With the influx of Instagram vendors, getting scammed by fraudulent vendors is on the widespread in Nigeria and customers across the nation are losing tons of money on a daily basis. Getting scammed by a vendor does not necessarily imply “419”, it could vary from being overcharged for a service, not getting value for money paid, vendors not delivering the full scope of service agreed and the worst of it is realising the vendor you paid to is fake (doesn’t really exist).
The wedding industry has become a catacomb for fraudulent vendors to target unsuspecting clients, rob them of their hard-earned money and get away with this callous act. We have compiled 5 ways to spot a fake fraudulent vendor in Nigeria.
Reviews are the most powerful decision-making tool a consumer can possess! Before selecting a vendor and making payment, type in the business name into a search engine and watch out for what comes up. You can also go a step further by reaching out to some previous clients they’ve offered services to via social media and ask about their experience with the said vendor. Platforms like StyleVendorsNg also offer verified reviews that can help you weedout the bad vendors to avoid being scammed.
Vague Social Media Account
Fraudulent Vendors like another vendor can have a large social media following since most of them buy followers thus, the number of followers should not be a reason to trust a vendor. Before hiring a vendor you meet via Instagram or Facebook, pay attention to the comment section of such vendor to see if there are any red flags, watch their IG live or IG story to ensure they offer the service they claim to offer, also ensure they are tagging their client on the pictures they post on their page as some vendors will pass off other vendors work as theirs.
No Affiliation / Collaboration
Collaboration among vendors is inevitable. A makeup artist will work closely with a photographer during a bridal shoot, an event planner will work hand-in-hand with a decorator when setting up a venue therefore, you should be wary of any vendor that doesn’t have affiliation with other vendors. You can cheek this by doing a little PI work on social media, check the pictures the vendors have been tagged in by other vendors. Most legitimate vendors also attend networking events, training, symposium which they often post on their pages so look out for that.
Not ready for a one-on-one
Customers are advised to have a one-on-one with vendors before hiring them. Ask for pretrial for whatever service you are paying them for. If you are booking a makeup artist for a major event ask for a makeup trial, booking an event planner ask for a concept meeting, booking a photographer ask for a preshoot. This will help confirm the identity of the vendor, the quality of service the vendor offers and also ensure the vendor will be able to deliver when required. If there is a geographical barrier between you and the vendor, a skype video could suffice.
No Business Account
Another way to spot a fraudulent vendor is that they don’t have a business account and will ask you to make payments into their private account. It’s important to note that a lot of vendors are small business entrepreneurs and most of them don’t have registered businesses however, if a vendor isn’t registered business no payment should be made before the service is offered to avoid being scammed. A registered business is liable for damages in the eye of the law and can be charged to court but a private individual isn’t.