Don’t Get Burned

You have probably heard that the first rule of investing is “Don’t lose money!” The same applies to an e-commerce site.

All about the burnt Benjimans

A common mistake in e-commerce is not making 100% sure you have collected money before shipping an order.  Non-delivery or non-payment for goods was the top internet fraud category referred to law enforcement in 2009 at 19.9% according to the Internet Crime Complaint Center. Never ship product before collecting payment.

Don’t trust authorized transactions; instead, make sure the money is in your bank account. This seemingly simple task could save your business because one large incomplete or fraudulent transaction can be enough to drive a smaller e-commerce store out of business.

Depending on payment method and shipping destination, there can be varying delays to ascertain whether the funds from a transaction have actually made it to your bank account. Here are a few flags to proceed with caution:

  • Checkout by Amazon and similar payment methods are “Authorize Now, Capture Later,” meaning that you don’t control the capture.
  • International Orders, particularly Bank Transfers, depending on country, could take two weeks to clear.
  • Unverified address: if none of your shipping carriers recognize the address supplied, maybe it’s not a real address. Check your funds before you ship.

What practices do you employ to prevent fraud?