I've found the perfect costume - but is this Russian site a scam?
August 8, 2022 12:23 PM   Subscribe

So I finally found the perfect Robin Hood costume - but how will I be able to buy it? A Pinterest user shared the picture, and Google Images shows it hasn't ever appeared anywhere else on the internet except for Pinterest -- and on one other site. This scammy-looking Russian site that's named "Cheap Outlet Deals." Can I trust them with my credit card? Is there any other alternative?

The Russian site has a bunch of reviews which feel suspicious. ("With my friends and I bought this product, the seller shipped fast, and we love, the future will come here to buy!") When I click on the PayPal link, it takes me to a domain named snotfouroclockmy.space. I get adrenaline-level anxiety just thinking about typing in my real credit card info there. Can anyone reassure me that this site is legit -- or, alternately, confirm that there's telltale signs that it's definitely a scam site? (Is there some way I can give them a "burner" credit card that's not jeopardizing any personal information? Can I set up a throwaway PayPal account?)

All I really want is to buy that amazing Robin Hood costume. Is there an easy alternative? (Where could it have come from, that the only people that know about it are the people on Pinterest and Cheap Outlet Deals dot Ru ?)
posted by destinyland to Shopping (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Another reverse image search turns up that photo on this site, which may have the costume for rental or purchase.
posted by googly at 12:32 PM on August 8, 2022 [6 favorites]

I suspect a scam, but not the kind you're thinking. I suspect that all they would do if you gave them a credit card would be to charge you the quoted purchase price and that's it - but the costume you receive would not look anything like the picture and would be much cheaper.

But I don't think they'd save your card number and use it for other things or anything. They'd just do a bait-and-switch with the item itself.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:33 PM on August 8, 2022 [13 favorites]

There is absolutely no way anyone is selling that costume for $20. Or $33, or even €103.88 (I was able to find the same photo on a bunch of scammy sites).

I think this is a classic case of "if it seems too good to be true, you're right."
posted by mskyle at 12:38 PM on August 8, 2022 [18 favorites]

Historical seamstress Bernadette Banner had one of her gorgeous projects ripped off and offered for sale on a sketchy site. The item she paid for and received was very much not what was pictured. Here's how the scam works (YouTube).
posted by mochapickle at 12:40 PM on August 8, 2022 [15 favorites]

I suspect this is the original source: Heritage Auctions: "Robin Hood" signature ensemble from Once Upon a Time Seasons 3-6, sold in 2018. It does have a "Make Offer to Owner" button (if $2000+ is within your price range and your size matches).
posted by What is E. T. short for? at 12:40 PM on August 8, 2022 [10 favorites]

Yup, this is a film/theater quality costume, staging, and photography. Anything like this is a scam, in that they have stolen the photos and you may or may not get anything in return. If you wanted to commission something like this from a maker, you're talking thousands of dollars. If you want something similar on a budget I'd piece together and alter some thrift store clothing items and do some weathering and painting on them. Lots of tutorials online for budget cosplay.
posted by Crystalinne at 12:51 PM on August 8, 2022 [12 favorites]

This is a rental costume that looks TV quality and is being (illegally) used as a stock photo. You will DEFINITELY not receive this costume. It's either a scam, or you'll get a shiny synthetic "Roben Hud Style" onesie in the mail. This happened to YouTube sewist Bernadette Banner - a dress she made by hand in 250 hours was sold for $40 online, and the manufacturer advertised it with a photo of her! So she bought it and then made fun of it on YouTube.
posted by nouvelle-personne at 12:58 PM on August 8, 2022 [8 favorites]

This is highly likely to be a scam, as others have mentioned. Especially if it's coming from certain countries. I highly recommend googling for "name of website scam" to find out more information (albeit "cheap outlet deals scam" searching didn't get me anywhere, must have been too generic). Or checking this article.

I've found some cool things supposedly existing online before and not been able to really track them down except on foreign/skiffy websites. Not worth the drama, you won't get what you want and probably won't get the money back either.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:07 PM on August 8, 2022

You could probably buy most of the pieces on Etsy for a really nice costume.
posted by Glinn at 1:35 PM on August 8, 2022 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks to everyone. And I was amazed that your web-searching was better than mine, and was able to actually identify the image.

"What is E. T. short for?" provided the missing clue -- that it's a picture of a costume from a TV show (and thus fancier than you'd find in an online costume shop). And "Googly" seems to have figured out where it ended up. (Or at least a professional Hollywood costuming site that trucks in the same kind of merchandise.) I'll contact them to see what my options are.

And the rest of you convinced me that, yeah, my instincts are right, and this had to be a scam. (Prices too low, and the precedent of other sites stealing images to plug merchandise that won't resemble it.)

This is all testimony to the awesomeness of internet communities that can help in tricky situations. Just wanted to make sure I came back here and said thank you to everybody -- a very sincere, grateful, and *relieved* thank you.

Thank you again for everyone's help!
posted by destinyland at 5:46 PM on August 8, 2022 [4 favorites]

I hope you have better luck finding somewhere reliable to buy from! (Etsy?)
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:34 PM on August 8, 2022

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