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You’ve probably noticed that your For You page has a lot more sponsored product postings and advertisements since TikTok Shop launched. You may be prepared to succumb to temptation if it’s a $8 hoodie, your favorite serum that’s 60% off, or that trending cross-legged chair. As your finger approaches the red “Buy Now” button, you hesitate to ask yourself, “Is using TikTok Shop really safe?”

The outrageous discounts on TikTok items, such as $12 for Skims dupes or $4 for lip gloss, entice buyers. Not to mention that TikTok frequently offers discounts and extra savings, particularly for new users. Many customers worry that these low costs aren’t real and ask what the catch is.

Many stories indicate that customers may be hesitant, despite the fact that a TikTok representative assured us that the platform “is committed to providing a safe and secure shopping environment that enables people to discover an expansive selection of products from their favorite brands and creators.”

We set out to dispel the myths around every new platform because it’s only reasonable to question its authenticity, especially one that has a history of controversy.

To get information regarding actual transactions, we conducted a survey with dozens of shoppers. Were the responses largely good or did some people identify problems? We also sought the opinions of our own Good Housekeeping Institute consumer purchasing specialists and experts in internet safety.

What is TikTok Shop, first of all?
TikTok Shop is essentially an online store where users can buy viral goods without ever having to exit the app. Similar to Etsy, you may use the TikTok Shop to build a “shop” where you can sell anything from clothes and cosmetics to home goods and cleaning supplies.

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According to TikTok’s terms of service, potential sellers must meet a minimum age requirement of 18, have a certain number of followers and hold a U.S. passport, driver’s license or proof of legal U.S. residency. They’re also subject to a probation period in which there are limits on the number of products they can list and the number of daily orders they can accept. This probation period only ends after a seller successfully completes a certain number of orders and receives positive reviews.

Now for the real question: Is it safe to buy from TikTok Shop?
For the most part, TikTok Shop is a safe place to shop — but as with most online marketplaces, it’s very important to be cautious of potential scams, look out for potentially fake reviews and read the fine print of any item before purchase.
Media Matters for America alerted us to issues like deepfake doctors and black market vapes. And, in our own online investigation, we found a number of products for sale that violated TikTok’s gaming and gamification policies. (TikTok did remove these products after we alerted them.) On the upside, these products do seem to be far and few in-between. “TikTok does seem to be taking a reasonable approach to protect users and customers, putting some onus on sellers,” says Stephen Balkam, CEO of the Family Online Safety Institute.
Overall, Good Housekeeping staffers who have shopped TikTok shared nothing but pleasant experiences. “I was skeptical of the TikTok Shop at first, largely because I didn’t really understand how it worked,” says Home & Apparel Reviews Analyst Amanda Constantine. “But, it’s essentially just another marketplace. It reminds me of Amazon, so there are brands that I trust and others that I don’t.”
Senior Fitness & Nutrition Editor Alyssa Jung ordered an NFL sweatshirt from a small seller and it “looks just like the photo, and arrived right on time.” She even received tracking information and updates during delivery.
And if your experience is less than stellar? TikTok claims if a purchased item is not received or is not as described, the seller or TikTok will refund the buyer. A buyer can request a return within 30 days from when their order is delivered, and even after the standard period, customers are still entitled to request a return or refund under the TikTok Shop Buyer Protection Program within 90 calendar days of order delivery.
Tips for safe shopping on TikTok Shop
Whenever you online shop, it’s important to practice caution to ensure you’re happy with your purchase and that your transaction, including your payment details and identity, remain secure.

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