For me, blogging is just a hobby. I don’t get paid to do it. I do it on my own time, whenever I want. But for most of the people that I have come across, blogging is a job. It’s a full-time commitment that pays the bills and puts food on the table. Blogging can easily become a job through product review, advertising, and endorsements. This week, a “company” wanted to collaborate with me on I Sort of Beauty, and it didn’t take long for me to realize that it was a fake solicitor.
I’m naming the company because I would hope that this does not happen to anyone else. Two weeks ago, Tops Wedding reached out to me on email to ask me to collaborate with them. Here’s how it went:
After I responded to “Seanna” to let her know I was interested and would be able to feature them on my blog, her response to me raised a big red flag.
A quick search for “topswedding reviews” on Google linked me to a couple of bloggers who “reviewed” topswedding but never actually bought or received a dress from the “company.” Not only is that disingenuous to the readers, but the writers should have done their research before copying and pasting blurbs from the site onto their own. Furthermore, when I searched the site on ScamAdvisor, I found that it is fairly new, operating a little over a year from China. From ScamAdvisor:
Although being a new website, does not make it un-trustworthy, as with any new business you should be extra vigilant and do your own research before placing an order or making an investment. This site has a high risk country associated with it. This may be as you expect but care should be taken if purchasing an item from a site that you didn’t expect to be associated with the countries listed above. Certain countries are listed as being high risk because of the high percentage of online fraud or tendency to send fake/replica items.
Free email addresses have been used in the setup of this website. This is not necessarily worrying, depending on the site. For online shops, this can be a sign that the site has some risk
The website has been newly registered with a short life expectancy, which follows the pattern used by many fraudulent and fake selling websites. Please be vigilant and take extra care before providing any payment information.
Some of the bloggers who reviewed Tops Wedding, wrote that this site is “reputable” but how can something be reputable if it has only been operating for a year and with their hand dipping in “10-15 sites”? After numerous searches, I came across a site called Top Wedding, a legit site with actual customer reviews, something that was difficult to find through a third party on Tops Wedding. And you can also see a staggering difference from the two sites on Scam Advisor:
After quickly realizing that it’s a knock-off site, and that I could be scammed if I shared any personal information, I cut off all contact with the “company.” Blogging is not just about putting “stuff” out there. As bloggers, people rely on us for information and trustworthy reviews. If we are just copying and pasting words that we think are harmless, it’s not doing anyone any good, and defeats the purpose of blogging! For bloggers who advertise for businesses on their site, please be cautious when dealing with sites that are not well-known and research, research, research!
Find out how long the site has been operating, what customers have said about them, and as much about their operation as you possibly can. When I tried to find Tops Wedding, on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, all of their social sites were taken down, yet the links to their social platforms appears on their site. Then, when I tried to connect with a customer service rep, no one was ever available. Bottom line, be careful!
Seriously, brides have enough to worry about planning their big wedding day, being scammed into buying a dress shouldn’t be one of them.
Bloggers, has this ever happened to you? How did you deal with it? Tell me in the comments section below!