Buying online can be a shopper’s paradise. The almost limitless number of sellers fighting for their share of consumer dollars can mean low, low prices. But, is cheaper always better? Not when it comes to electrical products. When you’re searching for the lowest price, quality and safety can be compromised. Before you hit the “Buy Now” button, here are a few things to take into consideration.
The internet is convenient when shopping but it also means that less than honest sellers can hide from unwary consumers. Companies that sell substandard goods can disappear into the internet ether and you’re stuck with a poor quality product. If you choose an off-brand retailer, you have no way of knowing whether the supplies you purchase are up to code or built using authentic, safe materials.
Even reputable sellers like Amazon and eBay can be purveyors of counterfeit products. They may be unaware that suppliers trade in sub-standard goods. It isn’t only frustrating, in the case of electrical products, it can be downright dangerous to get stuck with counterfeits. A look-a-like phone charger may turn out to be a real lemon and fail to meet basic safety standards and may damage your expensive device. Personal items such as hair appliances pose shock risks, not to mention what might happen to your hair. Kitchen appliances such as toasters and coffee makers are not just cooking disasters, they’re fire hazards.
How to Avoid Potential Hazards
Most online shopping is safe and convenient. Here are a few tips to help you avoid potential problems.
- Online Representation. Before buying, check out the product website. Do the pictures look professional? Is there information about the manufacturer and details about how to contact them or return items? Does the site include safety information about the product? All these are indications of authenticity.
- Inspect Packaging. When you receive your item, check the packaging quality and condition. Anything damaged or that looks as if it’s been resealed is suspect. Check for spelling errors and other signs it may not be from a reputable source. Are there proper instructions for its use?
- Check Connections. Take your product out of its package and check to see that all the parts fit properly and that the electrical cord and switches fit properly. Anything that’s loose or frayed shouldn’t be used. Send it back.
JM Mullen Electrical Services is concerned with the safety of your home and your family. If your electrical outlets or other system components are damaged due to inferior products, call us and we’ll repair or replace whatever’s needed. Call us today at 410-266-6316 or go to jmmullenelectric.com to make an appointment.