Social media has made it easy and seamless to purchase anything from the comfort of your home. However, these platforms present a unique set of unseen challenges which can result in overspending, fraud and even debt. It’s important to know the common mistakes you can make when shopping on social media and avoid them for a pleasant and safe shopping experience.
Three social media shopping mistakes to avoid
Social media shopping has numerous downsides that extend beyond choosing the wrong colour or size. If you’re not careful, you can make several costly buying mistakes, including:
1. Impulse buying
Impulse buying is when you buy something you hadn’t planned or budgeted for. With today’s targeted advertising tactics that put hot new items right at your fingertips, making impulse purchases has become easy. Unfortunately, when you buy anything and everything that appears on your social media pages, you run the risk of overspending and even buying things you actually don’t need.
Whether you’re on a tight budget or have money to spend, here are some tips to help you dodge the temptation to buy impulsively:
- Make a budget and stick to it
- Shop with a plan in mind
- Wait a day before making a purchase
- Give yourself permission to spend
2. Purchasing from fake accounts
Before purchasing an item from a social media page, ensure the account is legitimate. Fraudsters today create fake social media accounts to lure in victims and steal their money or credit card information. While it can be difficult to identify fake profiles, there are some things you can watch out for. For example, if the profile is vague and incomplete and has only been used for a few weeks or months, it’s most likely fake.
Similarly, check the page for reviews and comments from other clients to determine whether they were satisfied with the purchase or scammed. If there are no comments, steer clear as they may have deleted posts from unsatisfied customers. If the page has numerous reviews from bot accounts, it’s probably fake.
3. Fully relying on influencer reviews and recommendations
There’s nothing wrong with purchasing a product after an influencer recommends it on their feed. However, you shouldn’t buy a product simply because a person with numerous followers posts about it. Most influencers are paid to post products/services and some do so without performing their due diligence while others tweak reviews. This means you may end up with a product/service that isn’t actually good and is a waste of your hard-earned money.
Since influencer marketing is here to stay and is predicted to reach $15 billion in 2022, it’s important to look at numerous factors when shopping from influencers. These include:
- If the brand fits with the influencer’s values
- If they’ve clearly identified the post as an ad
- If they’ve thoroughly tested the product or service
Although social media has the power to shape your spending decisions, being aware of the mistakes to avoid when purchasing items on it ensures you have a safe, satisfying and pleasant online experience.