It's a scam?

 During this pandemic I've been doing a lot more shopping online.  Most of it was NOT necessary.  It was a comfort thing (not unlike my eating habits).  I'm bored; let's look online and find something fun.


It's way too easy with social media.  Ads pop up in my feed and draw me in.  That's what they are supposed to do.  What I'M supposed to do is not let my emotional (and often irrational) side take over.  Sure there is a lot of fun stuff out there.  Do I really NEED it?  (Let's be honest, most of the time I DON'T).  I do WANT it.  (At least at the moment that I'm looking at it.)  If I'm being smart and using common sense, I should look at what is drawing me in, RESEARCH it and then walk away for a while.  I should THINK about what I'm about to do, before I do it.

However, there is that impulse.  I've got to grab it now.  I want it now.  It looks so cool; I NEED it now.  Honestly, I don't, but...

I am TRYING to be rational while at the same time allowing myself some "fun" purchases.  What I've come to realize is that "fun" purchases can only be fun IF I do a background check.  If I make sure that what I'm seeing is legitimate and true.

I'm not talking about purchases from larger companies.  I'm not going to Walt Disney World anytime soon (sigh), no matter how much I want to.  I have indulged myself with some purchases from the Disney store.  What I see is what I will get.  Do I really NEED another purse or t shirt?  Probably not, but I know what I'm getting.  If (when?) I make the purchase, I know that it will arrive in a reasonable amount of time and I know if there is a problem with my purchase that I can get a replacement or refund or at the very least speak to someone in customer service about my issue.  My purchases may not be wise, but they are safe; I'm not being scammed.

Plenty of other ads have caught my eye and successfully hooked me.  I've made purchases from smaller, lesser known companies that advertise heavily on social media such as Color The World and Piper Lou.  Neither of these are scams.  They are legitimate companies.  I have been relatively happy with their products.  (Which means I've made multiple purchases.)  Purchasing lipstick (https://colortheworldlipsticks.com/) when we're all wearing masks might not make sense.  Purchasing lipstick without seeing it in person might not be the best thing either.  Not all the lipsticks have been exactly what I wanted, but I got what I ordered.  Purchasing t shirts (https://www.piperloucollection.com/) is certainly less risky.  The fun/snarky sayings fit my personality (some of the time).  They fit.  I've ordered both medium and large and they fit, even if they are a little long.  In both cases I had to pay for shipping (which I don't like to do) and the product took longer than I would like to reach me.  But again, these are smaller companies and I DID get what I ordered.  I've made purchases more than once and they had legitimate customer service. If someone asked me about their products I would tell them just what I've said here.  I can recommend them and safely they are legitimate.

Then there are the scammers...one of which I reported and no longer see in my feed.  It was a welcome sign that had seasonal magnets that you could put on it. It would look nice on my front door.  There were actually two that I liked.  One had a gnome on it and for each season the gnome could be holding something that fit the season (a pumpkin for fall, a heart for Valentine's Day).  I was tempted, but I did a little google research and big red flags came up.  Lots of complaints.  Yes, I wanted what I was seeing, but from what I researched it sounded like I wasn't going to get that.  

The other welcome sign fed on my obsession of Disney.  Again there were magnets to be attached for the appropriate season/holiday and they were in the form of Mickey head.  Really cute.  But NOT from Disney.  Really big warning sign was when I went to the website, the customer service email was a person's name with numbers following it @gmail.com.  Now this was not an Etsy site (in which case that MIGHT be ok, but I'd email the seller before making a decision), it was supposed to be a company website.  Yes, I wanted (and still want) a welcome sign that I can hang on my door that will change easily with seasons, but this is NOT the way to go.  I don't want to just throw $20, $40 or $50 and hope for the best.  This screams SCAM (and other agreed with me).  I let it go.  (Also I did a search before posting this and could no longer find the site...hmmm)

So while we all might need a little shopping therapy, be cautious.  Have fun, but be wise.  Don't let that impulse make you hit the purchase button before doing a little background check.  And if you do find a cool and legitimate welcome sign for the front door, let me know!




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