I was instantly captivated when I saw the adorable dog with folk art decoration holding a serving tray. Advertised online via Facebook, it was described as being made of metal (other times wood). The ad touted that it was an end table made in Bali.

Tell me what you think.

What do you think of this so-called end table? For whom do you think it might serve? Children? The vertically challenged? © Photo collection of Norine Dresser, 2021.

No wonder the sellers failed to list the dimensions. This was a bad joke on me. And I fault no one but myself for failing to be more discriminating when evaluating the product. I was so anxious to purchase it for my brand new screened in porch that common sense fled.

The ad also claimed that the tray could be used for serving a drink or displaying a house plant. No way! The tray is made of cardboard and any water on it would cause it to deteriorate.This was not the only instance I got taken by shady online advertisers. At about the same time, I ordered two other items featured on Facebook. I fell in love with some silly-looking colorful backyard chickens, supposedly made in Ireland. Additionally, I ordered some spectacular solar lights for the yard, made in Germany. Now these purchases were very convincing that they were legitimate. Both kept sending me fake (in retrospect) shipping updates, nineteen messages in total. First they claimed the products were in transit within their phony countries of origin. Then later, they claimed the products had reached customs, then cleared customs; next they arrived in the U.S. and cleared customs here to then inch towards my destination in Las Cruces, New Mexico. But they never arrived.

In desperation, I contacted the delivery company, shipping@24service.vip. And when I clicked on it, I was directed to a google link entitled, “Fraudulent email Pay Pal scams.” There I encountered complaints from other shopping victims lamenting the no-show status of beds, vacuum cleaner, mini-chainsaw, laptop, sandals, and a music box. Does misery love company? No. One victim wrote, “Once they get your money, they scam you.”

I wish I could tell you that these were the only phony ads I have fallen for. I saw a great deal on Clark’s sandals but totally forgot the wisdom, “If it sounds too good to be true, it isn’t.” Sure enough, the shoes never arrived. Instead I received a crummy pair of sunglasses. You’d think I would have learned, but no. I excitedly purchased some Keen sandals in great tie-dye colors. Instead, it was not Keen but something equivalent to “Keenly.” When the shoes arrived they were only in black, yet I have been wearing them. They actually are the correct size.

I hope that by now, I have learned not to be an impulsive shopper. I rely on the internet for shopping because it has become difficult to do in person. I must now use a walker/rollator that I find difficult to load and unload from the trunk of my car. It’s so much easier to let my fingers do the walking.

I am so mad at myself for being such a foolish consumer. Do you know the feeling from also having fallen for an online scam? Are you willing to share your victimhood story? I hope so. But from here on, never forget the warning: Caveat Emptor – Let the Buyer Beware!

Norine Dresser is a folklorist who needs to be more cautious in future online shopping.


13 thoughts on “SIZE MATTERS!”

  1. Dear Norine, that little cardboard table is really cute–maybe you could put kitty treats on it. Or sit it outside with birdseed on it. So sorry you got taken. We may be victims, too. A month ago I bought some seat covers for my 2002 Subaru. The company is in Arizona. We got tired of waiting, called several times and always got a message. Yesterday David finally contacted a person who said they were very behind in their orders and we would get them in one and ahalf to2 weeks. We’ll see in a couple of weeks if we were scammed. We threatened that we would report it to the bank as fraud. We’ll see.

  2. Dear Norine –

    Thanks for sharing.
    I know how it feels to be scammed by some Internet
    dealer who has taken your money and run.

    But at least you’ve got
    a kid-sized side table as
    a “ripped – off” conversation piece.

    Happy Trails!


    Sent from my iPhone

  3. NorineThat dog is so cute..love the colors..can see why you fell for it!Did you ever get it?The internet has plenty of scammers…I too have fallen for a few items.🤪Live and learn…Im a trusting New Mexican…Annemarie, being from NYC, is less trusting and constantly warns me “its a scam!”

    Sent from the all new AOL app for Android

  4. Reminds me of that scene in the hilarious film, Spinal Tap. The band wants to recreate Stonehenge for their stage show. But they wrote inches instead of feet. The dancing Druids tripped on them. So if they ever make a sequel, your serving tray might work.

    Seriously though, you do a tremendous service by reminding us to check out merchants in advance of pushing that Cart button. And it is a cute tray! xox

  5. Sorry you got scammed! You can be nearly 100% certain that if it’s a regular advertisement on Facebook (as opposed to a real, individual, private Marketplace ad) that it’s a scam or bogus company. Many of them do not really sell any products, but are fronts for obtaining cc information from unknowing consumers. I have ordered before from the animal rescue site and they are legit, but every other one I’ve ever checked was a front. If they advertise a price for a product you know usually costs twice as much, that’s a sure sign. Good habit to always google or DuckDuckGo search the company name and “Scam?” or look for reviews. If there is no customer service phone number (only a usually fake website) that is also a red flag.

  6. PS Given FB’s seeming obsession with screening out posts etc. that violate their apparently politically motivated “community standards” you’d think they’d do a better job of screening out scam companies advertising, but no….they proliferate un-monitored there.

    1. Yes. We’re all on our own here. What was so strange was getting the shipping updates on two different phony products. The scammers went out of their way to keep me believing that they were legit.

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