Don't Get Taken by a Fake Distributor!Written by Chris Malta
"Don't Get Taken by a Fake Distributor!" When you're a small business starting out on Internet, or even when you're an established 'Net business, you NEED drop shippers. Why? Because working with drop shippers eliminates need for you to carry expensive inventories. You don’t have to rent a warehouse, hire employees, establish accounts with UPS and FedEx, etc. You can sell best brand names on earth from your home computer, and make good money at it. Distributors who drop ship send products you sell directly from their warehouse to your customer, with your business name on it. All you do it take order from your customer and pass it to distributor. You keep difference between wholesale price distributor charges you, and retail price you sell to your customer for. Of course, there are a lot of places out there that want you to THINK they are wholesale drop shippers. They’ll set up accounts with, say, 10 real drop ship distributors. Then they’ll call themselves something like “GetYerStuffHere.com”, and claim that THEY are wholesale drop ship distributor. Then it’ll go like this: GetYerStuffHere.com will place advertising all over Internet proclaiming to be greatest source that ever existed for all kinds of great products, and they’ll drop ship all those products to your customer. You’ll get all excited because YOU can actually place everything from Sony electronics to Coleman Camping gear on your web site and sell it. GetYerStuffHere.com will charge you an account setup fee, to cover their “processing”. (Note: REAL wholesale distributors almost NEVER charge you an account setup fee ). GetYerStuffHere.com will send you a nice, shiny list of products and show you where to get product images and descriptions to place on your web site. You’ll get all excited, and put all this great stuff on your site, set your prices so that you can make a profit over what GetYerStuffHere.com. You’ll launch your site, and you hardly sell a thing. Huh? What happened? Nobody’s buying! You can’t survive on just a few orders a month! Disappointed and discouraged, you start to go out and check other web sites that carry same products. Maybe they have better images. Maybe they have cooler descriptions. Maybe their pages look nicer. You find that it’s none of those things. So what DO you find? The other sites’ PRICES are lower. A LOT lower. You just got nailed by one of most popular scams on Internet. GetYerStuffHere.com took you for a couple of hundred dollars in exchange for a CD full of product images. They may have even locked you into a contract where you have to pay them every month to be a “member” of their “distributorship”.
When Your Customers StealWritten by Chris Malta
"When Your Customers Steal" You know it’s a slow news day when news programs on TV turn their attention to their favorite new consumer warning “Beware of online businesses!” they cry. “YOU could be SCAMMED on Internet!” Every time I see one of these news stories, I groan, and wonder how many sales my sites just lost. Then there are ads for that new credit card that “protects” consumers against online fraud. They make Internet businesses people look like a bunch of thugs who meet in a sewer all day long to torture innocent consumers. There a lot more honest, hardworking Netrepreneurs out there than scam artists. That doesn’t make for a good news story, though, so we all take lumps for transgressions of a sordid few. You know what I’ve never seen, though? I’ve never seen a headline story about CUSTOMERS who scam Netrepreneurs. I’ve seen stories about thieves robbing convenience stores. I’ve seen exposes featuring practices favored by professional shoplifters. What about “consumers” who target online businesses when they steal? My partners and I market both informational products and brand name merchandise on Internet. And we’ve been taken on both sides of fence. We publish a B2B (business to business) product called The Drop Ship Source Directory. Recently, I received an email from someone who bought our Directory on EBay, and had questions about how they were to receive information updates we send our customers every month. There was only one problem. We don’t SELL our Directory on EBay. I was forced to write back to that person and tell him that he had been scammed. It was obvious to me that someone had purchased our product from us, and was reselling it to others illegally. How this scam artist expected to get away with reselling product, I’ll never know. At that time, it was a download that contained nearly a thousand pages. (Now, it's a much larger online database). There is a copyright notice on EVERY SINGLE PAGE. It’s like me buying Stephen King’s latest book on Amazon, typing it up into electronic form, and then reselling it on EBay. I’d have to be nuts to try something like that! Last year, a site I was working with received an order for some moderately expensive jewelry. Nothing out of ordinary. The credit card processed just fine, with AVS (Automatic Verification System) coming back “green”. This means that online processing system had checked card’s information against on-file address and zip code of its owner, and everything was OK. The Ship-to address was different from card owner’s Bill-to address, but that’s nothing out of ordinary either. LOTS of people buy jewelry and have it sent as a gift to another address. A while later, we received a “chargeback” letter from customer’s bank. A chargeback means that card owner has disputed charge, and we have to show cause why we should not refund money. At about same time, we got a phone call from a police department in West Virginia, asking about that same order.