We understand that there are some people who might be reluctant to trust Amazon.com, like they would be with other e-commerce websites such as eBay. Sometimes, it can be difficult to trust websites where you have to enter your credit card information and/or pay someone money. But we here at TechBoomers wouldn't be showing you how to use Amazon if it wasn't safe to begin with, and there are a few easy ways to keep yourself protected while using it.
How safe is Amazon?
Amazon is as safe to use as any other established e-commerce website. It protects your personal and financial information, and transmits all of it securely. Neither Amazon nor its users are ever allowed to use your personal or financial information outside of the Amazon online marketplace.
You are never required to purchase anything from Amazon or any of its affiliated businesses. Also, you can unsubscribe at any time from any emails that Amazon sends you, either on behalf of itself or its partner sellers. The company also protects you in dealings with third-party sellers on its website. If you ever enter a dispute with someone other than Amazon over something that they sold you through Amazon, you can file an A-to-z Guarantee Claim. You can read more about that here.
Is Amazon Reliable?
Amazon is very reliable at delivering orders. If you live in the U.S., you will typically receive your goods within 1 to 7 business days (depending on shipping speeds). Third party sellers can take between 1 to 21 days to deliver your order, depending on where they're located and what they're shipping.
Third party sellers will usually ship your merchandise within 2 business days of you placing your order. However, depending on where you live, the shipping speed you choose, and whether the seller ships through Amazon or another common courier service, delivery times can fluctuate greatly. If you live abroad, orders can take from 3 business days to 12 weeks to arrive (due to customs delays).
Again, this is why it's important to check a third-party seller's shipping policies, ratings and reviews to get an idea of if they're reliable or not. Also, consider contacting them directly to discuss any concerns you have with getting your stuff in a timely fashion. And, if all else fails, you can file an A-to-Z Guarantee Claim.
Amazon also takes a more hands-on approach to customer service than its top competitor eBay.com. So if you ever have an issue with one of your orders, it is much more reliable at responding to your concerns and working with you to satisfactorily resolve your problem. To learn more, be sure to check out this step-by-step tutorial on how to contact customer service.
How to know if an Amazon seller is trustworthy
An Amazon seller is generally trustworthy if they have a high star rating while also having a substantial number of reviews. Amazon can also show you how many customer questions a seller has answered, as well as if they are a site-wide #1 best-seller. Click on the name of any seller to view this information.
Each seller has a profile, which you can access by clicking on their name. This is usually located at the top of the page of one of the products they are selling, highlighted in blue.
However, a lot of the information you need to help determine a seller's trustworthiness is right in plain sight when you’re browsing a product. The number of stars filled in below the product's name is a rating out of 5 possible stars; in general, the more stars the better. You can even move your mouse cursor over the stars to see a detailed breakdown of how many reviewers have given the current product each star rating, better explaining how the average has been calculated. To jump quickly to the product's reviews page, click See All Verified Purchase Reviews.
When viewing the profile of a seller, be sure to browse through the customer reviews to help you determine if the seller is trustworthy and will be selling you a quality product. Click on any star to see all the reviews of that category, and be sure to read both positive and negative reviews. It’s also very important to always read recent reviews, as the quality can change over time. Reviews given in the past 3-6 months will be more accurate than reviews from five years ago.
You can also use the menus at the top of the reviews screen to sort and filter reviews. Click the drop-down menu labelled "Sort By" and choose to sort reviews by Top, meaning the best reviews, or Most Recent, from the last few reviews on completed orders. You can also click the drop-down menus beside "Filter By" to show reviews from verified purchases only (meaning only reviews written by people who bought the product from this seller through the online marketplace), or of a certain overall star rating. Finally, you can click in the text box with the magnifying glass and type in a key word or phrase related to the seller's service (e.g. “speed,” “late,” “broken,” and so on). Then click Search to find reviews that contain that key word or phrase.
6 Amazon safety tips
1. Contact third-party sellers directly.
You can contact the seller of an item directly by viewing the product that you want, clicking on the seller's user name, and then clicking Contact the Seller under "Further Information”. This will allow you to ask the seller any questions you have about their product, from its condition to its estimated delivery time.
2. Check a third-party seller's reviews and ratings prior to buying from them.
Customers on Amazon can rate and review third-party sellers, so have a look at what people say about that seller to determine whether they're trustworthy or not.
3. Don't make payments outside of the Amazon marketplace.
Some sellers may ask you to make a payment for their merchandise outside of Amazon. They may also add that Amazon will guarantee the payment, refund your money if you're not satisfied, or will be paid what they are owed after the transaction is over. However, it is generally not a good idea to go along with this, for at least two reasons. First is that the seller may be trying to get out of having to pay Amazon any money for their sale. Second is that the seller might outright be running a scam. When possible, pay for your merchandise bought on Amazon through Amazon to avoid complications.
4. Watch out for fake emails.
Certain emails may look like they come from Amazon, but in reality do not. Be careful of emails that:
- come from an email address that doesn't end in "@amazon.com"
- contain order confirmations (especially attachments) for items you know you didn't order (do not open or download the attachments!)
- ask you to update your billing information
- ask you for personal information, including your user name or password
- contain links to websites that aren't part of Amazon or its international derivatives
- contain spelling or grammar errors
When in doubt, log into your Amazon account and check your order history and account settings. If nothing is out of place, then chances are that you're dealing with a fake email. It's best to just delete it.
5. If you think something's up, try changing your account password.
If you think someone has figured out how to get into your account, or might know a way in, go to your account settings and change your password. This may throw them off. If you need advice for changing or resetting your password, be sure to check out our step-by-step tutorials on how to change your password and how to reset your password.
6. When you're done using Amazon, log out.
Logging out of your account when you're done buying or selling on the website is especially important when using a computer that other people may use later (such as one at an Internet cafe, library, or other public facility). This keeps strangers from being able to automatically log into your Amazon account and mess with it. It's still a good general tip anyways, though.
That’s how you keep yourself while using Amazon! Be sure to always keep your account safe and secure by following the tips above!