Making Online Purchases
There are many ways for you to verify how legit the online shop is that you are considering doing business with.
For many non regulated products, there is a standard checklist that will typically keep you out of trouble and keep your personal information private.
Some of these include:
Only shop on sites that use secure shopping carts. One way to determine if a website is secure is, the URL will include "https". The "s" means the website is secure. Typically, the "s" will not appear in the web address until you access the order page or shopping cart of the site where you are asked to enter your personal information. Another indicator of a secure website is a closed lock located near the URL entry bar of your browser screen (this varies by browser: IE, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc)
Is the price to good to be true? This is a big one, is the product counterfeit, used, old, a return item, etc? The only way to be sure is to buy from an online retailer that is reputability
Perform a Better Business Bureau search (www.bbb.com). This is a great place to see if there are any bad reports on the company in question. Cigar Manor is listed on the BBB, however, any companies that have been in business for less than one year cannot earn accreditation. See our BBB profile here.
Search the state records to ensure that the business is who that say they are. You can do this by searching the states public records. You can search for Cigar Manor's public records here.
Can you contact them via phone or at the least by sending them an email? Take a quick look for the contact us page, many sites are now using social media in place of this, ultimately saying "follow us" on ... or "friend us" on.... If you are comfortable with this, good luck with any customer service you get.
For making purchase of regulated products, there are a few further steps that you should take to protect yourself.
Check with the retailer and ask about their relationship with their distributors and the product manufacturers. There are many manufactures that simply want their products sold only by Brick and Mortar Retail Store Fronts (this is why we don't carry some brands). There are more than "too many" products for sale on auction sites and even fly by night websites. Many of these situations are factory close outs (this is ok, however you need to verify the warranty coverage.), products bought for pennies on the dollar from other retailers that went out of business, other are simply not authorized to carry that product line, therefore selling them well below cost.
Check the companies Merchant Services provider (ie:Paypal, Authorize.net, First Data, etc) to ensure that, firstly they are truly the provider for that retailer, that that Merchant Service provider does in fact allow processing of the specific product types posted for sale (ie: Cigars)
There are many government maintained lists that you can review that will help you in your shopping expeience and help in protecting you from the bad guys!
Here is a short list: