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Avoid Becoming the Next Online Shoe Store Victim: Scambook’s Growing Trend

What have you bought lately?

When it comes to growing a business in 2012 and beyond, it’s almost a no-brainer that E-Commerce has to be a top priority, if not the absolute chief concern. With nearly $45 billion in 2012 first quarter online sales alone, anyone would be hard-pressed arguing against the significance of building an online store and building it well.

Although online shopping has revolutionized the way we buy, for as many legitimate Internet retailers there are on the web, there are also too many fraudulent ones.

Complaints against online shoe stores in particular have really been picking up during the month of May on Scambook.com and based on what our users have been reporting, the most common offenses committed by these websites are sending customers counterfeit/non-related merchandise or delivering nothing at all for their paid orders.

Buyer beware.

Based on the number of reports submitted by our users, the top trending companies for these types of complaints over the last three weeks are Kelly-Mall.info, Rios Fashion Shoes, Anne-Shoes.com and Shop-Cora.com. With approximately $34,000 in total reported damages tied to these four online stores alone since September 2011, online shoe store complaints are picking up speed.

If you’re an avid online shopper, chances are, you’ve purchased a pair or two of shoes at the very least, during your consumer career. It is estimated that in 2012, online shoe sales alone will generate roughly $7.8 billion in revenue, a projected 16.3% increase compared to 2011.

Despite the financial power the footwear industry holds, disposable income is not exactly a luxury that most people hold these days and great online deals are that much harder to pass up. Unfortunately, that is exactly how fraudulent websites try to bait online shoppers just like us.

While there is undoubtedly no absolute fool-proof method to avoiding potential shopping traps on the Internet, there are definitely a few red flags that we’ve noticed to be commonplace upon researching suspected fraudulent online stores. Keep in mind that these evaluation tips are not only applicable to shoe store sites, but to online retail stores in general and can be easily implemented by anyone.

 

1) Check for Transparency

Most, if not all, major reputable online-exclusive stores such as Eastbay and Zappos have nothing to hide. Legitimate retail companies will generally have detailed “Contact Us” or “About Us” pages with vital information such as customer services phone numbers and email addresses, hours of operation and physical street addresses. What we’ve noticed with sites like Kelly-Mall.info, Rios-Shoes.com, Anne-Shoes.com and Shop-Cora.com is that rather than sharing a lot of information, they provide none or very little and simply offer a submission form of some sort for customers to send messages. As many of our users have detailed in their complaints, a reply may not be forthcoming.

 

2) Verify the Listed Information

Take a few minutes to call the customer service number(s) or even research the address, if any, on Google Maps. The number listed on Shop-Cora.com is actually bogus and results in an error message when dialed. Often times, these online store sites will also provide nonexistent physical addresses.  It is up to you as a consumer to do your due diligence and dig around a bit.

3) Look for Security Badges

Although very well-known online retailers that have built strong reputations such as Amazon do not explicitly display security badges such as “McAfee Secure,” “TRUSTe” and “Verisign,” a lot of other legitimate E-Commerce companies still do to provide their customers with this added measure of assurance that their transactions will be secure. While security badges should never be thought of as a complete guarantee that a given online store is valid and safe, if a site offering products for sale does not have any in plain sight, you definitely want to reconsider making a purchase.

 

4) Study the Website

Any real business trying to make a serious push for success with their online store will invest the time and money needed to present customers with a well-made website. Of course, the Internet is littered with plenty of aesthetically pleasing fraudulent shopping sites as well, but a certain red flag to watch for is if the site was built with a blogging platform of some sort. You can check this by looking around the home page for platform provider names or checking to see if the URL is a part of a separate domain. Another quick thing to consider is overall functionality – as in whether or not all pictures load properly, if there are an egregious number of typos, or if there are a lot of pages that lead to error messages.

 

5) Do Your Homework

If you have any suspicions whatsoever, take the time to do some light research about the online store before making your purchase. Whether you go through Google or even Scambook in search of customer feedback, just bear in mind that it is much easier to avoid online shopping traps than it is to attempt to resolve them after the damage is already done, especially if the sites are complete scams.

We urge you to always be aware of the fact that there are indeed people out there who are trying to trick consumers and while our tips do not guarantee 100% protection from becoming a victim of fraudulent online shopping sites or ensure that a particular site is real or fake, we certainly believe that they will give you a fighting chance.

[Statistics Source: http://www.internetretailer.com/2012/05/09/e-retail-growth-nears-pre-recession-levels / http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/1/prweb9132002.htm]

 

See Also

SCAM ALERT: Fake Online Shoe Stores Offer Incredible Deals But Deliver Sponges
‘Free’ TOMS Shoes?
Smart Shopper: The Secret to Getting the Best Online Bargains

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Got a complaint? Report it to Scambook!

Author:

I am a passionate writer who believes that there is nothing as engaging as the written word. I sincerely hope that the Scambook blog is a strong resource for consumers who always want to stay informed and out of harm’s way.

Comments

  1. Myra Berkowitz

    I was a “victim” of kelly shoes, but paypal refunded my money after a bit of a run-around. Why does paypal continue to service these sites that are clearly scams?

    Reply
  2. Cindy Cherne

    I was just scammed for two pairs of Joseph Sibel sandals. I am working through the process with paypal. I too wonder why paypal works with these sellers.

    Reply
  3. sandy

    I ordered Clarks Privos via anne-shoes, thinking they were clearanced out since the Clarks site didn’t have them anymore. Wrong. Rec’d pkg from China 4 weeks later with one of those hotel freebie shower caps in it! Then they can say they mailed you something.

    Paypal let me down. Paypal should really stop interacting with these known villians!

    Reply
  4. susan

    I hope I didn’t just get bamboozled! I just ordered a pair of boots for my daughter. I never spend this much money but I was feeling down and pictured the look on her face Chrsitmas morning when she opened the box and saw these designer boots. Can you tell me if onlineusshoes is ok? I just ran across your site about scams but now its too late. If you know how to find out if they are legit please let me know? Thank you so much

    Reply
    1. carel

      I’ve been wondering about the same website, found some boots extremely cheap and I’m afraid to order from them, can’t find out anything about them. But I did see that they ship shoes from china which tells me its one or the same scam company.
      I too called Pay Pal and they said they will refund purchase if its a problem but who wants to be out of money for so long?
      I am going to steer clear from this company, I have a gut feeling its a scam!!

      Reply
      1. carel

        and by the way it should be called onlineshoemall.com, it immediately directs you to a webpage called BEFORE, but the address is onlineshoemall.com
        Somebody respond, I really want these boots, afterall I will save $100 but I’m afraid its too good to be true.

        Reply
  5. Roy

    The website which Ive mentioned above has me very suspicious because I received and email 6 days after I confirmed the order but there was no order number and I haven’t received a response since.I’ve done some research and some scam detector website rate them 34% safe,please let me know if they’re legit and if not how or even is it possible for me to retrieve my money somehow?

    Reply
    1. Miranda Perry

      Hi Roy, thanks for your comment. Scambook does not currently have any complaints regarding Magshoesforsale on our site. However, if it’s only been 6 days since you placed the order, you still have time to dispute the order charge and get your money back. If you paid through PayPal, login to your PayPal account and open a dispute by visiting PayPal’s Resolution Center. If you used a credit card, contact your credit card company by visiting their website or calling the number on the back of the card for more information.

      PayPal gives you a 45 day window to dispute a transaction and most credit cards give you a minimum 60 days, but it’s always better to act as soon as possible if you think you’ve been scammed.

      I hope this helps. If you would like to file a complaint on Scambook, click here to get started. Scambook’s team of Investigators will personally examine your complaint and contact the company on your behalf so you and the company can work toward a resolution.

      Reply
      1. Mark

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        purchased 2 shoes the other day and they said they’ll get back to me after 12-48 hours but got no msg from them

        im wondrin if someone have tried purchasing items from this site and was able to take their orders

        Reply

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