Wednesday, August 3, 2011

slovenia shipping scam

i thought i was finished posting about this order. i thought i was finished thinking about this order. this is the big order i've mentioned a few times this month. the big order that was heading to slovenia. but this is now a different sort of post. all of you who read my blog, who sell on etsy and make beautiful items that are purchased and admired all over the globe, this is a warning. please read this and share it, forward it, post it anywhere an artisan or etsy seller may see it.
in june i received an email asking if i'd be willing to do a custom order and ship it to slovenia. and did i accept mastercard or visa for payment. and would i mind shipping with the shipping company they had used in the past and had been happy with. none of this seemed unusual to me and i agreed to the order. they told me they wanted 10 crib quilts and a series of 10 collage. i told them it would take approximately a month to complete which they accepted. i worked all month getting this order ready. and in the past few days i prepared the items for shipping and
communicated with the client. i contacted the shipping agent they had asked me to use. and they sent a quote for $1695.67 to ship the box express shipping. the customer didn't blink at such an astronomical shipping fee that they were paying, through me. so this morning i received an email with the customers credit card information and i put through a charge of $4375 which cleared. this figure covered my invoice as well as the shipping fees. then the shipping company informed me they would pick up the item tomorrow at my studio. the money owed needed to be transferred via western union to their manchester office. red flags had been popping up along the way and although i'd googled the name and address without finding anything unusual, i hadn't googled the shipping company. so when the client was seeming a bit too anxious and was starting to become pushy about this order, i googled the shipping company, LM Logistics, and everything seemed legitimate. i was leaving the house for western union when i thought to google 'slovenia shipping scam'. the first thing that came up was this blog . it described what has been going on with me exactly. i was able to contact my credit/debit provider and cancel the charges before they actually went through into my account. i am feeling very lucky tonight that i was able to figure out what was happening just in the nick of time. i found another blog which really made me feel fortunate that i didn't go through with paying the shipping company. if the scammers succeed with this fraud, artists can be out thousands of dollars as well the product. i'm thankful that i have the product and will be able to list on etsy and hopefully sell in my studio.
i apologize for the rambling state of this little story. it's been a long day and i'm exhausted and a little giddy with relief at dodging this horrific scam. i want to get this story out there as soon as possible to prevent it happening to anyone else.


11 comments:

  1. I am so sorry you had to go through something so unsavory. Your quilts are so sweet and I love the picture of them all packaged up. I'm glad you caught this in time.

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  2. thanks jen.....it's been a crazy day. i'm feeling very fortunate tonight.

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  3. Hello Annette:
    We cannot believe what we are reading here. We are absolutely appalled but so very glad that you, almost by chance, uncovered the scam in time so as not to have lost all of that money.

    As it is your time, and work, are not compensated for at all and we really do trust that you will, over time, be able to sell everything. If the 'clents' had been just that little bit less pushy, then you could so easily have lost everything. We are so very sorry and how good of you to publicise this in the hope of sparing others an even worse fate.

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  4. i sorry you had to experience this- and very happy you found out in time ! i am tweeting this

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  5. What a terrible story but how clever of you to smell a rat and do the research. I love to think the best of humanity and this faith is often rewarded but sometimes these criminals make it very difficult!

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  6. holy crap, Life is so hard. I am learning that I am way too trusting. Good for you to listen to your own voice and act on it.

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  7. it's so nice to read all your kind words this morning. the adrenaline has passed and i'm tired as i head back to the studio this morning. but i do feel very lucky that i paused and considered and didn't really lose anything.
    please tell your artisan friends that this is going on. i think it happens alot!

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  8. What a dreadful thing to happen to you! Thank god you listened to your intuition! It's such a shame that these things can happen in a world where so many of us are trying to work AGAINST fear and distrust.

    x E.

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  9. this is very scary....just an idea though... If I get asked to do a custom order I always ask for 50% of the cost upfront, unless it's a regular...

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  10. Oh my gosh Annette, so sorry for you...that's crazy. Your intuition served you well! I am not sure if you lost money as well as travelled through the making of a huge order? I hope not. Thank you for sharing this sad story...maybe someone else will benefit from it.
    Sorry too you have to unpack the parcels - I loved seeing it all ready to go ;(

    On a brighter side, your shop will be overflowing with goodness - and having seen your wonderful collages in person, I trust they will find their way very shortly to some new homes! Your work is just so so lovely...

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  11. I'm really sorry to hear that all happened! Some time I'll update you on a similar situation that happened with the bass player in our band.

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