In navigating the minefield of sellers there are a number of precautions that the research chemical enthusiast who is looking to make a purchase should adhere to:-
1. Take note of friend's recommendations (but be wary of recommendations on forums unless substantiated by other forum members also).
2. Does the website look 'clean' and professional? It may sound obvious but a reputable and professional seller should have a website which reflects these very traits. Is the site regularly updated?
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3. Be wary of sellers offering products which no other seller is able to offer at that moment in time.
4. Does the seller display a full set terms and conditions on their website?
5. Does the seller use a respected third party payment processor who uses SSL encryption to process your card details? Check in the address bar of the page on which you are to submit your payment details that the web address starts with 'https' and not 'http'.
6. Are there any hidden costs? Check to see that if the seller charges a fee for postage and packaging that this is not excessive.
7. With regard to the actual quality of a seller's product, this is almost impossible to determine simply from looking at their website. Is the seller selling a well-known branded product?
If so, the research chemical buyer may take some re-assurance from this.