Are you looking for the racket of your dreams? Have you spotted it on a site for an unbeatable price? Be careful, it may be a lure that an unscrupulous seller is giving you!
The modus operandi of these sellers is always the same or more or less. We have tested this scam for you, at the risk of losing 160 euros...
Step 1: inquire
Our choice is a very famous pala, bestseller of a big brand. The 2021 model is arriving in stores, but some sites still sell the 2020 model. And we even find two dealers who offer the 2019 model - though sold out everywhere - for 115 euros less than the 2021 model!
We contact one of the sellers to ask him a question about the ordering process, asking in passing if the racket is really available: this one tells us the procedure but "forgets" to answer on the availability ...
Step 2: order
Despite the uncertainty about the seller's stock, we order the racket, by indicating in passing the desired ideal weight and the size of the T-shirt offered with any purchase. Everything seems serious: the payment is secure, we receive an email confirming the bank transaction, another acknowledging receipt of the order ...
Step 3: the cold shower
The day after the order, the seller contacts us by Whatsapp: " The model you ordered is out of stock. To give you satisfaction, my boss has authorized me to offer you the following, better quality, with better workmanship materials and a higher price, but within the amount of your order. […] You will not have to pay an extra euro. "
Step 4: the alternatives
What the seller "offers" us is choose from 13 other rackets, of which he sends you the photos and the prices. All are more expensive than the one you ordered: the cheapest is displayed at 195 €, the four most expensive around 540 € (!!!). Several are 2021 models, so you were ready to settle for a 2019 model ...
Step 5: reflection
It's hard to resist what appears to be a very good deal. A 2021 model worth more than 500 € that we "offer" to you for 160 €, there is really something to hesitate ... But it's suspicious and it looks a lot like a mirror with larks, a kind of bait aimed at giving the client something other than what he wanted...
Step 6: negotiation
We therefore decline this proposal which seems too good to be honest. We then ask the seller if he can deliver us the ordered pala in its 2020 or 2021 versions.
In response, he explains that “Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, major brands are behind in manufacturing and stocks are very limited. Therefore, we offer better alternatives at higher quality and at no extra cost. I really recommend you to evaluate our offers.
Despite this heavy insistence, we refuse this bargaining.
Step 7: the answer that kills
We then ask the seller: “Why do you sell snowshoe models that you don't have in stock? ". His answer : “Our colleague in charge of the website is currently affected by the Covid. As soon as it is restored, we will update the site ". The Covid has a good back, definitely...
This must be a very long form of the disease, as this site has been selling long out of print models everywhere else for months and months. In short, we are laughed at!
Step 8: reimbursement
We then ask the seller to be reimbursed for the amount of the transaction. He replies that "it will be done during the day". A few days later, we saw that this was indeed the case. At least we weren't the victim of a financial scam ...
Obviously, the merchant site we were dealing with knowingly keeps exhausted rackets in its catalog, which will never be in stock again. They are simply decoys designed to bait customers. Those who agree believe they are getting a good deal by opting for another racket, supposedly of better quality, whose advertised price is artificially inflated. We have identified at least four sites engaging in such more than questionable business practices.