The hotukdeals guide to purchasing from lesser known retailers

Tips on how to check if a company is a trusted merchant

London, Tuesday 10th October 2017 – Members of hotukdeals, the UK’s biggest deal-sharing community, find deals on every day and luxury items online and in-store from a variety of retailers including well-known supermarkets and high-street merchants, as well as lesser known online outlets. Shoppers who spot a deal from lesser known retailers can often feel nervous about making a purchase and with Black Friday around the corner it is at this time that scam sites pop up from fraudsters looking to get consumers to use their debit and credit cards on fake websites.


Based on advice from savvy shoppers on hotukdeals here’s what consumers can do if they find something for sale from an online store that they’ve not experienced before:


Listen to the alarm bells – If something is surprisingly low in price and you haven’t heard of the retailer, listen to the alarm bells in your head and make the checks below to see if the company is legitimate and the offer worthwhile for you to part with your details. 


Check to see if the company is legitimate – Members of hotukdeals recommend using sites like, Scam Adviser and VAT search to check if a company is legitimate and safe to buy from. These sites enable you to see if a company is registered to a credible address and how long it has been operating for. If it’s only a short period of time the company may have been trading under a different name, which may have incurred bad reviews or the company may have had a different status. Checking the address also gives consumers the chance to think about where the company stores stock and where products are sourced from. If stock is shipped from outside the UK there may be shipping costs to consider as well as longer delivery times.


Check reviews – Members of hotukdeals suggest using websites such as to check business information, which also lists reviews of companies from consumers, which can help you decide whether to trust them or not. Scam Adviser also includes reviews from customers.


Make sure the transaction page is secure – If you’re purchasing from an online retailer always check that the payment page is secure to protect your payments. You can do this by checking that the web address starts with https:// and that there is a padlock symbol in the address bar or browser window.


Pay with a credit card – When shopping online it is safer to pay with a credit card that protects you on purchases over £100 (and up to £30,000) for free, unlike debit cards, or via methods such as PayPal, which offers Buyer Protection on eligible items. There are exceptions when using PayPal such as motorised vehicles or money transfers to friends or family, so make sure you check what items are covered if you’re concerned about the reliability of a website. If your PayPal is connected to your credit card then you don’t have the same protection as when paying directly with your credit card, so if you have the option to pay via credit card or PayPal, on anything over £100, then a credit card is better.


Ask forum members – If you’re still unsure about a retailer and the service they offer, ask consumers on deal forums who will happily share their experiences of delivery times, customer service and more. They will also provide tips on other retailers you could use so you don’t miss out on the items you want to purchase at the prices you want to pay.


About hotukdeals: hotukdeals is the UK’s biggest deal-sharing community where users find, rate and share the best deals from on and off the high street every day to provide inspiration to others on what to buy at the best prices. Members use the temperature gauge to vote on deals so other users know that the hotter the deal, the stronger the offer. hotukdeals has over 1.6m members and is a founding member of, the world’s largest social commerce group.

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