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Annoyed by

Catalog-style marketing operation looks to be an above-board dealer.  Make that “somewhat.”

There may be nothing illegal or wrong with the following business practices. But they suggest that the seller is not to be trusted. I’m using my Scam-O-Meter scoring system; -1 means true, +1 means false, and 0 means undetermined.

Ridiculous claims: +1.  I chose Scratch Fixer as a sample product to analyze.  I see nothing ridiculous here–just a few stretchers.  “Works best for small scratches with damaged clear coat” looks honest.  The description lists the items included in the offering and instructions for use.

mapSuspicious location: -1.  In their FAQ, EFY says that they ship out of a warehouse in Southeast Asia.  “No physical location” costs a point.  The website is hosted in Lansing, MI.

Onerous terms: -1.

  • Only unused items are acceptable for return.
  • Only regular-priced items can be returned for a refund — but everything I saw in the catalog was marked down from its original price.
  • You have to pay the shipping for items you return–to Southeast Asia?
  • They don’t guarantee that product quality will meet your expectations, nor that anything they say is true.

Ads, spam, robocalls: +1.  No evidence of this in the Privacy Policy.

Lying and deception: +1.  None found.

Obfuscation: -1.  

  • Countdown timer to make you think there’s no time for a careful decision.
  • Overlays claiming that people in random locations have just bought products.
  • Claims that inventory is low, urging you to hurry.

Phony reviews: -1

Crummy product: 0.  Unknown.

Overpriced: -1.  For example, Amazon offers auto body scratch fixers for $9 and up, vs. ESY’s $20.

75% discount: +1.  False.

Total score; -1

Unauthorized charges: I found no reports of this.  EFY accepts PayPal.

Conclusion: These guys are sort of above-board.  But there’s no need to shop in Southeast Asia.

laughBonus outtakes:

  • The Return Policy states that the policy lasts 90 days.  But they’ll only accept items returned within 30 days of delivery?
  • They only replace items that are defective or damaged.  Why else would you want an item replaced?

Those funny blood-sucking scammers

Since almost becoming a victim of one, I’ve gotten very interested in web scammers.  These are people who put up websites whose secondary purpose is plugging dubious products, and whose main purpose is fraud and theft.

I started posting about web scams in my regular blog; the topic became so engrossing (to me, anyway) that it was a distraction from what I usually write about.  So I’m shifting web scamming to its own blog, and this is it!


Entertainment: The earnest fantasies that web scammers spin are hilarious.  And their devious machinations show lots of talent and effort, making me wonder why they don’t just get jobs.  Laughing at them throws sunlight on them, drying up their slimy schemes.

Someone has to do it: The Better Business Bureau is mired in the 20th century.  Credit card issuers eat reversed charges, having learned the futility of pursuing nomadic and offshore operations.  The feds have bigger fish to fry.  And Amazon has lulled consumers into supposing that all web stores are honest, reliable businesses.  A few bloggers are doing what they can to warn people.  And that may be the most we can realistically accomplish.

I hope you’ll enjoy and benefit from this blog.  Please reply with your experiences, corrections and ideas.

Call to action

  • If you have a blog or a web page, it would be a public service if you would include links to posts I’ve made.  Together we can “google-bomb” the scammers by positioning honest information higher in Google search results than their fake reviews.
  • Send me a link to your blog about scamming, and I’ll include it here.
  • If you bought something from a scammer and you don’t want it, give that purchase some purpose.  Send it to me!  I’ll review it (but I’m not promising to test stuff that’s too sketchy or scary) and write about it to warn others.

8/31/16 Update:  When I set up this blog, I copied over my posts about the LUX HD450 phone lens scam and removed the links to the scam site.  And I wrote additional posts without scam site links.  Since then I’ve noticed that the same posts with scam site links get 40 times the readership as posts without links.  I’m guessing that this reflects something Google is doing to prioritize search results.  To reach and warn more people, I’m going to add links to scam sites.  I’ll color them red; click at your peril!