KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Buyers beware when shopping online, more people are using the ease of online shopping to seek out sweet deals, but a number of those deals can turn sour. Before making any purchase online, do your research.

We all like bargains, but sometimes you get what you pay for — so, there is information you need to find out first before you click on the checkout box to make your payment.

Seamstress Karen Rouse snickered at a colorful jacket a viewer gave us after buying it online in November 2020. The viewer thought he was ordering a gray suede jacket. What he received was a stretchable cheap polyester fabric, that was pink, not gray, or suede. The item cost $59 dollars, you can’t buy suede at that price. The website was very professionally done and looked legitimate, but within weeks of the purchase, the site was taken down.

With the website gone, there was no way to return the so-called jacket for a refund.

“That’s the bad part of it, you order the stuff expecting to get one thing and you may get something completely different,” said Tony Binkley with the Better Business Bureau.

The website is a clothing website that is currently drawing the attention of the Better Business Bureau.

“It looks like the company is based in England and all returns have to go to China,” Binkley said.

Upcoming Black Friday sales are pitched and so are big Christmas bargains for the clothing line.

“In their return policy it says you have to pay to return shipping fees if you get something you don’t like or your not happy with, wrong size or anything else,” Binkley said. “You have to return the shipping fees and it has to go to China. A lot of them don’t, most of them don’t if you get something that is incorrect or inaccurate.”

He remembers that cheap pink jacket we showed him in 2020 that was bought online at a bargain-basement price. He says this year in just a few months has received multiple complaints.

“Here is one, they received six shirts, the quality was poor, the material was see-through.”

Unanswered responses earned an “F” rating from the BBB.

“You need to check out these websites,” Binkley said. “Look at their contact information. Do they have a phone number? This one doesn’t. Do they have an address in the United States? This one doesn’t. If you have communicated with somebody only by email, that’s not a good situation.”

The sheer number of deals that you can find online is mind-boggling and the pandemic has certainly changed the way we shop. As more and more people commit to online purchasing for items big and small, the unfortunate truth is that you’re far more likely to run into scammers and scalpers.

As the BBB suggests, one of the most important steps in making a safe purchase is to confirm that you’re using a reliable seller, one that is familiar to you and one you can trust.