Is the website a scam?
December 19, 2013 3:20 PM   Subscribe

I've been looking at some toys for the kids for Christmas and this site, keeps coming up with prices way cheaper then a lot of other online retailers. However, I've never heard of it and the site itself seems a little "scammy". Any thoughts? Thanks
posted by senseofsurreal to Shopping (7 answers total)
First, retailers should almost never have ads on their pages, although I understand missing this because I didn't notice until I glanced at the source since I wasn't paying attention to what my adblocker icon said. They should be making money from sales, usually, not ads. There are a few exceptions--Amazon does some outside partnership things because they're trying to ensure that you come and search on Amazon first for everything. But not just, like, banner ads. (And at least one link seems to take you to a search on Ebay, which would seem to be entirely counterproductive!)

They have hidden their address on their domain name. The phone number comes from a VOIP service. The domain seems to have been registered later than the copyright date on the page indicates, and there is no actual address provided on the site, just a claim to be in Raleigh. The page refers to "we" but gives absolutely no names of human beings involved. It claims to be a "large retailer" and an established business but is obviously not. There seem to be no corporations called Unopened Savings in North Carolina, although that's not 100% conclusive since it depends on how they're organized. But all together? I'd give it an extremely slim chance of being legit. If you found them on some kind of product search, I'd lay some money on the idea that their real business model involves using fake product listings to generate traffic to make money off of their ads. I somehow suspect they'd find a way to invalidate your order rather than just stealing your money, but noooot worth the risk.
posted by Sequence at 3:34 PM on December 19, 2013 [5 favorites]

The lack of https should be enough to send you on your way.
posted by steinwald at 3:39 PM on December 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

Some red flags that jump out at me are:

Unprofessional website
No Secure Checkout (No https:)
Company Phone # is for Illinois but Company Address is in NC
Only accepts Credit Cards through PayPal
Every Item I tried to Checkout With Was Out of Stock
If You Click the Link for More Buying Options it Just Takes You To eBay
Inability to Really Find ANY Customer Reviews

I, personally, wouldn't bother with them. Too shady.
posted by stubbehtail at 3:40 PM on December 19, 2013 [2 favorites]

Googling was what revealed that the phone number is from a VOIP company, the VOIP company is what's in Illinois.

But I didn't get as far as trying to check out, that's clever. So yeah, they're out of stock on everything but will happily route you to Ebay to buy one to pick up ad revenue. Voila, business model.
posted by Sequence at 4:17 PM on December 19, 2013

A rule of thumb that has never, ever let me done on the internet is: If it feels scammy, it is scammy. There are plenty of other websites.
posted by smoke at 5:40 PM on December 19, 2013 [3 favorites]

Don't do it. Those are my thoughts.
posted by oceanjesse at 9:41 PM on December 19, 2013

Go with Amazon Warehouse Deals instead. Similar concept but totally legit.
posted by wutangclan at 10:18 PM on December 19, 2013

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