How to Avoid Lazada and Shopee Scams

How to Avoid Lazada and Shopee Scams

While online shopping is the future, it’s a sad reality that people are vulnerable to scams. In fact, Filipinos are the most vulnerable to shopping scams at an alarming 35.9% according to the 2023 Asia Scam Report.


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The high number of Filipinos being victims of shopping scams are mainly due to them easily believing false promises even if it is too good to be true. Shopping scams become more ramant during major sale seasons and especially the holidays.

While our usual advice to this is to stay away if a deal is too good to be true, we think that Filipinos have to be educated on spotting suspicious listings on eCommerce platforms. With that in mind, we have here a few pointer on how you can avoid all those scams that plague eCommerce platforms like Lazada and Shopee.


Shop only through official merchants.

Both Lazada and Shopee have official stores called LazMall and Shopee Mall respectively, where you are guaranteed to receive original products with official warranties. The nice thing about LazMall and Shopee Mall is that they cover BOTH local and global merchants, which should give you peace of mind with your purchase.

Lazada has another label called LazTop, which is given to top-selling merchants. These are also reputable stores where you can buy products, as they have sold a lot and have generally good ratings. While they may not be on the level of LazMall, LazTop merchants are also a good place to buy products.


Check the “average” pricing of the item you’re buying. 

One of the more obvious red flags for a possible scam is if an item is priced too cheap. Before you hit add to cart, make sure to research for the actual pricing of item you plan to buy.

For example, if a phone you plan to buy has an official SRP of around Php 15k, the most acceptable discount would be around the 2-3k range if its a relatively new model, or 50% off if its an old model. To make sure, avoid any listings that promises more than 60% off the original price–unless these are achieved using vouchers, these are red flags that you should absolutely avoid.


Meticulously check the reviews section. 

We emphasize on meticulous because some sellers tend to deceive customers by bombarding their listings with 5-star reviews. It’s a common problem on large eCommerce platforms like Amazon, and even both Lazada and Shopee face the same problem.

How do you spot fake reviews and find the real ones? Wired explains it in the most simple way: short 5-star and 1-star reviews are most likely fake, so try to check for reviews that are rated anywhere between 2 to 3 stars.  

Detailed reviews are also a good basis for determining if a listing is legit or not, but be mindful of the occasional paid ones that don’t get filtered by eCommerce platforms. These paid reviews are usually very obvious especially if they are all praises on the product, and don’t give any cons about it.


Try to ask the merchant questions (via chat).

If you can’t spot any red flags with the reviews, it’s sometimes useful to chat with the merchant and ask some questions. While its common practice that merchants would use bots to answer queries on their products, you can spot red flags with some of their responses.

Things like wrong grammar and unusual sentence construction are the usual red flags, but the biggest red flag is if these merchants do not know their products well. If you ask them something about a particular product they are selling AND they can’t give you the right answer, chances are that their listing is most likely a scam–and the one that might end you receiving a piece of rock as the package. 


Scour for feedback on social media.

If you have exhausted all efforts and still have doubts on a particular product you’re eyeing, try to find feedback on social media. There are an abundance of Facebook groups that focus on giving feedback on merchants, and this should give you a more organic assessment if a merchant is a good seller or not.

One of the best examples of getting feedback on social media was when a post on a Tech-focused Facebook group became viral, where the user praised Kimstore for replacing a defective Xiaomi 11T that he bought during the 12.12 sale. The user detailed the whole process on how he was able to get his unit returned and given his refund. Aside from detailing his return and refund experience, his post also explained Kimstore’s side in dealing with defective units.

These kinds of organic feedback on social media is your best assessment on an online merchant in various eCommerce platforms (aside from Lazada and Shopee) to see if they are a reputable seller or not.

That wraps up our top tips on how you can avoid scams in Lazada and Shopee. We hope this article will help you be a more vigilant and responsible online shopper.

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