Don’t Waste Your Money: Shady Online Retailers – ABC27

Posted: Feb 19, 2021 / 10:27 PM EST Updated: Feb 19, 2021 / 10:41 PM EST

Amanda Kontopos wanted her family to have matching pajamas this winter.

“I thought it would be fun to have matching pajamas, something different,” Kontopos said.

She found an ad on Instagram for the cutest PJs, saying “they had all different types of styles and sizes.” So she ordered four sets for $200.

But week’s later nothing showed up, not even a shipping confirmation.

“I hadn’t received any kind of email or when they would be shipped,” Kontopos said.

So she looked up the company’s address and found out the location was an empty house on the market in Georgia.

The Better Business Bureau tells me it is flooded with complaints every January and February about online orders that never arrived. And in almost every case, it’s a retailer outside the U.S. or an outright scam.

“We absolutely get a lot of complaints about online retailers after the holidays when people realize their packages aren’t coming,” BBB official Sarah Kemerer said.

Kemerer tells abc27, before an item is ordered off of a Facebook or Instagram ad, look up the retailer at BBB.org, google the company for complaints, look for a Google or PayPal trust seal on their site, and confirm a real street address.

To protect yourself, the BBB says always shop online with a credit card, not a debit card or Venmo.

“Use a credit card, instead of payment apps like Venmo or Zelle, and we don’t recommend using prepaid gift cards,” Kemerer said.

This is because a person can dispute a bad deal through their credit card. That way no one else will end up unhappy like Kontopos.

Finally, if it’s something that is sold everywhere else, like a new PlayStation, be very suspicious if the only place it can be purchased is a web retailer that’s unheard of.

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