Internet Buyers Beware

Buyers guide to purchasing product off the internet.

I see alot of search engines [one big one in particular] are trying to control the internet shopping by not actually taking you to the web site but by listing the products in one list from many different sites and then marking the porducts as not stocked. It appears in such a way that the average punter thinks for example it is my business and that I dont stock that product. It annouys the crap out of me and we get phone calls along those lines all the time from people who never even click through to our web site to see what we are about.  They also list paid ads first so if you are not finding what you are looking for keep drilling down to the 7th and 8th page back on your searches and you will find the skilled businesses and small operators who will have the better quality products if that is what you are chasing.

Now that the big players have been establised in this internet space they are now constantly trying to invent revenue strems by manipulating traffic for online sales to boost businesses paying for clicks, etc. and advertising revenue etc.  So when you can't find what you want or you only see one player or it lists all overseas companies, keep in mind how your search might be being manipulated and drill down a lot further into the following pages of your search right down to page 10 and 12 and deeper. You will start to reconise whats going on and get better information if you do this.
Scammers and spammers are a shifty lot of individuals and they will do their best to dupe you and me into their schemes. These scams seem to reinvent themselves but basically go like this ... others try to steal web site traffic by blatantly ripping of our pictures and text and putting it up as their own product as if they produce and make it themselves. Quite often there is a highly inflated price attached to it but often than not it is also a cheaper price.

Apparently there is software you can buy that does this for the scammers so they do not even have to work at it, others just use cheap labour in other countries to do their dirty work, I have no idea what happens to your money if you end up buying something off these web sites, do they just then order the same thing anomalously from someone else and pocket the huge mark up or do they take the money and run.

Their tactics and actions border on fraudulent and certainly they are trying to take your money by deception which is totally illegal under the Australian trade practices act.

We have rung up as a customer to see what they are saying about our products and have had to listen to a bunch of lies told to us as is if it were a fact.

Problem is these clowns can be hard to track down so here are some hard and fast rules you need to adopt so as to alert you to potential problems when you are evaluating parts suppliers on the web.

We make a point of making ourselves available at variuos swap meets and car shows with our products on show so keep this in mind when you are evaluating a new player you have not heard of before, are they putting themselves out there or hiding. Also this brings to mind for you to be sure about thier name or the name on the web site, some will pick a name to appear like they are someone else to confuse you.

Some selling sites have a mix of parts and bits that do not seem to gel together, this is a hunch or a feeling thing you have to develop, so just be aware, use it as something to alert you to open you mind as to ask yourself what are these guys about.

Some sites have no mention of the manufacturers for those parts. This is a fair indication that they are not an approved reseller. If in doubt ring or email the manufacturer and ask them if they deal with these guys regularly.

They use lots of gimmicks like for example …. ‘Hot rush overnight parts to you’ …. or similar phrases to get you in … or half naked girls .................. just rubbish marketing

The most obvious signs of a scam is no fixed address. Some do not even have a post office box.

I have seen sites with a picture of their so called premises yet there is no fixed address. You know you can always use google maps to double check a fixed address to help you ascertain if they are legit or not. Just type it in and then go to the street scape to see if you can recognise the building. Beware they have not just ripped it off google maps either, that would make me real suspect. Look the main thing is legitimate businesses will not hide behind a website or a post office box.

Ask if you can drop in to look at the products, most legitimate businesses will not have a problem with this, even if they do not stock what you want you can always look at what else they do. Even people that work from home will usually be obliging in some way. Obviously if they are interstate or overseas it is not practical to do this.

If you have not dealt with them, phone them and talk to them. Scammers find it difficult to lie for too long, they tend to contradict themselves. However some have the gift of the gab and know what to say so beware. Most people have a gut feeling when they are been told porky pies. Listen to your gut.

Who is the fella you will be dealing with do they have a name what is their back ground. Are they well known in their industry.

Check their ABN and ACN at the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and search the ASIC registers. Sometimes but not always there will be some inconsistancies in information, addresses, persons, or there may be some proceedings or rulings against the company. Read into that what you will, however remember a lot of the ASIC info is hard to understand for the average punter.

Forums can be an indicator to see if much has been put up about a company, however remember some people have vendettas and can be quite bitter and twisted and forums seem to attract them and breed bad mouthing of others at times. We all make mistakes from time to time so be mindful that all you read may not be totally true on the forums.

Here at Kustom Bitz we work hard on producing useful information and pictures on our web site so our customers can be an informed buyer. We work hard to build repour and trust with our suppliers and promote the brands we represent with integrity. Which is why we want to point out to the average punters how to avoid scammers and spammers.

We would love to list all the dodgy websites here that we know of but we would open a can of worms we are not sure can be opened without retribution. So please if you see our stuff somewhere else by all means shoot us an email and we will confirm if they deal with us or are on our no go list.

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