If you happen to be doing some Christmas shopping, and you’re at a website you’re not familiar with, and their checkout screen looks like it uses this template:
Back out immediately and do not make the purchase, as the site is likely a scam. Note that in this particular case I’ve added this item at random to create a shopping cart, but I have reversed a charge against Helli Shop, as it’s become more and more clear that they never intend to ship me the dice I ordered and upon closer examination (which I finally did today, after disputing the charge with my credit card company) the vast majority of their wares appear to have images stolen from other sites, including occasionally actually leaving the watermarks from the other sites on the image.
Why am I warning you about the template and not about the specific site? I’ve made one other order from a (different) site with this exact same template, and the item I ordered did arrive, but it was junk, and it shipped direct from China. Helli sent me tracking information six weeks ago using the same Chinese shipper, and the tracking information hasn’t moved from “item ready for shipment” since then. Those dice are never coming.
(It’s only $30, so if my bank refuses it’s not the end of the world, but I’m also changing some passwords too.)
Today, I was looking into a Christmas present for my wife, and noted that the template for checkout was the same. I backed out and did some more research on the site, and sure enough, all sorts of reports of either never receiving the items they’d ordered or in one case receiving what was supposed to be a “king-size” blanket that ended up being the size of a napkin. I also chased down a couple of the reviews from major magazines that they’d claimed to have for their product, and sure enough none of them seemed to actually exist.
So, yeah. Buyer beware, or even better, don’t be a buyer in the first place. I’d guess if I looked into it more deeply that all three sites would turn out to be registered by the same people, and they’re using this template for all of their stores. Avoid.
(Note, for those of you coming in through a link, that there is an update to this post.)