Tuesday 12 Dec 2017

Case Study: Products Not As Advertised

The “bait-and-switch” scam is one of the oldest scams in retail and, of course, it’s often perpetrated on Alibaba.com as well.  In this scam, a supplier will attract buyers with advertisements for one type of product, but when a buyer places an order, he’ll be sent an obviously inferior product instead.

Example:

On Alibaba.com, you’re looking to buy real human hair extensions for women.  You do a product search and find a Gold Supplier in Mumbai, India, Golden Hair Products Co., advertising real human hair extensions at a price of $50 per 2”x12” strand of hair.  You contact the company’s sales representatives via e-mail and get assurances from them that their products are made from real hair.  Golden Hair accepts payment by Paypal, and so you place an order for 20 strands – and arrange for DHL express air shipping, which you pay for.

The shipment arrives at your door in three days.  The hair looks and feels like real human hair, but you’re an expert and know that it’s either synthetic or made from animal hair.  It’s worth at most half what you paid for it.  You contact Golden Hair and ask for a total or partial refund.  It refuses, insisting that it sent you real human hair in accordance with what was agreed upon.  You contact Alibaba.com and Paypal, but both tell you that they’re in no position to judge whether the hair you received is real human hair or not.  As far as they’re concerned, as long as you received your shipment of products, Golden Hair has fulfilled its obligations and is entitled to your money.

 

fake-hair-alibaba-scam

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