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Know who your online seller is before you hit 'buy'

Anne B. McDonald | April 25, 2011
Just because you're on the Amazon or Sears Website doesn't mean you are buying from Amazon or Sears.

Be aware that different sites handle their marketplace sellers differently: Buy.com, for instance, instructs you to contact the seller directly regarding a return or any problem with an order purchased from its marketplace sellers, and says that the products need to be returned directly to the seller, not to Buy.com in the event of a problem. Buy.com's cobranded sites, such as its Wireless Store, have their own return policies. At Sears, Imran Jooma, president of eCommerce at Sears Holdings, told us: "We have a team of customer service representatives who are dedicated to helping all customers resolve any issues. We also help connect them directly with the seller to help them resolve the situation." However, the Sears.com Returns page states that items not sold by Sears or Kmart cannot be returned or exchanged at the buyer's local Sears or Kmart. Each merchant on Sears.com has its own return policy.

Be extra careful when buying HDTVs: Most sellers have even more-stringent policies for large TV returns and/or refunds (and return shipping costs) than for smaller or less fragile products.

 

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