Thank you all for your responses so far. I guess I may have mislabled the post by using the word safe, because I I am interested in hearing a little bit more about building `trust.`
After I asked the question, I began trying to figure out what I look for when I am about to do business with a site that I located out of a need and have no previous knowledge. Personally I don`t really believe online testimonials, even if they include a persons name, state, or picture. Even if they are legitimate I would assume they would never include anything negative, and I have also come across more than a few that use stock photos with the testimonials which usually deters me from doing business because it makes me start thinking something isn`t right so I better beware! I am not anti-testimonials, they just don`t have influence on me unless they have done business with a large corporation I recognize.
I also look for SSL when I am entering my credit card number or I am ok with PayPal as an option.
ElidS`s post reminded me about sites that do incorporate the BBB icon. Normally I do click it to check the business out, and there have been a few occasions that I decided not to do business because of negative information that was reported. However I am still having a hard time identifying any other "approved site" type icons that I have come across that makes me feel `safer` using the site.
I try not to penalize a small business because they are just starting out, because we all have to start somewhere. But there have to be clear ways that people can distinguish the good from the bad, and of course I want to include that in my site.
Once again, any other imput would be appreciated.
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