Online Purchasing Tips

by Analog Man

New internet users are often nervous ordering online. Here are some things you can do to make yourself feel better, and get a good idea about WHO you are buying from.

You can do a "whois" search to see how long the merchant has been online. Go to Internic & enter the domain name of the seller, for example and it tells you when they were registered. Scammer websites are usually only a few months old before they get closed down. One year or more is a good sign, 3 or more years is very good.

Also it's a good idea to go to a search engine like and enter the name, for example Analog Man Guitar Effects and see what comes up. If you see complaints, or very little info, I would avoid them.

You can also check their link status with Marketleap . Enter their domain name and it'll tell you how many other people are linking to that site. If they have many links, that is a good thing.

You can also check out a company with Dun and Broadstreet, a legitimate company should have a D & B number and be listed on their website. You can do a search at, just enter the company name and state.

You can send a postal money order. While that doesn't exactly apply to ordering online, it is quite safe. If you send a US Postal money order and the person doesn't send the merchandise, then that's mail fraud, and the postal authorities can investigate and prosecute them.

Sellers (like us!) actually have more risk than buyers, selling online. That is because a buyer will only do a few transactions a week (or month) while a seller does dozens or more a day. There are a lot of problems with credit card fraud, especially from certain countries like Indonesia and Nigeria, so we won't usually accept credit card orders from those countries, sad but true that a few bad folks will spoil it for everyone.

Also, there are a lot of laws to protect the buyer. Not much to help sellers, as we are supposed to know about the risk and write off bad deals.

Hope that helps!

Mike Analog Man