‘Instagram Boutiques’ are mobile fashion stores on Instagram. They are usually strictly ‘online stores’ carrying style pieces on the social media platform.
These online stores advertise their wares on Instagram with pictures of what they have in store (hopefully).
It’s worthy to note that not all fashion pages/brands advertising on Instagram are ‘Instagram boutiques’- the ones with standalone stores/pickup centers are NOT Instagram boutiques.
As a precaution, there are steps to note before ordering/buying from random Instagram boutiques.
While some are reliable, trustworthy and actually deliver, a lotto people have fallen into the hands of fraudsters who vanish after payment or worse still deliver knockoffs to unsuspecting buyers (in cases of luxury goods)
There have also been instances where shoppers order for things and get completely different items delivered!
These factors are guidelines are great to go by before shopping via ‘Instagram Boutiques’:
Look out for reviews/feedbacks; usually on the page. When customers are satisfied or otherwise, you’d catch this on the page. Fraud Instagram boutiques are usually sloppy so look out for little slips/posts on disappointments, undelivered goods etc.
Take cyber ‘attacks’/comments on the pages seriously. When people ‘attack’ the brand then you should be wary, most times a fraud page keeps mute when people post unsatisfactory comments otherwise the brand responds with reasons and way out (these ones are the ones who have a brand to protect and are usually the real deal).
Be wary of those who want payment upfront before delivery (if there’s an option of payment on delivery, it’s a good sign. Those who request payment upfront/in full before offerings services should carefully dealt with, most times, the real ones accept a percentage then payment in full when the goods are delivered. Except where there’s absolute trust/people vouching for the brand paying in full is never a good idea before goods are delivered.
Be wary of sellers who want won’t offer returns or replacement but want payment before delivery. Most times, Instagram brands who come up with conditions including ‘goods bought are not returnable’ not for exchanges/returns or no cash back policies are not 100% to be trusted.
Look out for clients that have successfully purchased from the brand and find out their experiences (Instagram is a way to do this as well). Word of mouth should form a large part of dealings with these brands. Look out for people’s Instagram (handles) who are satisfied or have had dealings with these brands to compare experiences.
If sending (part payment) for goods, be sure the account reflects the business/owner’s name (which you should have found a way to know) not just a random person’s name. When sending money to these brands-if need be-check out the name on the account given to credit if something seems off, it most definitely is!