Shopped online and didn’t get what you want?

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It’s exciting to shop online. You log into your computer, place your order, make payment and within a day or two your order is at your door step.

But what happens if you open that much anticipated package and find that what you ordered is not exactly what you get? The shoes are a little bit too tight, the dress doesn’t quite fit and the food is a little bit moldy.

By Ayanda Sitole 

There’s no need to feel intimidated by a large retailer who doesn’t deliver good quality on the goods.

Trevor Hattingh, spokesperson at the National Consumer Commission says It is important to remember that everything depends on the platform you are buying from.

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“Sites like Gumtree and OLX are mediums for advertising, by private sellers, they are not suppliers, “he says.

If you’re not happy with the goods you get from a private seller, you Can approach the small claims court to get your money back. Large suppliers who are in the business of selling goods can face the might of law.

But before things get too far. There are simple ways to protect yourself. Annelize Visser, head of content at Spree, shares some suggestions:

1. Check the return policy. Returns are the key to confident online shopping. Without a customer-friendly returns policy, no online store can thrive. The best ones offer free returns, and will even send a courier to collect your unwanted purchase.

2. Check your order as soon as it arrives. If it’s clothing, take your time in front of the mirror. Ask friends for their opinion and see exactly how your new purchase integrates with the rest of your wardrobe. Make it work for you.

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3. Ask for help. The Customer Service Center isn’t just there to trouble-shoot contact them if you order goes astray.

4. When all else fails. You can approach the National Consumer Commission and lodge a complaint. Companies are at risk of facing a tribunal and can be fined penalties up to 10 percent of their annual turnover.