7+ Tips For Staying Safe When Buying Online In Nigeria.

Amazon dashboard. Shop safely in Nigeria Lifestylenaija

As we all know shopping online has come to stay. The benefits of shopping online are numerous, the pecks and the gains are all there. It has gone on long enough that disregarding the concept will become more difficult as time goes on.

But should you? Most people are skeptical when it comes to buying something online. The fear of losing their hard-earned money, fear of being duped and all, is keeping them from benefiting from the ease of online shopping.

This is especially true of online shopping in this part of the world. Anyone can set up a site acting like they actually want to deliver a service or sell a product. You pay and the product is not delivered. The cases of online/internet fraud is rampant, more than you think.

Others simply set up illegal phishing sites to act like real site, all so they can get access to important financial details and scam you of your money. 

The results of falling prey to the schemes of fraudulent people can be really bad and heart breaking. We don't want that and I am sure you don't want that too. We all want to be safe when we go online doing the things we love to do.

Moreover, putting illegal sites aside, even legitimate sites can give you headaches at times. Things like hidden charges or terms, not reading up their shipping and returns policy when you are suppose to are some things that can easily put you in a disadvantage. These are part of the things I will be addressing in this article today.

How to Shop safely in Nigeria.

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So today to put you at ease, I have decided to dish out some tips for you. Tips with the potential to protect you from falling for scam sites. These tips are loaded with valuable information that can help keep you safe whenever you are buying in the online space.

You will be using these tips to judge how trusted a site is before you shop there. You should please be mindful of what I'm about to say. Most people will overlook these simply tips but, falling prey to online frauds, even once will show you that you need to take care of yourself and be mindful of what you input online. 

So moving on, these are the tips you need to know when buying or trading online in Nigeria or anywhere else.

This involves new site. The ones that are springing up and creating awareness, the ones you are not familiar with  or the ones you just read about and you want to try them out. You should check out their popularity in the online space.

A site that everyone is talking about might be generally safer than new sites. Because a bad business leads to bad publicity and a good business good publicity.

Do a little research. Is the site on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn. Just browse a little about them in general. Has it been on the news recently, see what people say about it. Just do a general research.

After learning more about them, you are more on the safe side. Then you can scale them with some other tips and know how good they are.

2. Read the Delivery and Returns Policy.

This entails carefully reading the delivery and returns policy of your store of choice. Let's say you are ordering something from a store like Jumia for example, you have to make sure to read their policies. Especially the one that talks about returns and how it are processed.

Returns happen, a lot of time. You get something you don't like or that is not to your taste and you might want to send it back. You have to make sure you understand how to go about returns. There are some products that are not available for returns, say special promo and sales items might not be returnable. This you have to know beforehand. 

Other things to note might be the return time and how it applies to each item. How to go about returning a faulty gadget and asking for refunds or replacement. These are the things you want to know about. Read and understand them before you proceed.

Secured sign - Lifestylenaija

3. Is your Information Protected and Safe.

How safely is your information kept on their database. How well protected are these pieces of data. It is the duty of the store you are buying from to put your mind at ease when it comes to credit card and account details security and theft prevention. And it is your duty to make sure you are at ease when buying.

When making payments online, the platform usually tells you the kind of information theft defence and security setup used when securing your details online. If you can't find that information on the site, you should shop in another store, a store that promises that. At least.

4. Check for Https🔒.

This one is a bit simple and straight forward to do. You want to make sure the site connection is safe for the URL. The site you are browsing on must have an SSL certificate.

To know if the site is safe, you will see a green padlock 🔒 on the search bar. For sites that are not safe what you see there is a red inverted exclamation mark (!).

Also you should make sure you see an additional ‘s' when the site completely loads up. So instead of http, you have to check that the site loads up https ( https://) . If you can't find the s, don't try typing in your account details. You might be playing with fire.

5. How you Pay for Orders.

Paying for your orders will be addressed in two different angles. One, how many ways can you make financial transactions as it will be difficult to find real online stores using only one method of payment. 

There are transfers, credit card payments and other alternative platforms like online banking, flutterwave etc. Make sure they offer a diverse means of accepting payment. 

If they only operate with a single method, then I think you will do yourself some good by taking your money elsewhere, where it will get you something better.

Two, involves either you pay on delivery or pay before delivery. There are online stores in Nigeria that accepts payment on delivery and others that does payment before delivery. 

Learn more on them and make a better choice. Choose whichever you want and go with it.

6. Is it Registered as a Business.

This is the online space we are talking about, not some physical store. You have to make sure the business is registered to a name before you buy from them. And they must be registered with the government also.

You don't just wake up see one business and give them your money. It pains to loss hard earned money you should know that. So you cross check the legality of the business, check to make sure it's properly registered before you consider them as a business worthy of your money.

7. Is there a Physical location.

Does it have a physical location?. Most business online should have a physical address. I don't mean blogs but real e-commerce stores. If you can't find a physical location to reach then you really don't want to test you luck.

If you still feel that they are legit, you can test them with a little order so  you can see for yourself if they are a scam or if they are not. The loss of a few thousand shouldn't break your heart.

8. Size of Available Goods.

This is not really about scam or fraud but it kind of make your work easy when you buy online. If you are shopping from a company store then it is okay because you know that the company produces that item and it may be cheaper there.

However, if you are to shop in an ecommerce store, you want to be sure the inventories are much. While some sites focus on electronics, smartphones or clothings, there are some who decide to sell a lot of items in various categories. So you want to be sure your preferred site gives you a lot to choose from no matter the category you are after.

Or if you are thinking of buying more quantity, you should make sure that inventories are enough to cover all your orders. Stores that sells new items every other day or that stock very little, might not be fun to trade with when compared to much bigger platforms. You also don't want to have too many online accounts if you know you can manage them.


So you see that shopping online though helpful and not always an easy thing to do, can be made safer with just a few tweaks. You just have to always be mindful of anything you share online and how protected you are at every moment.

You should know what sites to visit and always make sure the urls are not suspicious. Whenever you sense anything suspicious, please always take cover. Literally. Don't waste time trying to figure out the reason something is wrong. Safety first.

I guess I have said enough and the rest is up to you to do. Do it. A lecturer of mine will always say, “safety is not something you cram. It's something that is a part of you. You do it subconsciously and don't need to be told. You just learn, practice and master it. Let it guide what you do." And it should, always and everywhere.

I will leave you with these for now. Hope you stay safe in this ever changing world.

Victor Love

A Student and a learning Entrepreneur wanting to know more. I'm open to advice, tips, partners and critics alike. Let's do better.

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