Home Insider Insights Prevalent Bad Online Shopping Practices

Prevalent Bad Online Shopping Practices

Post February 2021 e commerce scene was dominated by pygmy shops of all kinds, most of them selling shady goods or snake oils at exorbitant prices. The giants of the recent past, such as shop.com or rgo47 has been forced to hibernate through no fault of their own, but because of felonious actions of NNCP terrorists, ever trolling online, to slander businesses and government officials. Yet the most ignominious persons of this insurrection are the terrorists who committed treachery against their own country and fellow countrymen.

Without the leaders to set the standards, the online marketplace is now mostly acting like a headless chicken, with most sellers on the Facebook making dubious claims on their dodgy products. A thorough examination of the online shops revealed that most of the shops are committing multiple of the following unethical practices to exploit and defraud potential customers.

No stating of price

Most of these Facebook ads will not show the prices, only asking people to head to the Chat Box. This could only mean one thing; there is no price transparency. Besides wasting consumers’ time having to write comment ‘price please’, the objective was for the seller to rip the uninformed buyer off, through over pricing. Without competent market knowledge, the buyer is at a disadvantage if he is to negotiate 121 though Chat Box with the seller.

Remedy: Try to avoid shops or sellers that does not display the price of goods and ask you to come to the Chat Box. Display a bit of personal social responsibility by encouraging the seller to display price (through the comment). Please note that asking the potential buyers to go to the seller website or telegram page, in order to promote its own platforms, is perfectly ethical and legal.

Not clarifying genuine or replica

Especially in relation to branded sportswear and gear, such as shoes, golf clubs, etc., Myanmar consumers are sold mainly the replicas. With limited disposable income, all citizens of developing countries have to choose between affordability and a daily meal. Yet a lot of sellers sell these replica products without stating of this critical fact, at a price close to a used genuine item. This is purely cheating, hence the bromide for all buyers: Buyers Beware!

Remedy: Before you purchase a branded product, specifically ask if the item being put on offer is genuine or replica. If you do not get a response, do not risk your money.

Faking up circumstances for sale.

Replicating the strategies from NNCP terrorist groups seeking donations through crocodile tears, online sellers are also stating the sob stories, such as closing down business, having to leave Myanmar, loss of jobs, etc. Who would not want to hear a good story! How can the perennial contender of the world top three most generous nations and its mainly Buddhist citizens simply ignore the chance to do some Dharna for betterment of one’s next life, through helping those in despair!

Remedy: Ignore the emotional appeals and hardship tales. See through all these unverifiable statements and focus on the pricing only.

Creating fake sales.

This happens during live sales. Human beings have the tendency to follow the crowd and subliminal etching on the mind that if everyone is doing, then it must be true or good. Fraudsters take advantage of that by asking their associates or relatives to bid or buy during a live sales event, with the objective of dragging along unsuspecting buyers to buy overpriced goods.

Remedy: Avoid buying at live sales. They will be products left on inventory afterwards. Do not believe the words, limited stocks, pre-orders and ignore the crowd.

False claims/unsuitable items

From products claiming to enhance your manhood to those that claim to able to cure all, Facebook online shops are filled with items with unverifiable and dubious acclaims. Some of the products being sold are also totally unsuitable for the environment in question e.g., cherry plants being sold, as if they would survive monsoon and extra hot weather down south.

Remedy: Avoid buying medicinal and health related products online. There would not be any recourse should something go awry. If you are buying living things, such as plants, seeds or animals, do yourself a favor and research via google or ChatGPT, to figure out the suitability of keeping them in your environment.


This has been the most common issue since the advent of online shopping; attracting customers with double digit discounts, via raising of the pre-offer price. Even if this huge discounting approach is not used, the pricing may significantly vary among online shops, especially for novelty or popular products. One shop may be selling the same product at twice the price.

Remedy: Do your homework and search the correct pricing via google or Ai, before you commit to a purchase.

What is government doing?

Recently there was an announcement from MoC, designating online shops/sales under the category of special goods, requiring a separate registration of online shops operating within the country. This comes after years of working out on e-commerce guidelines, regulations, etc., and after thousands of consumer complaints relating to online shops to Consumer Affairs Department under the Ministry.

The registration cost is likely to be between 50,000 – 100,000 Kyats. Those shops who do not register may face legal actions and registered shops also fall under jurisdiction and supervision of Consumer Affairs Department. These steps are a move in the right direction in order to reduce the above fraudulent activities. The gap still exists for those selling personal properties or secondhand goods through one-off posts.