We’ve all seen the horror stories of people buying smartphones online only to end up with cardboard boxes, fakes, earrings or even a padlock. These stories are scary because we all know there are a whole bunch of people out there who are trying to siphon you of your hard-earned money.
But does this mean you should swear off buying smartphones online? Well, no. At least, we don’t think so. Especially not when you consider how much you can actually save when you purchase devices online.
Buying smartphones online can definitely be a good thing but it obviously isn’t without its risks. If you’ve always been a little unsure about this whole process, let us help you. Here are our 5 tips when buying smartphones online.
1. Buy from reputable sellers
When you’re browsing through online marketplaces, the items that are up for sale are usually posted by various sellers. Depending on the marketplace, these sellers could range from super legit distributors and official stores to super sketchy private sellers that bring in goods online.
One usually reliable way to tell which seller is legit and which is not is to look at their reputation score. More often than not, online marketplaces assign scores to their sellers based on a myriad of criteria like reviews, ratings and overall service. So, all you need to do is look for sellers with very high reputation scores and you should be on the right track.
2. Double check your phone make and model
Now that you’ve found a reputable seller, make sure you double check the model and make of the smartphone that you intend to buy. Make sure it’s the right spec and colour too. Then, you should check to see if it’s an original local set or an AP set from overseas.
One easy way to do so is to look at the warranty. Make sure you look for those that state something along the lines of “Local Manufacturer Warranty”. This means that you will be able to claim your device’s warranty from any authorised retailer that handles your particular smartphone. It also means that the device is a Malaysian set.
Another way is to check where it’s shipping from. If the marking says “ships from overseas” then it is likely an AP set imported by a grey importer. If you’re OK with that, then this is fine too as long as it’s an original set. However, you should note that should anything go wrong with an AP set device, you’ll only be able to claim from the person/company you bought the device from. Worst case scenario, it could also be a fake phone so we’d recommend getting the local official set.
3. Buyer protection
When buying a phone online, it’s also important to look at the kind of buyer protection options offered for that particular entry. Online marketplaces tend to offer some kind of buyer protection options like “Satisfaction Guaranteed” or “Money-back guarantee” or even simply “Buyer Protection” for the more reputable entries on their sites. With these, the marketplace actually puts their reputation on the line to ensure that what you buy is what you get or you’ll get your money back.
Of course, these buyer protections vary across sites so be sure to check out the fine print to learn more about how they can protect you.
4. If the deal is too good to be true, it probably is
Online deals are great but sometimes a deal can look too good to be true. Often if it looks too good to be true, it is too good to be true. RM15 for a phone that usually costs RM1,899? There’s no way a seller would do that under normal circumstances.
Our advice would be to manage your expectations and be wise about your purchases.
5. Take advantage of offers
That said, we’re not saying you shouldn’t capitalise on sales. Sales are one of the biggest reasons people buy online, especially sales that are carried out by the online marketplace themselves. One example would be Shopee.
Currently, Shopee is having an 8 Days of Mobile Madness sale for mobile phones. This sale period is from the 21st to the 28th of February 2017 and users can buy phones and accessories at attractive prices with discounts up to 50%. Your last chance to pick up a brand new phone for RM150! This sale also includes special events like the Catch of the Day, Lowest Price, Brands we love and Timed sales. There will also be a Mobile Madness finale on the 28th of February 2017! Make sure not to miss out on this special deal from Shopee!
For SoyaCincau readers, Shopee’s got even more deals for you. Readers can get an RM20 voucher (with no minimum spend) when you use the offer code SCMADNESS at this collection page. It is only valid for a single use and will expire on the 28th of February 2018, 11.59pm.
Alternatively, first-time users can use the offer code SOYACINCAU for RM10 off their first purchase (with a minimum spend of RM30). This is valid until the 13th of March 2017, 11.59 pm. Terms & Conditions apply.