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Websites and fraudsters

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  • Websites and fraudsters


    I was wondering if any of you have tips for selling on the internet. I was talking to a friend who advised against owning a website to sell my craft from as he said there were a lot of credit card fraudsters out there who will pay for stuff with a stolen/made up card and then you never get the money for your items.

    Is he talking bovine excrement? Or does he have a valid case? I just don't know and I'm now very confused, as I really wanted to set up a website with shop.

    Please help me


  • #2

    If you are wanting to sell from your website then most people will wish to use either a credit or debit card to pay for their purchases. Unless you have a business bank account and a merchant account with a credit card provider, you will have to use a card handling facility like PayPal. PayPal have the rule that you must send to the registered account address for the first transaction and subsequent transactions can be sent to an alternative address. This is a safeguard for you as the account will have been verified with a small financial transaction and the credit card holders address will have been used. So on reflection you should be very safe, just remember to send with a tracking code from the parcel company to prove it has been delivered otherwise you could have the transaction reversed if the customer claims he did not receive it.

    Yes there are credit card fraudsters out there, but they are far more interested with obtaining high value goods, like electronics, that can be sold easily. Would they be interested in craft items? I doubt it, so sleep easy.



    • #3
      Agree with Roger. With payments on your website, you are going to be using a third party such as PayPal, Google Checkout, Netbanx, WorldPay, etc who have their own verification processes to ensure the validity of the cards being used.

      I have a credit card machine myself which I use at fairs and for telephone orders but this also has a system built in which checks the card being used against the registered address (you have to enter some details into the machine) so whilst there are card fraudsters out there, the risk is now much lower than in the early days of websites when these security measures were not in place.

      From a customer standpoint, if you are planning on selling via your website, make sure you comply with Distance Selling Regulations by making sure your site has a postal address and landline number clearly stated along with good terms and conditions and return policy which is required under DSR.

      To be honest, whenever you are dealing with the public and money is changing hands, there is a risk of fraudulent activity - I have been ripped off by a customer handing over a fake £20 when I was on my own at a market during a particularly busy day in November a few years ago - I had a queue of people so was already frazzled and was wearing gloves due to the cold so didn't feel the note at the time. I now have a counterfeit currency detector light on my stall and can quickly check notes even when I am busy. I also have a battery operated one for the fairs when I don't have electricity. Better safe than sorry!

      The Internet is a great place to sell your work and most consumers are now much more comfortable with online ordering so don't miss out on a great opportunity just because of the risk of something which is unlikely to ever affect you.
      Ali x

      Etsy Shop:
      Facebook: AlisCraftStudio
      Follow me on Twitter:


      • #4
        Thank you both very much for your advice! I will do a website and look into all the payment choices out there. I shouldn't be wary of the internet... I'll do it! I'm just starting up so things are going slowly, but it's a pace I feel comfortable with at the moment.

        Many thanks

        Amanda x


        • #5
          Thanks for your reply, its nice to know when our advice has been useful.

          Best of luck with your venture.