As a blogger, online retailers, or E-commerce sites approach me frequently to endorse their stores and products. I've noticed some of these are based in China and others receive goods from China as well as other countries.
The main appeal is the low priced merchandise. The the old adage you get what you pay for comes to mind, but what I'm finding is that those rock-bottom-prices offered by these companies are substantially higher than the products worth. Meaning the product is a hyper cheap quality and the consumer ends up overpaying. I've learned this from receiving review samples as well as unfortunate eBay purchases.
As a consumer should you be be leery of these too-good-to-be true prices?
One company sent me a pair of earrings to review. They costs around three dollars and looked really pretty in the photo. When they arrived they were nothing but junk, looked nothing like the picture and probably cost around a cent to make. They were made of cheap plastic and grotesquely ugly. I would of considered these to be costume jewelry for little girls, however, far better quality could be found at the dollar store. These earrings were not even worthy of a five cent vending machine.
Wholesaleitonline is another retailer that just looks bad. They just reek of cheesy and cheap. Yet, many complaints were of not receiving merchandise and bad customer service. I'm thinking that the former would be a blessing.
Yet, another company offered a nice array of dresses and hairpieces that really appealed to me, although in this case they were a bit out of my price range. The first time I googled the company I found a lovely review by someone that purchased their wedding dress from this site. All seemed well, right? well, not quite. The next day when I was more awake, I did another search using different phrases, I found a ton of complaints. It appears this online business hasn't acted very ethically on behalf of the consumer.
In this case, the outcome was far worse than just receiving a low quality item. Many complained that they never even received their merchandise, and were out quite a bit of money. Yet, others complained of the low quality of the merchandise. From what I gathered, it appeared shopping with this online retailer was too much of a gamble.
Red flags of bad business-look for fake positives
Many reviews are fake and even paid for by the company. Lets take Tidebuy for an example. On one review forum they received an overall score of 2.5/5 based on quite a few customer ratings. Obviously that's not a very good score. I did, however, notice there were quite a few five star reviews. Many people, including myself, may focus on the positives and write the negatives off as unreasonable consumers with an ax to grind. Think again.
Many of these positive reviews contained the full name of the company; I saw a lot of tidebuy.com in those reviews. Was that necessary? Very few people take the time to incorporate the name of the company when writing reviews on sites like Amazon because that's a given, and it's not really natural or necessary to the review. On the other hand, companies pay for those positive reviews and request the reviewer use the company's full name for search engine optimization. Not saying Tidebuy does this, but if it looks like a duck and smells like a duck....
What to do if you were ripped off?
First of all, my heart goes out to you. If you paid with a credit card or Paypal you could dispute the charges, that is usually pretty sufficient. Please note, it is really important to file a complaint with the appropriate Attorney General as well a BBB. Get the word out there so that future consumers don't make the same mistake. If you're not familiar with the retailer, then do a little research, this will save you time, money and aggravation.
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