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The Patriot Press

"Without an informed public, the democracy will cease to exist."

The Patriot Press

"Without an informed public, the democracy will cease to exist."

The Patriot Press

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Tiktok Shop: Is It a Scam?


It’s the season of giving… and buying! What better way is there to save time and money than by using the TikTok shop? Not only are users able to save on trendy new items, but the built-in shop feature on TikTok allows for a seamless transition from “wow, that’s a cool thing” to “it’s right on the app, I might as well buy it.” Creators use the shop feature to promote items to their followers, and the comments create a seemingly foolproof review feature to ensure the advertisement is trustworthy.

The new shopping platform, first implemented in September 2023, initially raised some concerns from users. Not only were the products suspiciously cheap, people also questioned its legitimacy. The platform doesn’t seem to have any sort of authenticity verification for sellers. Anyone could sell anything, whether it may be knockoff makeup products or handmade items.

When asked about her personal experience with the TikTok shop, Junior Isis Belviz said, “I haven’t bought from Tiktok shop. I just don’t find it very trustworthy”.

Many other students shared this same sentiment. TikTok has been known to use information from third party sites, and, like many other social media apps, to track significant amounts of personal information from its users.

This is a big concern for some students. “I’m scared of getting scammed or getting my information stolen,” says Senior Noor Rana.

In March, TikTok came under fire for being a security risk, and the news is certainly not reassuring to hear. Concerns about safety apply for the TikTok shop as well, as students worry that their credit card information could be used for nefarious purposes.

It is also interesting how TikTok has evolved to promote this feature, paying creators to advertise products through the shopping platform to their followers. Even when intentionally trying to avoid shopping ads, videos with product placement will pop up on the app’s “For You” page. It seems that TikTok is avidly pushing for a more “convenient” shopping experience.

Is this a good feature? While some students say no to consumerism, others argue in favor of the TikTok shop.

“I’ve bought from it. My stuff came on time, and the quality was good as well,” says Junior David Valdez. He commented that the platform’s convenience and affordability outweigh potential negatives.

It’s still unclear whether or not the TikTok shop is trustworthy. Online reviews have deemed the products pretty true-to-advertisement. The key, it seems, is to buy from verified sellers. But, it is still important to follow online shopping safety rules, as well as use common sense when buying products.

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About the Contributor
Jieun Paik, Senior Editor
Jieun Paik (she/her) is a senior at Wayne Hills High School. She has been writing for the Patriot Press since her freshman year.

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