Rob Caskey – who is buySAFE’s marketing guru – sent me this interesting survey they conducted. What’s interesting about the survey is that takes the fear of Internet fraud beyond bogus financial instruments and identity theft to a more basic level.

The survey reveals that the average person fears they won’t get the product received, or get something other than what was represented. And if you consider all the variations of auction fraud on the Internet, this is what normally happens to the average customer when they are defrauded.

And – after all – when we go shopping the goal is to have a pleasant experience and get something we want. We don’t want to have to constantly worry about getting ripped-off.
Here is what the press release from Market Wire had to say:

On the brink of Black Friday – the biggest shopping day of the year – identity theft and credit card fraud are not the only issues causing consumers to abandon their online shopping carts this holiday season. A recent survey by online trust and safety company buySAFE, Inc. ( and online market research service Insight Express revealed that respondents are almost equally concerned with the possibility of non-delivery or receiving something different than promised. These concerns – along with concerns about the trustworthiness of the retailer, quality of merchandise, and shipping costs — are amplified when shoppers are considering buying from smaller, independent online retailers.

Detailed survey results, here.

There is no doubt that there are a lot of hard-working and “honest” sellers on the Internet, who have been hurt by all fraud that takes place on auction sites. In fact, according to the experts, auction-fraud seems to be the number-one complaint these days.

From legitimate accounts being taken over by phishing (eBay and PayPal are the two most targeted brands) to a wide-array of counterfeit and stolen goods being sold, consumers face the real fear of getting ripped-off when buying an item.

I had a conversation with another person who writes about fraud on the Internet recently, and we both agreed that the average Internet customer almost needs to become a “fraud expert” to ensure they aren’t going to be “taken advantage of.”

buySAFE has created it’s own “niche” in the market by ensuring a seller is legitimate and giving their customers the “peace of mind” that they are dealing with a legitimate and “trusted” retailer.

Although the service isn’t free to sellers (customers don’t pay anything), it protects the average person from all the fraud we hear read about in the e-commerce world. So far as the honest sellers – who have been damaged by Internet fraud (consumer confidence) – it lets everyone know they are a “trusted source.”

For the smaller seller and the person out there in search of a “good deal,” the service allows them to focus on their primary goals (selling and shopping) and it leaves the “worrying” to someone else, (buySAFE).

buySAFE has a couple of bloggers on their team (who I’ve had the opportunity to correspond with) and I’ve found more than one interesting insight about e-commerce when reading them.

Jeff Grass, buySAFE CEO’s blog, here.

Steve Woda, buySAFE founder and Chairman’s blog, here.

Here is more about buySAFE, courtesy of the Market Wire release:

buySAFE, Inc. is the leading trust and safety company for e-commerce transactions. buySAFE qualifies merchants, identifies reputable online businesses with the buySAFE Seal, and uses surety bonds to provide broad protection for individual buyers from online transaction risks. The buySAFE bond is backed by Liberty Mutual, Travelers, and ACE USA for up to $25,000, and boosts consumer confidence for lesser-known online retailers, allowing them to compete with the big, established brands. buySAFE has issued more than 9.5 million surety bonds on individual online purchases. There are currently more than two million items bonded with buySAFE that can be found at buySAFE is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. More information can be found at

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