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What Is TikTok Shop? Is It Safe to Buy From?

What Is TikTok Shop? Is It Safe to Buy From?

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Key Takeaways

  • TikTok Shop is an in-app purchasing platform that allows users to buy items directly on TikTok, keeping them on the app instead of redirecting them to third-party sites.
  • There are risks associated with buying on TikTok Shop, such as receiving low-quality items, not receiving the item at all, and long shipping times. There is also the potential for personal information to be leaked or hacked.
  • The safety of buying from TikTok Shop also depends on the seller, so it’s important to research and review the seller’s account, website, and other social media platforms before making a purchase.

TikTok users have noticed more sponsored videos on their For You Page advertising items they can buy on TikTok Shop with the tap of a button. But what is TikTok Shop and is it safe to use?

What Is TikTok Shop?

TikTok Shop is an in-app purchasing platform where users can buy items they see in videos directly on the app. This is notably different from apps like Instagram, where you can tap a link to buy an item that usually takes you to a third-party site.

TikTok Shop keeps you on TikTok, which is good for the app to keep people viewing its content instead of getting distracted by shopping.

How to Visit and Buy From TikTok Shop

You can either browse TikTok Shop by tapping the Shop tab at the top of the For You page. You can access a specific item by tapping the card on a video where you see the item being advertised.

However, TikTok Shop is not available in all regions, so some users may not see the option in their app.

Buying an item is easy: you enter your shipping address and credit card information like you would on any e-commerce website. TikTok Shop will then appear in your Inbox tab on the app, where you can view order and shipping updates.

What Are the Risks of Buying on TikTok Shop?

TikTok Shop is a transaction platform, not its own store. Think of it like shopping on Depop or Etsy. You are buying things from individual sellers who use TikTok Shop as a platform.

Because of this, there are inherent risks. It is hard for TikTok to monitor every seller on the app. Think of the common risks of shopping online from a seller you aren’t familiar with: receiving a low-quality item, not receiving the item you’ve purchased, not receiving your item at all, or long shipping times.

There are also risks that come with giving your personal information to a seller on TikTok Shop. TikTok says on its website that it uses a secure check-out process. But, there isn’t much more detailed information available than that.

The risk of details like your payment information or address being leaked or hacked is there, even if it is just a small chance. TikTok also collects a lot of data about you, so you may not want to add additional info on the app.

When I ordered an item from TikTok Shop, it took over two weeks for the item to arrive. The item, a purse, was what I had ordered and was fairly good quality for the low price. However, it was much bigger than it seemed in the videos I saw on the app.

Buying the item also called into question the ethics of it. Another risk of buying from TikTok Shop is that you can’t be sure how the item was produced. The purse I bought only cost me a little over $4, but there is no information on the labor that produced it or its sustainability.

TikTok Shop package

Is TikTok Shop Safe?

The safety of buying products on TikTok Shop really depends on the seller you are buying from. It could be a small business where someone is hand-crafting the products themselves and running an honest business. This would be a safe purchase.

However, it could also be a drop shipper, scammer, or a company using unethical labor practices.

If you really want to buy something on TikTok, the best thing you can do is look into the seller. View their account and videos. Are they professional and can they speak honestly about the product? You can also look at their reviews on TikTok Shop.

Visiting a seller’s website or other social media profiles could be another big clue as to whether it is a good idea to purchase from them or not. Check to see if their business has a professional website and read the About section to see if there is any information on how their products are made.

Lastly, watch reviews of the product on TikTok to see how honest they are. There are several ways to see if positive reviews are honest or if they are really just for the money.

TikTok Shop aims to transform the way we shop online by converging shopping and social media. The feature may help you stay in on the latest trends in fashion, beauty, and more, but also comes with some risks.

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