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Sep. 6, 2014

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PROM DRESS BUYERS – BEWARE OF FRAUDULENT ONLINE STORES

 

How common is it for girls to get ripped off by fraudulent online prom dress stores? Walk into any prom dress retailer and ask them about this subject, and they will indicate it has become very commonplace. It’s a frequent occurrence for girls to come into their stores with tales of woe after having been cheated by a fraudulent online retailer.

If the price of a prom dress offered online seems to good to be true, it probably is to good to be true. There are a variety of bad things that can occur when dealing with a fraudulent web site.

 

  • The order never gets shipped.
  • The color of the dress is vastly different than the image displayed online
  • The dress is made from cheap fabric with poor quality workmanship
  • The fit is terrible
  • The embellishments are terribly inferior versus what is shown in the online image
  • There are months of delays in receipt of the dress and customer service is non-existent

 

Be aware that the search engines are filled with the sites of fraudulent online stores. The search engines are enablers of the these prom dress counterfeiters. The paid results at the top of the results pages are infested with links to fraudulent stores that have stolen images from the top designers such as Mac Duggal. These stores are buying their way to the top of the search engines. In many cases, they can afford to pay a lot to get to the top of the search engines because they are saving money by using cheap, inferior materials and sloppy workmanship.

The results obtained when searching online for prom dresses is a jumbled result of legitimate and fraudulent sites. Most of the larger prom dress retailers have websites and there a numerous online stores that are extremely reputable. So how can you segment the legitimate stores from the fraudulent ones?

 

Tips For Finding Legitimate Prom Dress Retailers

  1. Go to the sites of the top designers and use their “Where to Buy” function to find authorized retailers. The Mac Duggal authorized retailer’s can be identified by going to Find Retailer. (a link to “Find Retailer” is in the navigation bar at the top of the webpage).
  2. Search for “store name reviews”. Be aware this method is far from foolproof. Many of the reviews are paid for and not trustworthy. It requires a lot of digging to find reviews that you can trust.
  3. Look up the store’s Page on Facebook. Check on how many likes the store has. Check on whether the store’s posts are getting shared, as this is a good indication that they have an engaged customer base. Click on the “show share” button. See if the distribution of names seems to be typical. Read the comments to determine if they seem to be coming from legitimate fans, or if the online store is buying them. Be aware that this is not a foolproof method of sussing out legitimate stores, as the fraudulent stores sometimes buy likes and pay for positive comments.

 

While the focus of the video provided below is on wedding dresses, it is directly relevant to prom dresses. The story would be almost identical if they had substituted “prom dress” for “wedding dress”.