Is TikTok Shop Safe? To Buy or Not To Buy on TikTok

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Carolyn Howell

Last Updated: Dec 12, 2023

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Online shopping is the new norm. You can spend endless hours browsing through endless products and adding items to your cart without leaving the comforts of your home. On TikTok, you can go shopping without leaving the app. But especially with online retailers, you have to make sure they’re legit before providing your credit card information. Is TikTok Shop safe?

An image of a shopping cart filled with beauty products.

What Is TikTok Shop?

TikTok Shop “enables merchants and creators to showcase and sell products for the TikTok community to discover and purchase directly through a complete in-app experience.” Users can shop from LIVE, shoppable in-feed videos or a brand/creator account.

  • LIVE shopping. Sellers can host a LIVE and feature products available for purchase. Buyers can tap pinned products or the shopping basket icon to make a purchase straight from the LIVE stream. 
  • Shoppable in-feed videos. Shop directly from an in-feed video by tapping the basket icon and product link. 
  • Brand/Creator product showcase. Visit your favorite brand or creator’s profile via their product showcase tab.

An image of a person doing some online shopping on their phone.

Is It Safe To Buy From TikTok Shop?

Yes, it’s generally safe to buy from the TikTok Shop. If a brand or creator has set up a TikTok Shop, it means they passed the app’s vetting process. Depending on their region, those who wish to run a TikTok Shop have to submit relevant documents together with their application.

Individual sellers need to submit proof of identity, and corporate sellers must have a business license. They’re also required to link a valid bank account to operate their store. 

Individual sellers need to submit proof of identity, and corporate sellers must have a business license. They’re also required to link a valid bank account to operate their store. 

Through TikTok Shop, customers can enjoy the complete shopping experience without leaving the app. It provides a safe and secure check-out and support for order and post-sale management. 

So, is the TikTok Shop safe? It does offer better guarantees than non-TikTok Shop affiliated retailers and creators. These guarantees include the following:

  • Product Quality
  • Payment protection
  • Reliable order tracking
  • Safe shipping
  • Reasonable returns policies

There’s a lower risk of encountering fraudulent sellers. TikTok Shop’s sellers have to follow guidelines that hinder fake, dishonest, or misleading content. If a buyer has any complaints, they can submit a report to TikTok. 

TikTok uses PayPal and Stripe to process all TikTok Shop payments. Both of these third-party payment platforms use advanced encryption software to process financial data securely. According to the app, they also do not collect and store buyers’ personal information.

Various shopping bags on display.

Restricted and Prohibited Items on TikTok

Depending on the region, TikTok restricts or prohibits the sale of certain items on the platform. Restricted items require certain licenses or permits, while prohibited items are often dangerous products and absolutely not allowed on TikTok.

Restricted products include:

  1. Weight-loss products
  2. Medicines
  3. Medical devices
  4. Collectible coins
  5. Various food products
  6. Various second-hand products
  7. Sex or adult products & services
  8. Alcohol, tobacco, e-cigarettes, and related products
  9. Automotive and automotive parts
  10. Media products
  11. Virtual products
  12. Services
  13. Political products
  14. Real fur
  15. Various mother and baby products
  16. Various age-restricted products

Prohibited products include:

  1. Firearms, ammunition, and weapons 
  2. Hazardous items 
  3. Human body parts and human remains 
  4. Animals and animal products, protected wildlife, and plants 
  5. Adult products and services 
  6. Discriminatory and offensive products
  7. Illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia 
  8. Security and privacy 
  9. Government and military items 
  10. Coins, cash, gift cards and financial products 
  11. Products that may facilitate illegal activity or dishonest behavior
  12. Unauthorized/unqualified medicines and medical devices

Needless to say, if you see any of the above items for sale on TikTok, you can report them to the platform. It’s safe to assume that such sellers are engaging in suspicious activities. 

Is TikTok Shop Safe for Sellers?

TikTok provides full support to its Shop sellers. They have access to TikTok’s vast array of campaign and promotion tools. TikTok also offers support for logistics, complaints, and disputes.

The platform vets creators who wish to partner with brands and sell via TikTok Shop. An affiliate program is available for all creators and is a good alternative if you don’t qualify for a collaboration. Either way, your earnings from any sale are guaranteed by TikTok.

A photo of a Black Friday Sale sign beside a shopping cart.

Provide Easy and Secure Shopping via TikTok Shop

TikTok Shop offers ease of shopping for customers — allowing them to complete a secure purchase in seconds. The Shop also facilitates more straightforward product and order management for sellers. So, this feature is a win-win for all parties involved.

Like other e-commerce platforms, TikTok has set strict guidelines for the protection of its users. Anybody can still sell without setting up a Shop on the platform. But buyers must practice more caution when transacting with sellers outside TikTok Shop.

Unless you’re already familiar with the seller and know they’re trustworthy, do some research before buying. If you wish to sell without a Shop, you’re still required to adhere to TikTok’s guidelines. 

Is TikTok Shop safe? For both sellers and buyers, the answer is yes. Buyers must still practice responsible and cautious shopping, and sellers must stick to TikTok’s guidelines.

If you need help finding suitable audiences for your shoppable videos, you can promote your video or sign up for a High Social account. High Social’s advanced, proprietary AI technology functions just as effectively as TikTok’s recommendation algorithm. Get your content in front of more potential customers. Start growing your TikTok today!

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