Tips: How to investigate an online gadget vendor's reputation

As many fellow technophiles know, searching for the absolute lowest price for a gadget is in our blood. We Google and we price compare and we check shipping prices -- all to save an extra couple of bucks in the end.

Magnifying GlassAs many fellow technophiles know, searching for the absolute lowest price for a gadget is in our blood. We Google and we price compare and we check shipping prices -- all to save an extra couple of bucks in the end. It doesn't matter where our gadget comes from -- Jupiter, for all we know -- so long as we get the lowest price. How else could we gloat to the coworkers that we nabbed that low, low price and wouldn't-you-know-it got free shipping, too?

The problem is, of course, that we risk purchasing our toy from a less-than-reputable dealer.

No fear, though: Ben Popken over at The Consumerist posted a comprehensive checklist and guide on how to play Internet sleuth to an unnamed vendor and reassure yourself that you didn't just purchase goods from an illegal drug ring halfway around the world. The tips range from beginner tips like Googling the company's name and "scam" together to "I didn't think of that!" tips like checking their website registration on WhoIs.

What steps do you take before you feel safe enough to click the "add to cart" button? Let us know in TalkBack.