You’ve fallen in love with something: a handbag, a pair of shoes, a scarf, a keyring. Maybe it’s for you. Maybe you want it to be a present for your mum, or a friend.
It’s REALLY expensive. It’s by a big brand, like Mulberry, or Prada, or Louis Vuitton. You know you could never afford it but … you know … you like to dream on the internet, so every now and again you do a search and see if it’s cheap on eBay or something.
And guess what? You find it!
You find it cheaply! Less than half price! On a website that does truly incredible deals! You can’t believe it! It’s almost too good to be true. You want it now! You can have it! Amazing!
This happened to *coughs* a ‘friend’ of mine recently. She found a Mulberry handbag. She’d wanted it for a year. She loved that bag like a sister. When she found the EXACT ONE, hundreds of pounds cheaper than normal, she was so excited she was just about to beg her mum for her credit card details when her friend Edie reminded her of a few little facts.
Which are these.
If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
Whatever you’ve found is probably a fake.
It’s probably from a site in China, or somewhere similar, and if you hand over your credit card details, some or all of the following may happen:
- If what you ordered eventually arrives, it won’t be as good as the original. It won’t be as well-made, or as comfortable, or as wow.
- But it might well not arrive, because the whole site could be a scam.
- And meanwhile, they might be using your credit card details to buy lots of other stuff on your card before you notice.
- And even if they send it to you and it’s OK-ish, and they don’t steal money from your credit card, some designer somewhere who had an AMAZING idea, that you loved, won’t get paid because you bought a fake, not the real thing, and that designer won’t be able to keep designing, or new designers won’t follow, and soon enough there won’t be any interesting, original things to buy. Because why make them, if people just buy cheap copies?
So I *coughs* sorry, ‘she’ had a closer look at the site. It’s quite easy to tell, usually. I went to the ‘Terms and Conditions’ page and it was in gobbledigook. They always are, but this was gobbledigook with bad grammar and bad spelling. It was clearly done by a Chinese student using BabelFish. The ‘contact’ page had an email address with an odd name. When I thought about it, the whole site looked a bit too flashy and didn’t use the proper fonts that the brands use.
So I didn’t buy the bag, and I’m still sad. But the truth was, ‘my’ bag is, was and always will be too expensive for me to afford, unless someone puts a seriously trashed version of it on eBay (and I live in hope). What the site promised looked too good to be true, because it was.
But at least they haven’t got Mum’s credit card details.