Like buying and selling any other thing online, buying and selling furniture online comes with its fair share of safety issues. Therefore, you must put safeguards in place to insulate you from such. However, safety should not be the reason not to leverage the many good deals on furniture available online. If you’re going to indulge in the business of buying and selling furniture online, here are the precautions to take:
• Make sure your device is protected before you buy and sell furniture online
As they say, it’s a jungle out there. The online world is filled with all sorts of personality. There are lots of good people, but there some people with ulterior motives that prey on unsuspecting customers to harness their personal information and steal their identity or money. These scammers and hackers are savvy enough, and they can bypass any weak security software on your computer to steal your personal information. Make sure your computer has a strong firewall in the form of strong antivirus software to keep these scammers and hackers at bay. However, to keep yourself safe online, research e-commerce stores that you want to buy and sell furniture on upfront. Always buy and sell on renowned e-commerce platforms like Amazon and eBay.
• Check out the furniture retailer before you buy and sell furniture from them
Always make a point to check the authenticity of the e-commerce platform you want to buy and sell furniture on. A legitimate e-commerce platform that sells furniture online must have a phone number and physical address. If they don’t, that should be a red flag already. You can then conduct a Google search to know more about the online retailer. Read reviews about the e-commerce platform online to see what customers are saying about it.
Note that some few negative comments are not an indication that the company offers poor services. If you can, read all the reviews, both positive and negative, and decide whether or not it’s an excellent platform to buy and sell furniture online. A few negative comments are okay, but when many people are complaining, it’s better to keep off that online platform. Also, check out the authenticity of those positive reviews. Some online businesses just solicit and pay for positive reviews to hoodwink customers to buy from them. Always check reviews from authoritative and independent reviews sites like Glassdoor, Angie’s List, and Epinions.
• Make sure the e-commerce website has an SSL certificate before you buy and sell furniture on it
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a kind of software that offers secure and encrypted communication between an e-commerce platform and a web browser. This certificate is essential, especially on e-commerce platforms that facilitate transfers of money from one individual to another. It’s usually installed on web pages that require customers to submit sensitive information, such as credit card details or passwords over the internet. So if the e-commerce platform you intend to shop on lacks an SSL certificate, do not attempt to buy and sell furniture on it.
• Make a point to talk to someone on the phone before you buy and sell furniture on the platform
Get to know details about the e-commerce platform, such as return policy, shipping charges and other details relevant to buying and selling furniture online. Get these details by talking to someone over the phone. Compare the information they provide with that on the fine print. If they don’t match, then that should be a red flag.
Internet Business Laws to Know Before You Sell Furniture Online
Most prospective online business owners think that selling furniture online is easy because they don’t have to follow any laws. The truth is; there are some laws that you have to follow before selling furniture online. Therefore, before you take the plunge, take the time to research the business laws to avoid trouble with the authorities. There is nothing as annoying as using a lot of resources and time to create a robust online business, only to be closed down when it’s booming because you didn’t follow the law when creating the business. With that being said, here’s a rundown of business laws to know upfront before selling your furniture online:
1. Vet the payments options before using them to sell furniture online
E-commerce platforms have a wide range of payment options to use. But most of them will come with restrictions on the kinds of products to sell or receive money for. It a good idea to ask beforehand if the payment options you intend to use have restrictions on the products you plan to sell online. Also, in the course of research, find out if the payment options come with anti-fraud features, or they require any transaction fees, setup fees, monthly fees or termination fees.
2. Tax requirements to sell furniture online
When it comes to taxes, each state or country has its policies, which means you have to take the time to research the tax requirements of your location. For instance, if you live in the U.S. and want to set up furniture selling business, the law requires that you list your products prices, including the tax on your site. Some countries like Australia and U.K list their products inclusive of tax. So you should know all this upfront. To make your work easier, talk with a tax professional or the local tax office to know what is required to sell furniture online legally. They are versed in all the laws about running all online businesses. Also, you should know that these taxes are revised time after time. So, keep in touch with the tax professional or local tax office at all times.
3. Know all the copyright and trademarks before you sell furniture online
The trademark law requires that the words, phrases or symbol you use for your online furniture business should be unique. So don’t use a name, phrase or symbol that mimics another business. Copyright laws ensure that you don’t use someone’s work, such as music, writings, and works of arts in your online furniture business.
4. Ensure to comply with age restriction laws before you sell furniture online
The law requires that you comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). This law has many requirements, and one of them is to resist collecting private information from children below the age of 13. Again, look into your state or country’s specific codes for more insight into this law.
5. Obtain permits and licenses to be able to sell furniture online
Licenses and permits to sell furniture online vary from one state to another. Therefore, you’ll need to contact the legal licensing department in your state to get the actual information.
6. Have a PCI compliance certificate to sell furniture online
This is a certificate that protects anyone selling products or services online. Because e-commerce platforms attract a lot of scammers and hackers, you should take this certificate seriously. While PCI compliance involves offering a secure, encrypted checkout experience, you’ll also need to play your part, by not storing sensitive customer information through recordings or on paper, for example, if a customer were to supply you with their card number through the phone.
The idea is always to remain safe while shopping online. It’s better to implement the safeguards than be sorry. It’s really painful to lose your hard-earned cash online, or worse still someone stealing your identity. Also, remember that the government and e-commerce solution providers have their own set of business laws that need to be followed before selling furniture or any other product online. So, make sure you leave no stone unturned by researching and complying with all of them to conduct business with a piece of mind.
Other items that may be of interest to you: