16. Security for shop owners
Research shows shoplifting is less of a problem on the Net than in the real world. But don't take this for granted.
Dealing with payments on the Internet is no different to dealing with payments in a normal business - you need to take the same precautions. Every day, shop owners in the real world must be wary of credit card fraud, bouncing checks and shoplifters. Fortunately on the Internet you have one big advantage over bricks and mortar shops. While a shoplifter can walk into a normal shop, grab a product and walk out, this is usually not possible on the Internet. The only way a customer can shoplift from you on the Net is by presenting you with a false order. Using for example a check from a bank without having money, or a false credit card.
Your advantage of course is, that at this stage you still have the products. And you should only send them out, if you feel comfortable that the order is real and the customer can pay.
One Internet business delivered goods to a man waiting on a street corner - and wondered when they lost thousands of Rands in a fraudulent deal!
If an order is suspicious in any way, check it out. Call the customer. Verify the address. Cancel it, if you have any suspicions. Always remember: If you make around 30% profit and one item gets stolen, you will have to sell the item 3 more times, just to make up for the loss.
On the Internet you have the advantage over the shoplifter. Use the advantage, and your shop will be safer than those in the real world.