Shopping is fun? If online and second hand, it’s even better

Security Awareness
29 April 2022

Beware, trouble, can be just around the corner

How much do we love shopping from the comfort of our home computers? Sitting on our favourite chair, watching TV, or even lying on the sofa sipping a drink.  We can jump from one product to another, taking our time to decide and make all the necessary evaluations and comparisons without going crazy skipping from one shop to another. We can do it at any time, perhaps at night, if we can’t sleep, or at dawn before starting the day, or on Sundays. In essence, without being restrained by store opening hours and holidays. 

The online shopping trend has already been growing for some time, but it has surged with the pandemic crisis and numerous restrictions.  Figures from the Salesforce Shopping Index report regarding the first quarter of 2021, speak for themselves: global e-commerce grew by 58% yearly, compared to 17% in the first trimester of  2020.   

However,  Italy is doing even better, with 78% growth, placing itself first in Europe and fourth in the world, right behind Canada, Holland, and the UK. In the months that followed last year, both in the world and Italy, growth rates were lower, but still with a positive trend, thanks to milder weather and the reopening of shops.

The new shopping trend: second-hand  

And what about second-hand products? Purchasing new merchandise, boosting a production system that is often harmful to the environment, can leave us with a bitter aftertaste of guilt for having satisfied, what is often just a whim, and having bought something that we didn’t need that much after all. Used products, on the other hand, as well as allowing us to find exciting bargains at very advantageous prices, save the conscience of both the buyer and the seller, therefore giving their shoes, clothes, and furniture a second life, avoiding landfills.  

According to the latest BVA Doxa research paper, carried out for the Subito portal, on second-hand buying, during the Covid-19 era, as many as 7 out of 10 Italians chose to buy and sell second-hand goods in 2021. If it was already a habit for many, in these months of uncertainty, it was seen as an opportunity to save or earn money.  Its concept has spread thanks to a greater awareness of the value of things and a re-evaluation of one’s priorities.  

In essence, especially for clothes, but also for cars, furniture, and other products, in times of economic and environmental crisis, reusing, which rhymes with the circular economy, has become a trendy and virtuous behavior. Irresistible, therefore. So much so that GlobalData forecasts tell us that the global resale market will grow from 28 billion in 2019 to 64 billion in 2024, with an average annual growth rate of 39%.  

So many apps and platforms are driving the trend and bringing together sellers and buyers on the new marketplace born in the wondrous world of the web.  

But, as always, every silver lining has a dark cloud. Alongside the virtuous and carefree shopping, hackers are also traveling on the highways of the web, ready to find new opportunities for their purposes. To not fall victim to them, it is always essential to remain vigilant, never lose control of one’s digital behaviour, and follow a few indications suggested by the postal police itself.  

Second-hand shopping: before you act  

Be wary if the price is out of line.  

Before clicking on a product, it is advisable to carefully determine its price, possibly by comparing it with other advertisements on other sites, to assess its truthfulness. A good rule of thumb is to be suspicious if the price is too low. Choose products with an accurate description, written clearly and correctly, and with detailed photos. Even better if there is a video tutorial.

Always use only official channels for contacts.  

Always contact the advertiser through the chat facility provided by the platform. Be wary of anyone who asks for personal contact or negotiation outside the official channel.  

Beware of personal data; never let them off the beaten track.  

Never provide sensitive and personal data outside of the app or trading site. The website or app in question is designed to offer maximum security. It is essential for economic transactions that the buyer follows the instructions to complete the transaction step by step. So be careful not to leave the site, especially if you click on links or open attachments. If you have any doubts, it is always best to contact the service center.  

Only use guaranteed and monitorable shipping systems  

If your platform also includes integrated shipping, it is preferable to opt for it. Integrated shipping systems allow you to monitor the status of your shipment and follow the entire buying and selling process. Be wary of those who offer alternative shipping systems because they are cheaper.  

Leaving a review is not a waste of time.  

The reviews of buyers prove the reliability of many sellers or platforms. Therefore, it is crucial both to read the reviews of other users carefully and leave a review after completing the purchase. This process will help other people make better choices and help the seller receive suggestions about their products. So it is always helpful to spend a few minutes to leave your opinion on the product you have purchased and the e-commerce website. After all, this is also a way of networking and creating a ‘community.’  

The most important rule: never get distracted.  

In short, when we shop online, especially among private individuals, there are many rules to follow, but above all, there is the most important one: Never get distracted. 
Never get caught up in the euphoria of shopping and remember not to lose concentration or click unconsciously. Even if that day we feel a bit like Alice in Wonderland surrounded by objects we like and which are so easy to reach, remember that trouble may be just around the corner.


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