Thanks to BBB of St. Louis for bringing this to our attention:
Bargain hunters searching for wholesale electronics and clothing on Chinese Internet sites could find themselves up the Yangtze without a paddle. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns consumers to be cautious when dealing with Chinese and other overseas online sites that offer brand- name items at drastically reduced prices.
A St. Louis area businesswoman said she recently sent a total of $1,700 to three different online Chinese sites as payment for electronic items she hoped to resell at a profit on eBay. She said she never received anything from any of them.
Michelle Corey, president and CEO of the St. Louis BBB, said Internet reports indicate the overseas wholesale scam is becoming increasingly widespread and often seems to victimize people trying to find low cost, brand-name items for startup sales businesses.
“The people setting up many of these Web sites are thieves, pure and simple, and are interested in nothing more than snatching your money and vanishing,” Corey said.
Many of the bogus Web sites offer elaborate graphics and detailed photographic displays of items for sale at deep discounts. In many cases, entire paragraphs describing the companies appear to be copied from one site to another.
The St. Louis area businesswoman said she was searching for wholesale businesses to buy from when she discovered dozens of listings for Chinese wholesalers on the Internet.