The search for online pharmacies to use for your drug purchases is getting harder due to the presence of a wide range of choices when it comes to web drugstores. The more online drugstores abound, the harder it is to figure out which online drugstore are legit and which ones are merely a scam.
Consumers are always at a disadvantage when shopping at scam drugstores—not only are the buyers losing money for orders that will never arrive; they are also at risk of having their precious financial details stolen from them.
What are the Signs of a Legitimate Site?
To be able to identify which stores are legit and which ones are not, buyers need to be aware of the qualities that certify a shop’s legitimacy.
Here are some pointers you can consider when looking for a safe online drugstore that will fulfill your orders 100%:
- Look for websites with legit reviews.
Let’s face it—almost all online drugstores nowadays have their own sets of reviews from alleged consumers. However, we must take these reviews with salt as not all of them are authentic reviews from real consumers.
Shop with on-site reviews
Most scam pharmacies have their own testimonial segment but in truth, they are only featuring well-concocted so-called reviews written by their staff. This is not us saying that ALL on-site comments are fake—there are sites with valid on-site reviews through third-party integrations—we only want to advise you to make sure that you are dealing with genuine reviews for online pharmacies and be discerning with regards to customer comments.
If possible, look for third-party reviews for the online drugstore you’re looking at—look for shops with reviews from authority review sites and uncompromising testimonial sites so you can get unbiased reviews for a specific online pharmacy.
Apart from looking at review platforms, you can also ask around on forum sites so you can hear real buyer opinions on a particular online pharmacy.
- Use shops with a long online operation.
Like wine, online drugstores get better with age. Although age is not a sole authenticator of an online drugstore, shops with years of experience are preferable than shops that are only a week or to several months old.
A website with nearly 15 years of age
Most scam sites last only for a couple of months up to a year then disappear when the time comes to renew their domains. Scam sites either go bankrupt or are found out by the authorities hence their early closure compared to trusted online drugstores.
- Look for stores that are responsive.
Another thing to check is a store’s responsiveness. Having a real phone number or an email address is just the beginning—you should also check if the stores you’re planning to purchase your medicines from are responsive enough.
An online store’s responsiveness to buyer inquiries will determine its future communication with you. Shops that do not respond are questionable—you wouldn’t want to transact with a store that does not reply, let alone entrust it with your money.
- Make sure the buyer deals on a store are reasonable.
Yes, we all want freebies, discounts, and other ways to maximize our savings—however, it is important to check if we’re dealing with stores with legitimate deals and not bluffing shops. Make sure the deals you’re looking at are realistic and do not seem as if the store is willingly giving away its products to bankruptcy.
If a store has modest prices and realistic schemes for discounts (like conditional free shipping, bulk order discounts, returning buyer deals, etc.), is responsive and has excellent third-party reviews, then by all means purchase from the store.
- Follow your gut.
Even experts say that it is important for consumers to follow their gut when shopping online. If something seems off or irregular about an online pharmacy, make sure to check the store’s details and use a domain checking platform to confirm its details.
Bottom line: If a store has an extensive pool of external customer reviews and has operated for some time, it may be a good store to order from. Refrain from using young shops with no reviews and stores that are unresponsive to your inquiries.
Why should I be keen on checking an online drugstore’s legitimacy?
The main reason why you should be conscious of a store’s legitimacy before shopping there is safety. To help encourage you further in being more concerned about checking a store’s status before you resort to shopping there, here are some of the negatives you may come to experience whenever shopping at the wrong online drugstores:
- You may never receive what you paid for.
Illicit web pharmacies will give you endless excuses on why your orders are not yet there; worse, they may just steal your money and be done with you forever—no replies or follow-ups whatsoever.
- You may get fake drugs.
Getting fake and ineffective medicines is the least of your problems—you may be sent with medicines that are harmful to your health, like the following:
- Medicines with too much or too little of the active ingredient
- Medicines with the wrong active ingredients
- Medicines with hidden active ingredients
- Contaminated medicines
- Your financial details may get stolen.
Apart from not getting your products, some illicit websites may only be fronts to an identity theft operation. Some stores feign checkouts so they can access your account numbers and other sensitive data so scammers can use your financial information for their personal gain.
Choosing an online drugstore to shop from should not be taken lightly—you need to be serious in choosing an online pharmacy to use to avoid deliberately running into scammers and identity thieves. Make sure to constantly check and verify drugstores so you’ll end up shopping at the best stores and end up getting what you paid for.