Is TikTok Shop Safe? Here's What We Know About the Easy but Possibly Questionable Feature

TikTok Shop is TikTok's introduction into the world of e-commerce. However, is it more dangerous than safe? Read below for more details.

Emma Saletta - Author

Aug. 19 2023, Published 2:30 p.m. ET

One of the latest most-talked about features on TikTok is the all new TikTok Shop, an e-commerce solution integrated within the platform. Not only does it feature live shopping, product showcases, and shoppable videos, but it's also become a way to help brands show off and sell products within the TikTok community.

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Several brands have already begun using this as an advantage. The UK clothing brand Pretty Little Thing has even made a playlist on their TikTok handle @prettylittlething consisting of videos in support of TikTok Shop.

TikTok Shop for creators almost sounds too good to be true — in fact, it just might be.

Since TikTok Shop's official launch in the United States in August 2023, content creators throughout the United States, UK, and Indonesia have the option to participate in something that could be an easy way to make money. Whether it's ultimately good or bad is a different story, and we have all the details below that will lead to the truth behind how safe TikTok Shop really is, or if it's just another TikTok scam.

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Is TikTok Shop safe for sellers?

TikTok Shop seems to be frequented mainly by those who are in food, fashion, and makeup. One user who was highlighted by the TikTok Shop blog was Cariad Ryan, who under her TikTok handle @cariad_ryan, promotes her brand Poise, that has since become one of the top revenue drivers on TikTok Shop.

"Doing TikTok Shop is literally like being on FaceTime to your best friends," Cariad stated. "My advice to any creators thinking about getting started on TikTok Shop is just to do it. The scariest part is starting, the rest is magical!"

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Unfortunately, it appears that Deena Cosmetic Inc. did not experience that magic, and Deena herself released video on June 29, 2023 that states TikTok owes her $1,000 based on sales she's made from TikTok Shop.

"Listen up if you have a TikTok Shop... TikTok Shop is scamming," claimed Deena. "If you're a small business owner and you're running your shop or you're running a TikTok Shop, just be very aware that there's a lot of problems."

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The safety of TikTok Shop for shoppers is a different story.

Buyers have been met with success when it comes to ordering products on TikTok Shop in many cases. However, some have shown examples of just how dangerous buying can be, including Indiana native Becky Entrican.

According to the The Washington Post, she bought a t-shirt from a TikTok seller in February 2023 and has yet to receive it as of August 16, 2023.

“I feel like I’m pretty good at recognizing scams normally,” Becky said. “But I haven’t bought anything through TikTok since then.

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Other than scams, there have also been the possibilities of oversights when using TikTok Shop due to the possibility of minors looking to buy dangerous products available for purchase.

“These sellers are supposed to be vetted, and there was supposed to be an approval process,” said Media Matters senior investigative researcher Olivia Little. “So it’s one of two things: Either TikTok doesn’t care, or that its vetting process is negligent."

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For now, it seems that the danger arising from TikTok Shop may not be life or death.

However, consumers should watch out the possibility of scams, and pay attention to TikToks made by sellers and buyers for any potential warnings.

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