How a great online deal turns sour

While planning for an upcoming vacation, an eager traveler scooped up a variety of items on the Internet at a competitive price. One of those items was a high-definition camera. When he received the item, he quickly discovered that the camera didn’t come with a battery or battery charger, preventing him from using it while on his trip. Instead of taking high-quality photos and videos to share with friends and family, the individual relied on the mediocre and disappointing quality of his cell phone camera. Here’s how his online purchase experience turned sour.

The traveler started out the process of selecting a camera like most others. He researched quality and price on the Internet, taking his time to evaluate different features to make sure he ended up with the best camera possible at an affordable price. Once he chose the brand and model he wanted, he reviewed his purchasing options, finding a used model through a private seller at half the cost of a new camera, but that wasn’t the end of his research.

Once he found a seller offering the camera he wanted at a good price, he checked the photos and description of the item in the sales listing to verify it was in good condition and working properly. He reviewed the seller’s rating history to make sure he wasn’t buying something from a crook and saw that the individual had thousands of reviews with a 98 percent customer satisfaction rate. This was all the verification the traveler needed to confirm he found a great deal.

Satisfied all was well, he clicked the Buy button and waited for his new purchase to arrive. When it did, he quickly discovered it didn’t come with everything he thought it should, and it was unusable as-is.

In reviewing the description and photos posted by the seller, the traveler failed to notice that they only referenced the camera itself. The listing never mentioned the inclusion of a battery or battery charger as part of the deal. The traveler assumed the items were included with the purchase because they were necessary to operate the camera, and never asked the seller if that assumption was correct. It wasn’t.

The next time you make a purchase online, never assume something is part of a purchase unless the listing explicitly states it’s included. Only if the listing clearly confirms that an item is included in the deal does a purchaser have recourse should a package arrive without that item.

All the research in the world won’t help you with your online purchases if you fail to read listings correctly. Always ask a seller if the components you expect to receive in the transaction are in fact included. It’ll help make future purchases, and perhaps your vacation photos, a sharper experience.

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