Door: Roald Tromp (OPA CBD)
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU BUY FROM A RELIABLE CBD WEBSHOP?
Unfortunately, the CBD market attracts many opportunists. A rapidly growing market makes many entrepreneurs decide to dive in and make some fast & easy money. Customer focus is not a goal, turnover is the goal. Often over the back of the consumer. These entrepreneurs are not interested in the product CBD and, most times, know little about it. Of course we also want to make money, but it has never been our main goal. It is not very difficult to find out whether a webshop is reliable or not. You can check if you see any shady things. Before you buy something, remember that if something is too good to be true, it often is. Here are a few tips:
Google and do your research on the webshop
If you have not bought something from a webshop before, it is smart to enter the name of this webshop in eg Google using keywords such as 'complaint', 'dissatisfied' fraud' or 'scam'. What are the experiences of others? If you find many complaints, bad reviews or reports that items have not been received, do not buy from this webshop. Not all reviews are reliable, but the reviews often give a good picture of what's really happening.
Check the details on the website
Always check whether the personal details are stated on the website of the shop. Are the address details missing? Red flag! It often turns out that the person behind a website cannot be found. Result, you have a problem if things go wrong. Who should you contact if you have not received the products you ordered? Use google maps and see the company in street view. If you don't see any recognizable signs on the buildings of the webshop, such as name plates or advertisements of the company? Then they probably don't want you to come to the door and that's usually not a good sign. "About Us" is worth reading on the page. If it's just a general story, or do you see genuine people on the pictures and passionately talking about their company? Is the page missing with a story about the entrepreneur(s) themselves, and you only see models or hired influencers who do not really work for the company on a daily basis? Then never buy there. Personally I would like to know from whom I am buying.
Check the social media of the webshop
Always check whether the webshop is a shop with a personal character. On the company's social media you can quickly see whether the company has a face or multiple faces of real persons. Photos of products and hired influencers are impersonal and can often be a reason that the people working for that company don't want to show themselves. Check out the followers. Many companies pretend to be more popular than they actually are. Buying followers on Instagram, for example, is a trend these days. Having many followers make you suspect that the company is trending, but this can give a distorted picture if the followers have been bought. Do you see many followers from countries such as Pakistan, Iraq, Russia etc. Click on such a follower and you will often see an empty fake profile. See the examples below.
If you see many of these profiles following the shop, you can conclude that they are misleading you. Wonder why a company wants to pretend to be bigger and better than they actually are in real life? You can often see it immediately by the number of likes and comments on a post. Between 1% and 10% likes of the total number of followers on a post is a normal outcome. 20K followers, less than 200 likes? Or number of likes disabled so you can't see it. What do they have to hide? A new phenomenon is also only posting videos to show only the number of views, but not the number of likes. Views always add up quickly, that doesn't mean someone has actually looked at it. A good webshop gets followers because they have something interesting to say and offer content that people want to see more often. The number of followers then grows organically and in most cases there are not thousands followers in a few months since the first post. If the company gets attention in the mainstream media in a positive way, all the better. And I don't mean the purchased advertorials, but real interest from the mainstream media in the company. Rewards for best products or shops don't mean a thing. Nowadays best products awards and best shop awards are bought, not given by an independent panel of experts. It's just a matter of who's willing to pay for it.
Check the company's contact details
Check the name or VAT number of the company. Also check the address if (partial) prepayment is requested. Try whether the webshop can be reached by phone and whether they respond quickly to e-mail. Please note: sometimes an office building is used where the webshop rents a space for a few weeks. Also a virtual space with a call center. You will then get someone on the line who will take your message and 'pass it on'. Direct and quick personal responses indicate that there are real people working for the company. Accessibility of a shop really says it all.
Check the buying conditions
Is the price, including taxes and possible delivery costs realistic? And is it clear what you are buying (which item, color, size)? If suddenly very high shipping costs are added, send an email or call the company to ask about this. Sending a package via, for example, track and trace at your regular Post office costs EUR 6.10, a letterbox package EUR 4.10. International but within the EU about 10 EURO. There may well be a small increase for administration and handling added. The package must be packed, packaging material is needed and it must be taken to the post office. That should not cost much more than 1 EURO extra on the shipping costs. Can you return a purchased product unopened? Is the product on sale directly after the launch? Second item for free or get three pay two, then ask yourself whether the price is justified in the first place. A manufacturer usually adds on a margin of 30 to 35% on the production costs, a retailer, such as CBDSPORTS, always doubles that number. So if a CBD oil costs 10 EUR to make, the manufacturer wants 30 EUR for it and it will probably cost you as a consumer 59.95 EUR including VAT at the webshop or in the store. By the way, the VAT on CBD oil is 9% in the Netherlands. Are you counting? Paying two get one with a bottle of 59.95 EURO priced CBD has therefore cost the manufacturer 20 EUROS to make it. This way they will still be earning almost EUR 30. Still a very nice margin for the manufacturer. Of course, the manufacturer no longer earns a 30% margin from selling to large chains that sell large numbers, but very often a 10% margin. With a lot of bottles of CBD oil, it is also nice earnings, right? Don't worry, that's how it goes in all shops and grocery stores. Do ask yourself, is it about sales numbers, or is it about having you to use a good product?
Do they keep their products in stock?
If they don't they probably drop ship and do not have your item in stock. That doesn't has to be a big red flag if the webshop immediately sends you an e-mail to inform you or offers an alternative. If you don't hear anything for days then it is probably not going to end well. With a fake website, the message is usually: ALWAYS IN STOCK. If there is no response or slow response on your e-mail, consider that another red flag to ad to the list.
COA, or better certificate of analysis
Every CBD product must be able to show a COA. A test carried out by a third laboratory where you can see which substances are in the product. If the seller cannot provide this, do not buy the product. You really don't know what's in it. The same goes for the at home CBD oil makers. However well-intended you really don't know what's inside the product and that can be dangerous.
Read their blogs
The blogs, or rather the information the webshop shares, says a lot about the company itself. Unfortunately, CBD webshops often use the famous copy paste in Google translate tactics. The result are often unreadable sentences that have been thrown into English from another language by Google translate. Or they mixed the original article up for SEO reasons.
The seller does not have the intention to educate and inform you, their only intention is to fill their page in the hope of making you think that they understand CBD. You will immediately recognize authentic content. There may be a typo here and there, that's okay, but sentences with strange words that do not make sense often indicate that it is a copy. Only buy from a company that writes the blogs themselves, this shows the knowledge and passion that the company stands for. The photos illustrating a blog are also important. Are the photos taken by the company themselves or just stock images that anyone can pick from the internet? Original content and photos indicate that the company has the right intentions and is authentic.
Buy at CBD SPORTS
We really do not pretend to be the best webshop and seller of CBD products for athletes. We are proud of the fact that we were the first in the Netherlands and perhaps in Europe. Proud of the fact that we started something out of passion that many companies have noticed. So much so that they started copying us. That is of no value to you, we understand. Maybe a compliment for us. We think it is a bit important that we are the original, and hopefully you too, but much more important to us that you are satisfied and we continue to try to offer beautiful useful CBD products for you athletes in our shop. We spend a lot of time finding them. We are always on the hunt for new products and now, after almost three years of doing so, we are offered a lot of products from brands that would like to be in our shop.
We always ask them to send the products first, so we can test them together with our athletes from TEAM CBDSPORTS. Only if we and the team are enthusiastic about the products, you will see these products back in our store. We still bring your orders to the Post Ofiice by bike, we don't have a mega warehouse and no fancy wrapped supercars. We are a small webshop that works out of passion, OG original and not so much gangster, in real life we're pretty humble. The bike does have a CBDSPORTS sticker. That's true, but that's all the wrapping we have done to our delivery vehicle. You may want to ask yourself if a company with cool wrapped supercars is not overcharging you. In the end you are paying them. A 500K supercar tells you they are doing very well making profit. Maybe a little too much is what I think seeing supercars, luxury travel and superstar cribs. But I might be a little too old fashioned in my thinking.
You can come across our team at events such as the fitfair, funky vegan festivals, CrossFit events or who knows, maybe at a running competition near you. So this is us: nice to meet you.