The Better Business Bureau warns consumers not to purchase from Nedi Store, an online retailer that may be advertising fake products on social media. The low prices look tempting, but spending money on their website might leave you with nothing to show for it.
Within the span of two weeks, BBB serving northern Nevada and Utah received 12 complaints and BBB Scam Tracker reports about Nedi Store, an average of almost a complaint a day. Consumers are purchasing from this company after seeing a social media ad, then spend about $44 on average and never receive their product, according to the bureau.
Though the contact section of their website lists a Richfield address, the location is a Motel 6 that is currently for sale. The Times-Independent called the Nedi Store and repeatedly got a busy signal.
The Times-Independent sent an email to the Nedi Store that read: “Hello. I tried calling and got a busy signal. I’m emailing for comment regarding the Better Business Bureau’s warning that the Nedi Store is a scam outfit taking advantage of online consumers.
“Do you have a comment? Please advise and thank you.”
Here’s the response: “Thank you for your e-mail. May we kindly request for any of these: order number, invoice number or transaction ID. This is for us to verify your order and check this in our database.
“Hoping for your favourable response. Best Regards, Jenny.”
One Utah consumer in Ogden found Nedi Store through Facebook ads. She ordered two items in May. Two months have passed, and she has yet to receive her products or get a response from Nedi Store about when her order will be coming. She spent $60.
BBB encourages consumers to be aware of what online stores they patronize, noting that the amount of BBB Scam Tracker reports for online purchase scams went up 124% from 2017 (4,655 reports) to 2018 (10,450 reports).
How to avoid scam websites:
Watch for bad grammar. Bad grammar and misspelling simple words may indicate that a website was put up in a rush. Legitimate businesses generally put time into their web content to make sure it is readable for their customers. Bad English could also suggest that a company claiming to be based in the U.S. is actually foreign-based, said Britta Clark, the BBB’s director of communications in an email.
Be wary of perma-sales and pressure to purchase. Having items perpetually for sale is against FTC regulation because it misleads consumers into thinking they are getting a better deal than they actually are. Websites with constant sales, countdowns, and rapidly decreasing “live” inventory counts like Nedi Store are cause for concern, said Clark.
“These tactics are designed to pressure you into buying immediately, before your suspicion has time to set in. Take your time to consider a purchase and research its legitimacy. It’s better to lose out on a deal than lose your money,” said Clark.
Look for cohesive design. Legitimate online shops take pride in the design of their sites. The logo, header, and product photos should be purposeful. Everything tends to follow a matching brand style. Be suspicious of stores with design elements that seem randomly thrown together. Be wary of product photos that are low quality, taken in different places, in different styles, and with different photo editing. This could be a sign that the images are stolen from other websites, and that the company doesn’t actually sell the item, said Clark.
Double-check the URL and page security. Secure websites start with “https” and have a lock icon on the purchase page. Don’t give card information to any website without those items. Use a credit card. Credit cards offer more protection than debit, prepaid or gift cards. If you never receive your order, you can often dispute the charges with your credit card company.
Research the retailer. See what consumers are saying on BBB.org and other websites. Search the business in BBB Scam Tracker to see if anyone else has reported suspicious activity.
“Follow your gut. If something feels off, listen to that feeling and shop elsewhere,” Clark said.