Sponsored Link
Email This Post Email This Post

FTC Warns Buyers to Research Marketplace Sellers

Federal Trade Commission
FTC Warns Buyers to Research Marketplace Sellers

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warned shoppers to do their homework before making a purchase on an online marketplace, advising them to research sellers and the marketplace itself.

In a tweet on Monday, the FTC warned: “Before you buy from a seller listed on a particular marketplace, search online for the site’s name with the word “complaint” or “review” to see what other people say about their experiences. Learn more: consumer.ftc.gov.”

The tweet linked to a page on the agency’s website titled, “Buying From an Online Marketplace.”

Shoppers should check out the marketplace site itself – “Search online for the site’s name, with the word “complaint” or “review,” to see what other people say about their experiences,” the FTC advised. It offered additional tips, such as finding out how the site will protect and use your information.

Beyond researching the marketplace, shoppers should check out the individual seller – here are the steps the FTC advised taking:

  • Check the seller’s ratings and read comments from recent buyers.
  • Be sure the seller’s listing includes contact information. If you have questions about an item, contact the seller. If you aren’t satisfied with the seller’s answer, choose a different seller.
  • If you want a certain service — like a product warranty, free shipping, or the right to return an item — check the listings or ask sellers if they offer the service before you buy. Get the answers in writing and keep copies of your messages.

The FTC had advice about researching products and payment methods. What if you do all your homework but still encounter a problem?’

“If you think you’re dealing with a dishonest business, report it to the Federal Trade Commission at ReportFraud.ftc.gov and to your state attorney general,” it advised. It included a link to a page on ConsumerResources.org where consumers can learn how to contact their state attorney general. The advice appears to be dated from May of last year – it’s unclear how often it tweets its warning.

Ina Steiner on EmailIna Steiner on LinkedinIna Steiner on Twitter
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

3 thoughts on “FTC Warns Buyers to Research Marketplace Sellers”

  1. Look up any complaints about the entire marketplace before you decide to purchase one particular item from one particular seller? Really?! That’s about as logical as looking up complaints about brick-and-mortar stores and then when you find some, deciding to never purchase from any brick-and-mortar store.

    1. You can also purchase from the seller’s website directly and in many, many cases you will get better prices and customer service.

  2. This tells me that the S.2992 – American Innovation and Choice Online Act will not pass, getting approved.
    Mark my words!

Comments are closed.