BBB Warning: Online shoe seller claims to be operating from animal hospital, empty lots, etc.
Southfield, MI - December 17, 2018 - Better Business Bureaus serving Eastern and Western Michigan have received several complaints about an alleged shoe seller operating on social media. Going by the name of Restock Shoes or Exclusive Footwear Boutique, the company claims to be selling high-end and hard to find shoes at a discounted price. However, complaints to BBB® allege customers pay for the shoes but the company fails to deliver.
Selling from an Animal Hospital and Empty Lot
The company has numerous pictures on Instagram of a storefront and shelves full of high-end, hard to find sneakers. Often the Instagram posts advertise sale prices and contests, where the winner can buy the shoes at a discount. Following complaints about the company, investigators in both Eastern and Western Michigan visited addresses used by the Instagram account. The Royal Oak, Michigan addresses aren’t shoe stores. Instead, two of those locations do not exist, an animal hospital and an empty lot sit where those address would be and a Detroit-themed apparel boutique sits at the address of the third location. In Muskegon, investigators found an empty lot instead of a bustling storefront. Calls to the alleged company by the BBB have gone unreturned.
I won a “Raffle”
Complaints to Better Business Bureau® tell a similar story. A customer in Lorton, VA tells BBB he entered what he thought was a raffle to buy a pair of Adidas Yeezy 350 v2 Butter shoes for $250. He was instructed to pay through Western Union or MoneyGram. However, after sending payment for the shoes, the company claimed there was an error. The customer as asked to pay again, and a refund for the first payment would be sent. This customer waited and didn’t receive a refund or his shoes. The company has since stopped communicating with him.
The story is similar for a man in Covina, CA. He thought he had won a chance to buy a discounted pair of Air Jordan Retro sneakers for $450. The same shoes can be found at other websites selling for more than $1,000. This customer refused to pay by MoneyGram or Walmart-to-Walmart. Instead he insisted on Google Pay, believing it was safer. After paying $450 for his shoes, the customer tells the BBB the company gave excuses about a delay in shipping then stopped communicating altogether.
BBB has received scattered complaints about these sneaker consignment stores for more than a year with the most recent being on November 13. A man in Olympia, WA sent $320 via MoneyGram to Exclusive Footwear Boutique. He was told by telephone that he would receive the shipping notification and tracking number the following day. He received the shipping notification via text message, but never received the tracking information. He then called the alleged store manager, Tone, who said there were issues between UPS and the store’s bank so the customer would need to send an additional $320 and would be reimbursed via check. When the customer refused to do so, his phone number and Instagram accounts were blocked from contacting the business.
None of these customers received the shoes they ordered. All complainants tell BBB they ordered the shoes through the alleged company’s Instagram profile. All communication between the company and the customers are conducted via social media, telephone and email.
BBB has attempted to contact the company to resolve the complaints without success. Mail has come back as undeliverable and calls from BBB have been unreturned.
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Smart Shopping Tips:
Better Business Bureau offers these tips for safe online shopping:
- Know the company. Some of the best deals are only available online, but be careful. It’s easy to get lured in by a website that looks legitimate. Check out retailers at bbb.org before you shop.
- Be a savvy shopper. Does the offer seem too good to be true? Are other companies making offers that are close to that price? Scams often lure in victims with fantastic offers. Be cautious if a deal seems to be too good.
- Shop with a credit card. In case of a fraudulent transaction, a credit card provides additional protections; it’s easier to dispute charges that you didn’t approve. Debit cards, prepaid cards or gift cards don’t have the same protections as a credit card. Being asked to pay for a product pay by wire transfer or alternative methods is a red flag that the company may not be a reputable as they claim. Wire transfers are untraceable, so if the opportunity is a scam you will lose your money and it will not be found. When shopping online, use reputable, traceable payment options such as PayPal.
Better Business Bureau encourages you to report possible scams to BBB Scam Tracker at bbb.org/scamtracker. For assistance finding reputable businesses please visit bbb.org.
Eastern Michigan and Upper Peninsula media contact: Laura Blankenship, Director of Marketing, (248)- 799-0326 or (304) 784-4783 (cell),email@example.com.
Western Michigan media contact: Troy Baker, Communications Manager of BBB Serving Western Michigan, (616) 234-0563,firstname.lastname@example.org.