People can vote for as many essays as they choose, but only get one vote per essay. Students are encouraged to share their essay with friends and family or on social media to generate more votes. Only votes from the scholarship website will be considered. Only one essay per state will be chosen to receive the $2,000 scholarship. 

Shelby Morgan Ottum – South Anchorage High School

Trust is defined as a “firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.” Trust is a hard thing to build with any human relationship and all companies/corporations are run by humans. It’s not so much that I am going to build a relationship with a company’s owner, but with the company overall. If a corporation proves to be trustworthy, I’m more likely to return and give that company more business. So, most trustworthy companies will want to build that strong relationship with their customers. The way I make sure I can trust the company I’m dealing with is through references, language used on websites, and online reviews.

I usually start by going to the people/references I trust and hearing their opinions. For example, when shopping online I like to go to my friends to see if they have ordered from the company before. When I get good feedback from them, then I am more likely to order from the same place. However, if they say that their package took way longer to deliver than it should have, or their clothing was low quality, I probably wouldn’t order from the that company. There are also online resources, like Better Business Bureau (BBB) who research companies for you to make sure that they are trustworthy. I’d also like to think that if a company is advertised on Instagram, that it could be trustworthy. I only believe this because if Instagram allowed advertising from an unreliable company, they would probably receive a lot of backlash from their users, which is bad for business. This doesn’t mean that I automatically trust a company on Instagram, but it helps the process.

A big indicator on whether to trust an online website is their use of language. First, if items are listed in a language other than English it can be a sign that the company is not based in the U.S, and it is easier to trust a company when it is in the same country. This can also be seen when there are multiple currency options. I also try to make sure I know where the item I’m ordering is coming from, like I wouldn’t usually order clothing or shoes that are being shipped directly from a foreign country. Furthermore, the cheaper a product is, the less likely it is to be trustworthy. There is also name brand companies that have good reputations because they are trustworthy.

Finally, I will look at online reviews of the company. Reviews from real people who have either had good or bad experiences with the company. I normally to look trends in their comments. For example, when reading reviews about a clothing company and I frequently see people talking about problems when receiving the correct order or sizes, I’m less likely to purchase from there. However, there are times where companies just make mistakes, so that is why I read more than just a couple of them. There are also professionals whose job it is to provide well written reviews.

In conclusion, there are many things that I like to do when checking for a trustworthy company. Also, I know that there are more precautions I could be taking when ordering online. I realize that scammers generally prey on young adults because they can be easier targets. And, with more and more online shopping the risk of getting scammed rises. Trust doesn’t come easily, and I don’t plan on just giving it away.

About BBB Northwest + Pacific Torch Talk

Torch Talk is an online and printed resource for both consumer and business news. It serves as a tool for businesses and consumers to learn more about the latest news and scam alerts, helpful business tips, BBB events and programs, and more. For more information or to subscribe, visit trust-bbb.org/torchtalk/.