Monday, June 7, 2010

i declare shenanigans. deceit, fraud, scams...oh my

Hmmph. Yesterday's Etsy Finds Decor email certainly caught my attention. The "vintage" 4-drawer cabinet above that was priced at $54.95 specifically sent me into an uproar. I hate to break this to the buyer [it sold yesterday within hours of the post], but "vintage" my a**. Maybe I should offer to sell at outrageous prices the EXACT same one that I have PLUS the 2-drawer version [x's 2] PLUS the plant stand I have. You could have bought them at Kirkland's about 12 years ago. Something like $25 for the version above; $15-ish for the 2-drawer versions; $30 for the plant stand. Kirkland's was my first job, and if I shared what I actually paid for them, it would make you all sick with envy. 
Now, I give the seller the benefit of the doubt & assume that they acquired the shelves second-hand & the made in China sticker had long-ago been taken off. This is why I don't trust "vintage" online without the details or background story. It's not that all sellers are trying to deceive customers, but there are plenty out there that will smack the "vintage" & "antique" labels on items to instantly inflate the price tag. 
Now, I'm not saying these aren't actually Victorian era buttons...but the description doesn't actually confirm that fact either. I'm picking on this vendor simply because the current ad running on Craft Cult advertised antique buttons. When I checked out the shop, I see "antique" in the titles & tags but no stories about how the seller got them or some sort of true confirmation about the age. 
Okay, NO! Don't do it! Illustrative purposes only--lol. But there are a LOT of scammers out there. I received an email that claimed to be from PayPal wanting me to click a link to "update" my account. Hello? Red flag, anyone?! And, when I double-checked the was from a such&
See it?
uh huh. Really, go browse around. Take note of the very brief descriptions, lack of capitalization, no contact phone number...oh- the company and address info on the About page is interesting. A search on Google shows such promising possibilities of fraud & lawsuits, etc!
Unfortunately, Etsy breeds scammers as well as copycats. I've been approached a number of times about someone giving me this or that story. Sometimes, it's just for info & other times it's for products. Again, that's not always the case, I'm just pleading caution & a bit of research. One in particular was about a Katrina survivor recently opening up a gift shop again in New Orleans. The seller gave a whole song & dance about the slow rebuilding & also specifics about looking to buy X amount of this & that on a regular basis. If everything they said was true, well, it was great. There was no location listed under the Etsian's profile & feedback listed was for tutorials only. Now, I grew up only a few hours away from New Orleans & visited a lot--& am familiar with the locale.  In my response, I also asked some questions about where the shop would be, etc...and never heard back.

Okay, enough of the doom & gloom. I promise the next post will be more upbeat!
Pay attention to details -- both good & glum.
♥ - Kat.

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