Nowadays, business owners are shifting to e-commerce platforms to get what’s best for their little business to take off. However, it would be a pity when our hard-earned investments suffer losses whenever we fall victim to fraudulent buyers online. Scams are all over the internet, and our favorite online shopping platform Lazada is no stranger to these bad cyber actors’ fraudulent operations.
There are different ways that fraudsters employ when it comes to internet scams, but the more common incidents are fraudulent sellers who sell for too-good-to-be-true prices but will take the cash and leave you with nothing in the end.
However, it’s not only buyers that fall victim to scams. Lazada sellers also report scams and bogus buyers that they experience within the app. They can range from fake product-not-delivered complaints to getting a product shipped to an address other than expressly stated in the order.
Although we are slowly on our way to securing our online marketplaces, there still can be a few bad apples among our lot. And while we come up with ways to get rid of these in the long run, we must first be able to spot and avoid them. After all, precaution and prevention will surely be better than damage control.
Although big e-commerce platforms such as Lazada are rolling out anti-scam policies, these would not become a success unless Lazada sellers ramp up their anti-scam measures and contribute their share in reporting bogus buyers. In a world where everyone can create an account, authentic or not, with a single click, we must tread the waters with utmost care. Lucky for you, our dear Lazada sellers – and even prospective ones – we have this brief guide on how to spot, avoid and report bogus buyers in Lazada.
What is a bogus buyer?
Chances are you have had an experience with a bogus buyer in the past, online or not. They feign interest and want to buy your products, only to bail at the last minute and leave you hanging. They can either work their way into taking your product and not pay a single dime. Or they can just waste your precious time and resources preparing their order and then finally turn out to be unavailable to receive them. Or they will simply disappear with no methods to contact them or to follow up. Whether it’s a prank or a deliberate scheme to get your products for free, bogus buyers transact with sellers, especially those new to the game, with a clear and deliberate intention to scam.
To be honest, not all bogus buyers are part of some mafia aimed at taking down your business. But taking some extra precautions would not hurt you. It would be best for you to avoid them, especially when your business is at an early stage and every cent of your money means a lot in determining whether your enterprise will soar off the charts or sink below it. If you’re still wondering what bogus buyers can do and what the worst of their lot are scheming, you may check this story about a man who scammed Lazada and took off with almost $200,000. Luckily, he was put to task and held accountable for his deeds.
Bogus buyers can masquerade as legit buyers or pose as truly interested customers; it’s hard to tell them apart. But as we master the basics of online selling, we would also know the telltale signs when your customer is fraudulent and the proven ways to avoid them. And if they are unavoidable at the moment, learn how to report them and prevent them from playing more scams on other fellow sellers.
How to spot and avoid a bogus buyer?
Lots of guides are all over the internet on spotting fraudulent or bogus sellers, and frankly, buyers might have it a lot easier to avoid scams with the number of reports and subsequent guides on avoiding these on their side. But sellers might find it a little trickier to identify these bogus buyers. But worry not, we got your back. You see, these bogus buyers online are just the digital counterparts of bogus buyers offline. And sellers worldwide have had plenty of experience with them, sharing with us their knowledge on how to spot the red flags even from miles away.
Product Was Not Delivered
Of course, you have the classic complaint that your product was not shipped to your customer. You would wonder because you did drop it off yourself. Was it the courier or the delivery person? Think twice when you get a complaint like this, and make sure you check with the delivery service and ask for a full update. After all, if it is marked as delivered in your Lazada app, the courier services working on the platform would have a clear picture of how the product came from point A to point B. Make sure everything is ironed out before you send out another piece of product, or you might just be on your way to getting scammed.
Some nasty minds might play tricks on you and tell you they got the wrong item. Before letting them return, make sure you ask for a picture of the said “wrong item” and the product’s invoice. We have to make sure we are sorting things out, that there indeed was a wrong item delivered, and you get that back. When you are sure about the details, that would be the time to replace it. We don’t want ourselves sending a refund or a replacement product and getting some teddy bear stuffing or a rock in return.
Incomplete Lazada App Details
Of course, not all legit buyers would just readily input all their details in their Lazada app. Everyone wants their lives kept private, especially in this digital age where everything is listed online. But you could also tell from afar whenever an account seems suspicious. If the account uses weird aliases, something which you would not believe is their real name or address, better double-check their account before transacting. It wouldn’t hurt to message them and see if they reply in a manner a genuinely interested buyer would do. If a detail is important to the transaction, as long as it does not impinge on their private details, you can ask them to fill that up in the dedicated app section before you continue transacting with them.
Bad Record Buyers
When a buyer has a high return rate or leaves an unfair negative review about your store, there are certain ways to report them. If they get multiples of these, Lazada can have the buyer blacklisted from the app. Lazada has developed a reporting system and is onward with its goal to weed out these bad record buyers and ban them from using the app to create a more fruitful marketplace for both buyers and sellers.
How to report fraudulent buyers
As said earlier, policies and systems within the Lazada community aim to deter bogus buyers from pursuing their fraudulent activities. There are a few things a seller can do when they meet a bogus buyer in the Lazada app.
For starters, the Seller Center was created to give victimized sellers a way to officially report bogus buyers to Lazada.
If you think a seller is duping you into one of the aforementioned schemes, you can escalate the complaint to Partner Support.
Lazada also allows you to temporarily remove the cash-on-delivery option from a buyer’s page once they show a high rate of returned deliveries. You can ask Customer Care to do this for you.
Those with high cancellation rates, certainly a red flag for sellers, will automatically be blacklisted by Lazada.
How to boost your Lazada security
Aside from knowing the telltale signs and knowing where to go during incidents of fraud, we also whipped you up these tips that can boost your online store’s security overall within the Lazada app.
Do not overshare information
Lazada asks that all pertinent information be placed in your store profile and product description. Other than that, you are not obliged to share more. The same goes for your buyers after the sign-up. Remember that as a seller, you are interacting with your store and your personal details are not needed. You might want to think twice when a buyer wants to make the transaction outside the official Lazada app, maybe through SMS or any other online platform. Make sure to keep it professional, transactional, and only within the platform.
Do not transact outside Lazada
Do not ask for payment from your buyers through SMS, chat, or email, or even use banking apps or e-wallets such as GCash. If your customer prefers these payment options, never do them outside Lazada. Lazada is partnered with major banks and e-wallets to provide you and the buyer with seamless payment options, so you won’t have to go through the hassle of switching between apps and waiting for the payment to come in before you ship the product. The official partnerships also provide a layer of security for sellers, as security features and processes are being observed when one prefers to use them.
Do not reply to messages outside Lazada
If anyone happens to find your official business contact number, or worse your personal number, respectfully decline to transact with them on that platform and redirect them to the buyer-seller messages section of Lazada. Official transactions between buyers and sellers in the app are done through the chat feature of Lazada. Sometimes, scammers might pose as a disgruntled buyer, or maybe a representative of Lazada. Do not engage with them. If there are concerns, we’re sure you will be contacted within the Lazada app.
Of course, outside of these, it wouldn’t hurt for you to have an overall boost of cybersecurity measures to avoid scams. If you put on your cyber armor, there are fewer chances you would fall victim to a Lazada scam, a phishing scheme, or whatever the Internet’s bad actors have in mind.
Create a steady base of legit Lazada buyers
While some bad actors on the internet have found their way into our online marketplaces, we must remain calm and determined in launching our products and selling them. The existence of these bad apples does not entirely ruin the marketplace for all of us, buyers and sellers alike. Note that Lazada has existing in-platform policies to combat these activities. Not everyone will scam you, though. It is one thing to be aware of and another to be paranoid about them. Do not panic. Do not let the bad apples ruin the whole basket for you.
Good business should mean a steady base of customers regularly buying your products and even promoting them to friends and family. And in both offline and online platforms, it all starts with building trust that goes both ways. As a seller, make sure you are pleasant to talk to and that you address the most urgent needs of customers. Within Lazada, have your store profile verified and if you have some extra cash, hire a small marketing team to write copy and do graphics for you so the store can look 100% more legitimate. After all, legit sellers tend to gravitate toward legit buyers.
When you have built this steady base of customers, you will have a greater, more solid income, offsetting any losses from a few scammers. That loss to a scam would hurt, but it wouldn’t hurt that much. You can just report the incident and go on selling without the fear of always suffering sizable income cuts or even bankruptcy.