In this day and age of the internet when you can buy pretty much anything you would like online, sometimes it is too easy to not know a scammer when you see one.
It is important to protect yourself as well as your wallet from sellers who advertise a gemstone as something it’s not. There are those who don't disclose whether the product has undergone any treatments or enhancements, or outright fakes in the crystal market.
We will be discussing five different tips to ensure that you are avoiding scams when going online to buy crystals. It is definitely not impossible, and your bank account will be most grateful.
1. Buy Crystals from Reputable Gem and Crystal Sellers
Sticking with a friendly face that you have either dealt with before, has been recommended by a friend, or has a good reputation online is a vital step to avoiding scams online altogether.
If you are unsure of where to look, there are many blog articles and magazines that offer advice on where to buy crystals. You can also ask family, friends, or any other rock lovers you know where they purchase theirs.
In the case of reaching a website that is riddled with harmful ads, not being able to find any information about the seller online (or just no positive information), or just getting an uneasy feeling at all – it is probably not the right choice for you.
Asking for a second opinion on a seller or a website is always a good idea too, that way a fresh pair of eyes can see what you are dealing with and offer some insight.
2. Get To Know Your Seller
This tip is especially important if you are purchasing items through a site like Craigslist, where you may be meeting in person. There is no harm at all in asking a few basic questions of them, or even asking if they will take multiple, tagged photos of the item you are interested in to make sure it is legitimate.
Often times scammers will be rushing you, and may even get upset and lash out if you attempt to ask any questions or want additional information. If you feel like the process is going too fast, consider that a red flag.
Google can be your best friend throughout this process. If you are buying crystals from a company instead of one individual, google the company name along with the words “complaints”, “reviews”, or even “scams”. In addition to that, you can also check out the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and see what the company’s rating is on there.
3. Don't Give Away Any Personal Information
One other important thing to watch out for on websites are questions about any personal information of yours. If you get to a website selling crystals and they start asking you for things like your mother’s maiden name and your social security number, leave immediately.
Those questions are really only used for things like security measures for bank accounts and other secure accounts – retailers don’t need to know any of those answers.
4. Only Purchase Items from Secured Sites
In the search bar at the top of your computer screen where you type in URLs, you will often see a little lock icon with the word “secure” next to it. That means you are on a site where your information is safe and if you do need to enter in a password or financial information, it is not able to be tracked or stolen.
Of course, not all websites have this icon, unsafe ones often have an exclamation mark that you can click on. They will usually warn you not to enter any details about yourself, passwords, or card information on the site because it could be stolen. Make sure you pay attention to that when looking at crystal websites, and if you aren’t sure. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
5. Be Aware of Deals that Sound Too Good
When something sounds too good to be true on the internet, it most likely is. If you receive pictures of an item that looks beyond belief, and the price is much lower than anything else you have seen online, be sure to question it.
Do not be afraid to ask the seller for “tagged” pictures. All this means is having them place something in the picture like today’s newspaper, or any item of choice to ensure that they actually have the crystals you are looking at.
Go with your gut and make sure to ask questions about the price or the deal in general. There aren’t too many reasons a reputable seller would be willing to part with anything authentic for rock-bottom prices.
There are of course cases when you may have just snagged an excellent deal, but it is best to trust your instinct and ask as many questions as you see fit before actually making the purchase.
Being able to find anything you want on the internet and having it shipped to your door is an absolutely amazing perk of the 21st century. As long as you are safe and smart about who you buy crystals from, there should be no issues. Happy shopping!