Buying from sites like Shein, Shopee, and AliExpress has become popular due to the low price and wide variety of products. But this does not mean that there are no risks, such as the purchase not arriving, getting stuck in airport customs, or photo mismatch. See tips for avoiding problems when choosing a product on international platforms.
before you buy
Researching the product, store, and seller is the golden tip for avoiding pitfalls. Since they are platforms that act as markets, just like Mercado Livre, anyone can sell whatever they want, whether Brazilian or foreign, as Procon-SP’s technical advisor, Renata Reis, explains. Therefore, it is worth taking extra time to check if the seller is good through comments and ratings.
The more information about the seller, the better. Also see if they provide information such as CNPJ, physical address, telephone, direct consumer contact channels (chat, email, SAC).
Comments can help too. Find out what other consumers say about the product and if there are photos of those who have already bought it. To avoid receiving clothes that are too small or too large, check if the store or seller has many complaints.
In the absence of product specs and no reviews from other consumers, beware. The chance of non-quality is greater.
Avoid shopping for important occasions. If you are having a party or an important event and you are counting on the product for that special date, prefer to buy from stores you already know.
Use and misuse of coupons
It is possible to further reduce costs by purchasing online. Shopee, AliExpress and Shein offer some automatic coupons, which are valid when certain requirements are met, such as a minimum purchase amount or products from a specific sector, says Ana Carolina Alves, economist and financial educator at Educação Financeira para a Vida (EFV).
You can also search for discount coupons on Google and on specialized websites.. Simply type in the name of the platform you want to make the purchase on and test it to see if it works.
Calculate the purchase total
Don’t forget the shipping cost. Product may be priced Nice – good, but has expensive shipping. At the end of the purchase process, see if it’s not worth buying in Brazil, Alves advises.
Buy within your budget. Even if the product is cheap, if you buy a lot, it may burden your pocket. Some sites also offer the option to pay for Pix at a discount. Go this route to stay out of credit card debt.
The occurrence of taxes is another point that can make the purchase more expensive. IOF (financial transaction tax) and ICMS (goods and services trading tax) can also be included. Today, the US$50 (about R$250) exemption is only valid for purchases sent from one individual to another.
If the product is subject to tax, you must pay the tax to receive the product. On the Correios website, when searching for the tracking code, it will appear in the “Waiting for Payment” step, after the product has gone through customs inspection. But if it says “Customs inspection completed”, you will receive your order normally.
After making the payment, watch your card statement. If you notice any problem, such as an extra amount or a purchase you didn’t make, report it immediately to the administrator or bank, Carolina points out. Vicentinelawyer in the area of relationship with the Brazilian Institute for Consumer Defense (Your hands).
Do not make payments or enter any bank details without verifying that you are browsing a secure site. You only need to see if the lock image appears in the address bar of your web browser.
What if I regret or did not receive my purchase?
The downside is that deliveries made on international sites, such as Shopee, Shein, and AliExpress, can take a while. In case of delay, contact the supplier and check whether the delay is justified or due to negligence on the part of the company.
Make a note of the deadline promised on the website and the one issued on the purchase invoice. If the delay is too long, the consumer can choose an equivalent product or abandon the purchase and receive a full refund.
Any purchase that you allow the consumer to give away within seven days of receipt. This procedure is called the “right of remorse” and it is free and without the need for justification, as long as the product is not used, says Renata Reese, from Procon-SP.
Outside of this period, it is important to know the company’s policy for exchanges and returns. Costs depend on each case.
in In the event of a defect in the part, the store is also required to make the replacement or refund.
The aim is to protect the consumer from being deceived in the face of negotiations in which no means of verifying the quality of the product has been provided.”
Carolina Visentini, Attorney in Idec Relations District.
Beware of scams
Be wary of emails containing unmissable promotions from an unknown store. Idec’s lawyer warns that it could be part of a fraud scheme and clone your data.
Procon can help you
If even after all these precautions you still have a problem with your purchase, there is still no solution. Many international websites do not have consumer protection law enforcement because they are in another country. But AliExpress, Shein and Shopee have a track record in Brazil. In this case, Procon can help you.
The main tip at these times is to first contact the website or platform. Submit a claim and record and file all documents to serve as proof that the purchase was made and that there was a problem.
If the consumer is not able to solve it amicably, it can run Procon. The Authority can conduct this mediation with the international site. In addition, you can still seek litigation as a last resort, fitting a lawsuit, says Procon-SP’s technical advisor, Renata Reese.
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