IBNA Special Report
Skopje, March 18, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Naser Pajaziti
Online purchases and payments are a new trend in FYR Macedonia.
According to the data issued by the State Authority of Statistics, last year, citizens have made around 10 million Euros worth of online payments. Clothes and sport accessories are on the top of the list of online purchases, followed by summer and winter holidays, household equipment, books and newspapers.
FYROM has over 300 shops and online services, where citizens can find anything or any service. In spite of this positive trend, citizens are still not very inclined to make online purchases.
Asked by IBNA, citizens say that in the majority of cases they use cash to pay for products or services. Ivona L, an accountant, told IBNA that citizens do not feel safe when they make online payments.
“I don’t feel safe when making online purchases, because there have been cases of fraud and where citizens have ended up being victims without obtaining the product or service. I’d rather make payments with my bank card in shops rather than internet”, Ivona says.
Blerim A, a public administrator says that he makes online payments, but in small amounts. “I love interesting things which do not cost a lot and I always make purchases through the internet”, says Blerim.
But there are many citizens who have been protagonists of different frauds.
Consumer Organization in FYROM recommends the citizens to use verified sites.
This organization said that last year, it has registered many complaints by citizens in relation to their online purchases.
“We have detected such frauds, because citizens complained that they could not return products purchased online. So far, there have been three thousand complaints by citizens for violation of rights of consumers”, says Marija Loncar from the Consumer Organization.
According to statistics, in FYROM, 70% of households have internet access, while 10% trade online. Out of them, 65% make purchases in national online shops, while the rest make purchases in foreign online shops. The age of people who purchase online in FYROM range from 24 to 34 years old. /ibna/