How to Check the reputation of a business

The reputation of the seller matters a lot when it comes to buying and selling of products or services. Also, value plays a huge part here.

A lot of sellers put so much effort into getting the best and the most compliments they can and respond quickly to criticism because checking out a firm’s reputation is easy this days.

Even with that, so many shoppers are caught out whenever they are buying online or in brick and mortar stores because they refuse to take their time to check out what other people are saying about the sellers.

As explained below, in some cases, comments and scores awarded by other people cannot be relied upon. But in order to get an idea of the reliability and honesty of the firm’s they are dealing with, there are some simple researches everybody should follow.

We have here five of these actions that are really vital:

1. Research the company by name if you don’t know them. The bigger your intended purchase, the more important this is. With or without the word ‘complain’, type their name into your browser and see what comes up.

But you shouldn’t just look at the first page of returns from your research. Intelligent search engine manipulators and advertisers lurk there. Scroll through some of the pages.

Adding the letter ‘v’ (with a space in each side) is another neat trick, which might signal if a company has been involved in any lawsuits.

2. Check sites that score businesses and reputation sites. This includes yelp, Google, and the better Business Bureau. You can also check from your state and local consumer protection departments.

Be wary of films that have only top scores when you are looking at scores. They may be actually good but still…

3. Seek for recommendation from family, neighbors and friends if you are shopping locally—most especially for contractors who provide home service such as plumbers, electricians, and building contractors and still do your online reputation research such as, whether contractors who are properly bonded, licensed and insured.

You can as well check the files of local newspapers or request recommendations from other user’s sites like Facebook and local community forums.

4. The websites of firms you are considering should be checked. Look for a good modern design and Information about privacy and trading practice should be looked upfront. Do they give maximum contact details in addition to names and addresses? To know whether the location is genuine, check Google’s street view for the address.

In order to get a feel for how they deal with customers, check the firm’s Facebook and twitter postings, be cautious, if all you read are testimonials. Naturally, owners of site would want to present the most positive image and filter out the negative ones.  Are testimonials available for inspection according to the firm?

Check their internet website registration. It’s something that can be easily done by checking registration websites with the term “whois lookup” being used.

The free to use electronic data gathering (EDGAR) service operated by the US security and exchange commission is another useful source of company information. It’s a very big database of information about companies that are listed and public companies. Start here:

5. Be on the lookout for red flags. There are so many simple things that can signal caution when you are considering doing business with a new company, for example:

Has the company been heard of before– Either by you or any other person?

Where is the company based, is it abroad, notably in china or certain African countries?

In terms of value and quality (e.g. brand names that are normally expensive), is the deal they are offering too good to be true?

Be careful…

There are some important things you need to bear in mind when checking out a company’s reputation.

First and foremost, there are some firms that provide a service called ‘reputation management.’ To put it plainly, according to one of them, ‘they can bury negative content,’ and ‘make the best things about you prominently visible to others.’

This is perfectly legal because every business naturally want to lay emphasis on the good things about their business. Notwithstanding, you should take note of this as a possibility while carrying out your investigation on them.

Secondly, it is also not a lie that majority of people who are completely happy with products or services they bought don’t bother writing positive reviews. But a lot of people who are disgruntled can’t wait to share their disappointment.

According to the words of Benjamin franklin: ‘it takes many good deeds to build a good reputation and only bad one to lose it.’

What this means is that there could be, unfortunately, a lot more negatives than positives in certain online reviews. There isn’t much you can do about it. But it’s a good idea to check those in the middle –the three –out-of-five-star reviews for instance, where review sites have a scoring system. CWP

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