Most of those who sell on the internet are honest people who sell their wares with a very small margin of profit. They must sell as cheaply as possible because they have a lot of competition, not only online but at local stores as well. So, one of the dangers of e-commerce to be considered is that some businesses can be driven into bankruptcy when they can’t sell their products as cheaply as another.
These are only meant to be things to consider when purchasing online and the dangers of e-commerce innocent people must be aware of.