“Free shipping” isn’t really that free, warns Profeco

The electronic commerce grew exponentially in Mexico, especially due to the coronavirus health crisis, which encouraged people, instead of making their purchases physically, to choose to do so online as a precautionary measure to avoid getting Covid.

In fact, in the first half of 2021, Mexico registered a 192% growth in spending on apps related to the e-commerce What Amazon, Free Market, Privalia, eBay, Shein and Liverpool, compared to the same period in 2020, which means that the purchase of products through these means almost tripled from one year to the next, according to data from the consulting firm Appsflyer.

The advance of virtual commerce therefore generated new consumption habits, good and bad, including the “expenditure digital ant”, which companies have taken advantage of to get more out of their customers’ online activities.

That is why the Federal Consumer Protection Office (prophet) recently revealed what are the most common tricks of online commerce portals, so that you spend more, under the promise of “free shipping”.

Free shipping, but with a minimum purchase

The Profeco indicated through its official account of Twitter, that when buying a product for Internet, most forms of ecommerce use the “free shipping” to get more sales.

This is because, in general, companies ask for a purchase minimum in order to cover the shipping cost so as not to affect your profit.

Exemplifying by means of earphones with a cost of 199 pesos, the prophet points out that at the end of the purchase, it is very certain that the interested party will see an ad stating that he must add 100 pesos more to have “free shipping” or else, he must pay 99 pesos for the delivery of his product.

But nevertheless, prophet points out that in either of the two options, the customer does not realize that in the two “minimum purchase” options, the shipping cost is being covered.

Don’t be fooled, read the “fine print”

To avoid falling into the trap, the prophet advises users of online commerce portals to pay attention to the restrictions that ecommerce places to comply with “free shipping”, these can be:

Put long delivery periods
Limited delivery area or maximum distance
Do not allow to modify or cancel the order
Add additional concepts such as the tip for the service
Limit the size, weight or volume of the product

In accordance with prophet, the “free shipping” is a technique frequently used by the portals of online trading, to give the consumer the false idea that they save money on the transport of their products, so it is vitally important to look at the purchase and shipping conditions, since you could end up spending more than you had thought.

Also read: SIM swapping, the stealthy technique to steal your data on WhatsApp

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