How to spot inferior products from social media ads before purchasing

The Federal Trade Commission revealed an increase in complaints from people who say they lost money buying items on social media.
4:21 | 03/26/21

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Transcript for How to spot inferior products from social media ads before purchasing
"Gma investigates" and shopping on social media. The big question when it comes to buying clothes online is will what's delivered to your house actually look as good as that ad that you saw online? Becky Worley did some shopping for us to help us find out. Becky, good morning to you. Whit, good morning. Reenactment here. This is me on social media when I see an ad for a stylish shirt or sweater, oh, cute, click. But here's the problem. The federal trade commission says the number of complaints that started on social media more than tripled in the past year so "Gma" seeing for ourself, buying from six different ads, sending the items to independent reviewers and our findings not impressive. Look at this ad for a plows I bought online recently. The company website says it's high quality, exclusive fashion. This is the ad. This is what I got. It looked like a fine Italian knit. Maybe something like from the designer missoni but when I got it. It's polyester. Has white stitching. I'm not sure I'd wear this to bingo night. Reporter: Buying six from social media to see how close they match up to the claims. Consumers need to be careful particularly shopping for clothing and accessory, not everything will look at good when it gets here. Reporter: We had Jen hunter from wirecutter check for quality. Only one of them really came even close to matching the product description. This t-shirt, the other four I would say fell very short. Reporter: Like this sweater, here's the ad. Here's what we got. Tell us about the man's sweater. Their description is high quality fashion products. The man's sweater was not amazing. The front didn't line up correctly. You can barely zip it up and down and I gave it a wash and a dry and after that it was threading and disintegrating in several places. Reporter: We bought women's cashmere sweaters costing more than $100. One was extremely thin. I wouldn't expect it to keep you warm. The other, really disappointed. When I put it down my hands almost felt greasy. What that can indicate the manufacturer has used softeners. Those will wash out in time and wind up with something that doesn't feel luxurious at out. Reporter: We bought leggings advertised as super thick soft fleece lining. Compare that with what we got. Leggings were no lining and lots of loose threads. It felt like rough cotton to me. They were not warm. They were not thick. Those look like little kid pants. I wear women's size small and I couldn't even get them up past my knees. Reporter: "Gma" reached out to all the companies. Nap, the maker of the cashmere sweater said it is made with grade a cashmere and fine woven yarn. Our products are durable under good care especially for cashmere collections and offered to send another product. So much olucky offered a refund. Saying they're smaller than normal. The other sweater companies did not comment. The takeaway -- I would be careful spending money through these ads. We should mention there are a lot of big name brands and reputable small businesses selling high quality goods via social media but, whit, there is also misrepresentation and poor customer service too. Of course, so, Becky, what are ways to identify and then separate the good from the bad? Reporter: That is the question. Unfortunately if it's a brand or a site you don't know skepticism should be your starting point. Our experts say read the product descriptions carefully. If the price is too good to be true there is a reason for that and they even advise doing a reverse image search. This is where you plug the photo itself of the product into a search engine and you look and see if the picture of the clothing item is listed for sale on other sites. A way to figure out if it's a knockoff 6 a more well-known brand. Gees. We learned a lot including our friend Becky doesn't mess around on bingo night. Back to ginger in Alabama.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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