Things to check:
Customer support links: phone number(s), email, location details/ p.o box.
Image quality: should be clear & personalized.
Secure payment page: during check out. This means all sensitive information entered during check out, is protected from foreign threats. Generally "http://" indicates that the site is secure.
Do they have an about us, FAQ, terms and conditions section? Anyone that's really doing business will have this on their site and available to avoid miscommunication and to protect themselves from disputes reduce customer support tickets. Take advantage of these website sections and actually read them to see if your ideal service or product matches the tone of the store. Is it generic or is it, personalized? Are they experts? professionals? Sometimes they'll actually show you who they are before having to be deceived.
3) Social media with real interaction and engagement.
Check for customer interaction (real customer profiles, not robots), tagged photos, consistent posting. *If you're looking for a service provider, look at picture backgrounds for consistency. Unless they are freelance or mobile.
Don't get it twisted people reviews can be deceptive too, but in the same breath our food is probably fake.. and we still eat it! lol no just kidding... but really though. Don't only check the 4 and 5 star reviews they have posted on their site. Check out Google, Youtube, Yelp, Facebook, or check for a BBB accreditation.
If you're like me.. you'll start from the worst reviews and if scroll to the best.
If there is as length list and you can make it to the top of the positive reviews with no double guessing, this company may actually be the company.
A trusted platform that enables buyers and sellers to exchange funds, whilst protecting the purchase. Hypothetically if someone was to rip you off, you'd call PayPal and dispute the transaction. Paypal allows both parties to submit their proof and then they investigate.
***REMEMBER if you're purchasing a class, coaching, book, vendor list online, you can't judge it until you consistently and explicitly follow the directions given. It takes money to make money, but if you're investing in products or services that teach.. Be sure to follow the suggested protocol, consistently to accurately measure the results!