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I was (e-commerce) scammed :-(

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I have to admit, this was a very clever scam. But still a scam nonetheless. Here’s the story.

1. I was shopping for a Santa costume to wear for this coming holiday. Then I saw it:

It was P325 ($5.60), discounted from its original P799 ($13.78). It had a 5-star rating and an amazing price! What did I have to lose? It was fairly obvious what I was going to get, because of the great pictures!

2. This is what I got:

3. We reviewed the listing. Did we misread it?

Theoretically, it could be argued they weren’t lying. They were selling Santa Suit decorations, not Santa Suits themselves.The item number was “Chrsitmas men’s clothing”, not its description. See, they’re not lying. I’m just stupid for misunderstanding! The pictures weren’t of the product itself, but of how a santa suit decoration is based on, as the decoration is based off of Santa suits, and the pictures are showing how Santa suits look like! So it’s technically not a lie!

4. Oh, wait, they did actually straight out lie.

It’s plastic, not non-woven fabrics. And the measurements are obviously wrong as the figures less than 6cm tall. Finally, it’s not 5 Santa costumes - the best way they can say it would be 5 Santa costume decorations!

5. On the positive side, they accepted the return pretty quickly!
They were very accommodating and accepted our complaint very quickly. They actually offered to give us a discount and we could keep the Santa costume decorations for only $280 ($4.83) and they would refund the difference!

6. We said no to the offer and demanded a full refund.
Obviously. This was an outright lie. Even if it wasn’t, this was misleading enough for most people to consider this an outright scam.
We created the package and arranged to have it picked up. It was a big hassle, and we imagine many customers wouldn’t bother. But we felt we had to do it for justice.

7. Did we get our money back? We’ll update this as soon as we ourselves find out!

8. Lesson learned:

  1. Don’t buy from sellers with only a few reviews. Could be a new merchant. Could also be a fly-by-night scammer. Reputable sellers are usually more expensive. But if they’re reputable, you’re more sure of the product, and you’ll probably come out ahead overall.
  2. Read the product description fully. Mistakes could be a typo. Or it could be a scammer trying to cover their bases.
  3. Is it too good to be true? If the answer is yes, it’s probably a scam. This actually applies in many areas of our lives :-)
  4. Return the item and demand a full refund. We know it’s a hassle. But if you don’t do it, then their scam worked. And then they can go on and scam other people.
  5. Leave them negative reviews after you get your money back.