Today is Cyber Monday and while there are certainly deals to be had, there are also scams to look out for. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has issued a consumer alert regarding a practice known as drop shipping. She describes it as “a ploy used by self-proclaimed entrepreneurs to skim off the top of holiday must-haves and other goods throughout the year. Sellers set up websites to peddle products they do not keep in stock and send orders placed through their sites to various third parties to fulfill and ship the product directly to the consumer – all while charging markup-ups of up to $50 or more.”
While the practice is not necessarily illegal, it is not usually necessary because you can typically buy the product yourself. Drop shippers have no control over the inventory because they have none, so the product you ordered may arrive long after your expected delivery date.
A common drop ship method is to advertise on social media and have pictures of fake products and fake storefronts while they are ordering the products online – just like you would do.
Attorney General Nessel recommends that consumers “research the product and the seller of the product you want to purchase before you buy it; complete an online image search of the product and other images the seller has posted to their site to see where the product is coming from, how much it really costs, and who else is selling it; and compare prices for the same or similar products from other sellers.” If the price seems too good to be true, it is probably a counterfeit product.
Reporting for WGRT, Kelsie Kaczperski.