So it’s been exactly 1 month since I last posted, and while I have been busy with final exams/projects/papers and what not, I’ve also done an immense amount of online shopping, and damn, talk about lessons learned:
Be VERY skeptical about sellers from China
Yeah, shit from China are damn cheap, and that’s always tempting, but I’d rather spend twice the money at a legit US (or any other non Chinese for that matter) store and rest in peace knowing that I’ll actually get what I’m buying. Avoid places like wholesale-dress.net and iOffer like the plague unless you want to end up with dresses with different sized armholes or have your mailman deliver a box of knock-off D&G necktie & cuffs instead of the phone you bought. Yes, both happened to me unfortunately.
If you pay through Paypal, make sure you use your credit card
That’s because Paypal, to my disappointment, doesn’t do shit for you unless you buy through Ebay. So unless your package never got delivered, your money is pretty much gone. This is why scammers will send you empty packages or ones filled with random items: neckties, cuffs, buddha figurines (I’m not shitting you on this one), anything but what you ordered. This way, they have a tracking code to prove that they “shipped” your goods and are off the hook, since Paypal will only protect buyers against goods not shipped. Credit card companies, on the other hand, are much more aggressive when it comes to these sort of scams, and 99% of the time you can count on them to get your money back.
Take some action!
There are many consumer protection agencies/groups out there, both national and international. DO report the sellers and the sites where the transaction took place. Even though there’s no guarantee anything will happen, at least you’re taking action. And if you can get any sort of phone numbers, CALL. It’s a lot more effective than emailing, that’s for damn sure. Also, if possible, send back the fake packages to the post office and have it marked as “return to sender”. Don’t settle for some random-ass shit instead of what you paid for.
Do a LOT of research beforehand
This one should be pretty obvious, but I was obviously being stupid and totally ignored the golden rule. Look at reviews and sellers’ ratings to make sure you find someone truly legit. There are some decent sellers out there that are trying to do good business, you just need to weed out the scammers first.