Two months ago, I received an email about sending a large order of Strap Savers to Fiji. My business-woman’s heart was excited! My business-woman’s brain was suspicious. We’ve shipped to North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, so the location didn’t bother me, but we don’t normally get orders for thousands of dollars to island nations in the South Pacific. I had a feeling something was off, but I couldn’t figure out what. I decided to follow it to see where it might go.
The request came from a shop owner named Morris George. The email asked if I could ship internationally and would I mind sending them a price list? I directed him to the website and gave offered a wholesale price. I also requested the shop name, claiming that I had friends that traveled to Fiji regularly. This request was ignored. (red flag) I also looked up the name but found nothing. This was not surprising. The request came from a Gmail account.
When I heard back, I was a little surprised to see that Morris’s order was quite large. Although he wanted to pay by check, I insisted on a credit card number. I was waiting to find out where the scam might be, but I was willing to continue for the prospect of selling out! And, then I found it. Morris was willing to pay for everything by credit card, but wanted me to deliver the order personally to his trusted international freight company. I was to contact the shipper, Chris Mason from KFL Freight, and arrange to meet and pay him to bring the product back to Fiji. Crap! Just look up KFL Freight + scam and there are tons of results. (KFL is a real company, according to the internet and even THEY make it clear not to send anything to Fiji)
I told him that I was unable to meet with anyone in person. We don’t have a storefront, so I would not be able to fulfill the request. I was happy to send it to his shipper and he could make arrangements from there. Morris promptly cancelled the order. Umm… ok. That was the last that I heard of Morris or Strap Savers being sent to Fiji. I did not think it was going to pan out, it felt too much like the cashiers check/furniture ad scam from Craigslist about 5 years ago.
I received an email about 4 weeks later that was very similar but this time from Honduras. I stopped it easily by saying “we do not pay meet/pay shippers” and never heard from them again. The same last week, but this time from Newark.
While I expected a lot of pushy sales pitches, I didn’t expect so many outright scams as a business owner. I have since learned that the term “buyer beware” applies as much in business to business as it does in business to consumer sales, no matter who you are in the transaction. It’s one of the reasons that we try to be as transparent as possible about every aspect of The Strap Saver. Please let us know if there’s something you’re not seeing. We don’t want you to feel as if you’re trying to buy a product from a remote location halfway around the world!
GREAT NEWS! For first three months of 2018, donations from The Strap Saver to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation will be matched, up to $5000. This means that we will raise $1.50 for the first Strap Saver in every purchase and $1.00 for each additional Strap Saver. We have a chance to make a big contribution in a short period of time, so let’s get shopping! Offer expires March 31, 2018.